"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it"

The dog days of summer are upon us and we move into the home stretch of the 2014 wine growing season. We've completed veraison at Fedrick Ranch and are reading just over 20 Brix on the refractometer. Robert's Road Vineyard, on the other hand, is still only 50% through veraison. 

There's certainly no risk of mistaking them for Russell Baker's Masterpiece Theatre, but here is your 2-Minute winegrowing update for July.

Temperature

Even with diminished sunlight, it warmed up quite nicely to match historical averages in July. However, mean daily temperatures of 60.3˚F were must over a degree cooler than last year.

Higher highs and lower lows created the significantly higher diurnal variations of 38.2˚F in June. 9.9˚F more than average and 11.3˚F more than last year.

Growing degree days eclipsed 2013 and historical averages by 38.6 and 54.8, respectively. We are slightly ahead of average but still behind last year.

Solar Radiation

Our otherwise bright and sunny conditions came to end in July. Heavy marine layers and overcast skies with brief episodes of rare summer rains meant a 7.9% decrease in sunlight compared to historical averages and a slight 2.7% less than last year.

Wind

Averaging 3.5 mph, wind conditions in July were a less than average and also bit less than 2013.

Humidity

Average can be a good thing when compared to humidity. July humidity matched historical averages and at 76% was 1.3% / slightly less than 2013. For the first time this season, mildew pressure reduced to comfortable levels.