Spring – Summer 2023

In the Vineyard

It turns out that I was correct in assuming that the late rains and cool spring would set back the growing season this year. It is nearly the end of July, and there is no sign of veraison in any of our vineyards yet. This is the point where red grapes begin to turn color and white ones begin to soften, and we usually are well into it by mid July. This year it may still be weeks away.

The veraison landmark, in its turn, is the harbinger of crush.  All things being equal, we expect to start picking about six weeks after veraison, which means a normal harvest begins around the first of September.  At this rate, we will be looking at starting toward the end of September instead.  We usually finish harvest with the Cabernet in mid-October but will now probably be doing that in November.

close up of cabernet sauvignon clusters growing on vine mid summer
Cabernet Sauvignon Clusters

So what does all this mean?  Is it bad or good to have a late harvest?  I could only answer that if I knew exactly what the weather has in store for us for the rest of the year, and my crystal ball is not that clear.  If the rains come early this fall, it could be a challenge. But if we get to cruise through a dry and warm October as is usual, it could be great.  Long hang time at lower sugar is ideal for flavor development.

What I can say is that we bottled some very tasty 2022 Sauvignon Blanc, Marsanne | Roussanne, and Rosé back in March, along with our final red wine from the excellent 2021 vintage, the Cabernet Sauvignon.  We got all of them safely into bottle during some very nasty weather indeed. Strong winds, heavy rains, even periodic hail fell during bottling. The crew was extremely cold by the end, but it was well worth it! We look forward to sharing the wines with you.