I Could Get Used to This

Our last harvesting is over almost a week now. Only tiny ferments remain for punchdown, with the last large fermentations pressed and going to barrel. The clock has fallen back one hour, Mike has actually taken a full day off for the first time, and there is an impending sense of normalcy in the air. And, not normalcy with a gasp after chaos, but with a sense that everything was well-enough planned and executed to accept Mother Nature’s compact, gorgeous weather vintage without problems.

We have a slightly larger production volume than the last couple years, but still within our comfort region of 15,000 cases plus-or-minus 2000. Many of our friends have done much more than their normal levels, attempting to catch up with dwindling inventories in a very strong marketplace, both to take advantage of the sales opportunities and to protect our customers from being without stock for long times. The generous yield this year should put more wine into the market, the high quality nature of the vintage should assure that convertees to Pinot noir and other cool climate wines stay with their new discovery and delve more deeply into their complexities.

We are foolish enough to have all our business “harvests” at the same time. We end our fiscal year for sales and accounting the end of October. It means we’re all stressed at once, that we all appreciate the hard work everyone is doing in their own sphere. We encourage customers to try newly released wines with Free Shipping during the month, email opportunities and our latest newsletter–this issue points out that a new release, the 2004 Ridgecrest Pinot noir, which has a bounty of good reviews, is also representative of our 20th harvest from that vineyard. Harvests in all of these areas emphasize the cyclical nature of farming, business, and the classically beautiful world in which we live. Seasons. Some disappointing. Some like 2006 far from disappointing. They help give hard work a good name.

Until another season, or another excuse to chat.

Weather Today
The Oregonian in me is showing through, as I’ve gotten tired of sunshine and bright Fall colors, and am pleased to see a misty, rainy day push in. Only 0.16 inches of rain have fallen this month, through October 28th (recent average is 2.09 inches).

The sunny and mild days, with cool, upper thirties lows still push degree day ripening, a good finish for late-hanging varieties like Riesling.

As the Cumulative Degree Days graph shows, 2006 is similar to 2004, and not as extreme as 2003: thru the 28th, 2006 shows 2422 DD; 2005, 2219; 2004, 2404; 2003, 2535; 2002, 2242. (see graph).

Harvest to-date

263 tons (Final)
(95% of forecast)
Pinot Noir: 128 tons
(96% of forecast)
Pinot Gris: 52 tons (Final)
(86% of forecast)
Chardonnay: 58 tons (Final)
(101% of forecast)
Riesling: 15 tons (Final)
(92% of forecast)
Gamay noir: 5 tons (Final)
(87% of forecast)
Pinot blanc: 6 tons (Final)
(109% of forecast)

Portion of Total by Variety
Pinot Noir 49% Pinot Gris 20% Chardonnay22% Gamay Noir 2% Pinot Blanc 2% Riesling 6%