Harvest picking is now complete, as of today! The dry weather has allowed us to hang fruit a little longer, as we waited for fermentors to finish so another block’s fruit could take its place and for barrels to take settled wine, so more can be pressed to momentarily empty settling tanks. It seems all our friends have been in the same boat of having great fruit in great volume and not really enough space to process it!
We have now finished all red fruit, with Pinot noir picking finishing Thursday Oct 9th and Gamay noir Saturday. Ridgecrest and Wind Ridge Riesling were the last picks period, coming in on Saturday and today, Sunday a Herculean effort by Chad to bring in this much pristine fruit in a month (Rob at Stoller likewise). Sunday is exactly 4 weeks after this record harvest began. This year’s volume of 391 tons equals the largest prior harvest, 2009—but ALL of 2014 harvest was vinified here, whereas 50 tons of 2009’s was pressed and fermented off-site.
Whew! Great job, Wynne, Katie and Greg, in cramming 25,000 cases worth into an 18,000 case capacity winery. This has the potential of being one of the rare vintages where quality and quantity are excellent, therefore pleasing not only winemakers and media pundits, but accountants and bankers We’ll weigh in later on the quality status as ferments finish.
All are weary, but very pleased.
Weather and Its Implications
Continued sun and moderately warm weather have been with us for the last week or so, with cooler weather and a supposed Pineapple Express with decent rainfall expected by Tuesday and extending through the week. Since October began, we’ve had five more 80F+ days and our Cumulative Degree Days now rest at 2681, the highest I have ever seen in the Willamette Valley, 2500 being the boundary between Region 1 and 2 (Cool and Not-so Cool!).