Harvest 2016 Vineyard Update
As we get close to the harvest season, much of the human work and biological processes for the 2016 vintage have been completed. I hesitate to use the old adage “the calm before the storm,” because I fear tempting nature and imparting the mere notion of rain or any inclement weather, but the truth is we have reached a point of relative quiet before the busy and often chaotic season of harvest.
The last few months have provided relatively typical weather and good overall conditions. We have thankfully avoided any summer rain, and cool wet mornings have been tempered by a few heat spikes to keep our vineyards clean, disease free, and progressing along their annual journey of fruit production. Capitalizing on a solid vintage to date, the quality of the fruit looks to be very strong. As I think will prove to be the norm for most of the North Coast in 2016, yields are variable from block to block, with few noticeable trends across exact locations or varieties
Now is a time of fine tuning in the vineyards.
We currently are spending much of our time making minor adjustments to grapevine canopies and perfecting the fruit’s exposure to sun, air, and each other, making sure that each individual cluster is supported and protected by just the right amount of foliage and open space. Crop thinning is also a big part of this time, as we adjust crop load for immediate vine balance and ultimate wine quality. Disciplined thinning sets the stage for even, consistent maturity and an optimal ripening process leading up to harvest.
With the onset of harvest in the not too distant future, we remain happy with what the 2016 vintage has been and look forward to soon realizing what it truly will be. Most of all, we look forward to turning grapes into wine, and taking a major step in being able to share it with all of you.
–Rob Harris, Director of Vineyard Operations