Today is a big harvest day of red grapes for Rosé. We were hoping to get started yesterday, but the rain didn’t end until noon. The vines and clusters didn’t dry until mid afternoon. Today’s goal is to pick Merlot and Cabernet Franc at Boisseau Vineyard and then Cabernet Sauvignon and some corners of other blocks at Hardscrabble. All will be components of Rosé. We only received 0.7″ of rain, so there shouldn’t be a significant impact directly on fruit composition. The lingering moisture on the clusters is of some concern. It remained warm through the night which can potentially trigger some rot. I checked the vines just before night fall and most of the clusters had dried. I’m thankful that we did some aggressive leaf removal in August to promote air circulation in the cluster zone. Last night’s scenario was exactly the reason why we practice leaf removal.
The forecast looks unbelievably good for the next ten days. Very little chance of rain, a bit warm this week then finally true fall comes over the weekend. As red wine harvest approaches on Thursday the picking strategies will center around tannin maturity and logistics. This could be a very ripe, powerful red vintage. If the weather is good, we would like to let the grapes mature on the vine as long as possible. However, a forecast is just that: an educated guess. Things can change quickly, as we have especially witnessed over the past several vintages. We can’t just keep delaying harvest and then find ourselves in a situation where we have two days to harvest five days worth of vineyards because of an unexpected tropical storm emerging from the Gulf Coast. So, cautiously and methodically we begin.