Journal | August 27, 2018
A Little Bit of Optimisim
Finally the weather is in our favor. I can’t remember the last time we went a full week without rain. The vines are finally settling down with green growth slowing. The predicted heat this week is welcome. As long as it doesn’t rain. The grapes can handle a stray thunderstorm, but a three-day blow would cause problems.
Our focus now is on Sauvignon Blanc, which is the first grape to ripen at Hardscrabble and Avenius. Boisseau Chardonnay is also on the radar as it is a warmer site and the grapes ripen sooner. There is a bit of bunch rot in the tighter clusters, which comes as no surprise considering the wet weather we have experienced up until August 21. Each individual berry had swelled. With the clusters being so compact, and with no room for expansion, some were eventually pushed off from the cluster stem (rachis). This fine weather should dry out these detached berries, but wet weather would cause them to rot and the rot could spread to healthy berries within the cluster. Fortunately, we removed most of the leaves from around the clusters to enhance airflow, so we should be OK.
Last week’s sampling, tasting, and lab tests confirmed my suspicions that the juice is diluted from all the moisture in the soil. The vine roots are happily pumping water into the clusters. This should start reversing now that things are starting to dry out. We sample again today. Our best guess at this stage is that harvest will start the first week of September. However, the grapes and the weather will have the final say.