Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Countdown to Harvest is Beginning!

Vacation is over and the pursuit of being prepared for harvest has begun. At Rack and Riddle, sparkling grapes are anticipated to begin coming in the week of the 16th. BUT- it has been unusually cool, no-cold here. At present my weather station(Asti - Tres Palmeras Vineyard Weather) is showing 48F, yesterday it was 52F. The highs have been in the 60-70's, a few 80's- even Southern California is reporting lower than average and lots of coastal fog. So what does that mean? There are some vineyards in higher elevations or coastal that may not ripen this year. And in general most vineyards are going to be late to start along the coastal regions. The central valley areas and foothills are reporting being more on average as they have not had the fog influence- crazy year!

So prep for harvest has begun, cleaning crush equipment, grapes bins, making sure everything runs- it definitely gets my blood running with excitement - the beginning is drawing near......

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July and the Vines are Growing Like Weeds

Wow, last month was a busy one with all of the events going on. Things have come back to a more sane level now, maybe too sane!

Looking at Tres Palmeras has been interesting- lots of growth, but not many clusters. Instead od two clusters per shoot, there is only one and many of those have 'shot berries' that will not become full fledged grape berries. Mother nature at her best-she is calling all of the shots. The verdict is still out on how the fruit will be since we are about two weeks behind. My take on the lack of clusters is that we had a greater than average amount of rain and the vines didn't have to go into survival mode and push out a lot of clusters- trying to look into the 'brain' of a grapevine............

The tasting room has been slow- I am definitely feeling the ravages of the economic downturn. But like most of us in the wine biz, just hunkering down and hoping that an upturn will happen sooner than later. I am determined to be one of the survivors!

I am having a chance to get away and regenerate. Currently I am in Hat Creek, California attempting to get in some flyfishing- truly a love of mine- being out with nature in it's splendor.

This will end at the end of this week, then it is back to bottling and harvest prep. So far looking like a good year for harvest with my day job at Rack and Riddle. Some new wines coming in and new grapes from the vineyards that surround the facility.

I hope some of you made it to the TAPAS Grand tasting last month- I did meet a few of you- what a great event. Hopefully we will be able to have more of these events in other areas of the US- Let everyone know that Tempranillo from the US ROCKS!!!

More when I return from fishing, Cheers to good food, good wine and good friends!

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