Vineyard Update

“Give me juicy autumnal fruit, ripe and red from the orchard...”

… and I will turn it into wine for all to enjoy. With all do respect to Walt Whitman, my ending to his quote is a bit more apropos for our harvest update.

On August 27th we picked the first of our two blocks of Pinot Noir. Clone 115 from Fedrick Vineyard weighed in at a Toyota Prius (1.5 tons) with a height of 23.2 Brix and a pleasant disposition of 3.71 pH and 5.0 TA. On September 17th, we harvested a Blue Whale calf's worth (3.1 tons) of our Pommard Clone of Pinot Noir. Not to be outdone by its Dijon sibling, it stood in at 25.2 Brix and exhibited a slightly more assertive attitude of 3.62 pH and 5.5 TA. You can geek out like me with the fermentation charts here.

These fine specimens carry more body, flavor and edge than last season. Two-A-Day workouts driven by the warm days and extra cool nights throughout the growing season produced high sugars while retaining appreciable natural acidity. I am really looking forward to seeing how these wines come along in the cellar. Another very fine vintage for Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.

Reserve your 2014 Wine Shares now or forever hold your peas.

In other News …

Ever wonder why I choose Petaluma over Bordeaux? Me too. I’m hoping to find the answers (and undiscovered gems) in my friend and fellow Petaluman Frances Rivetti’s new book, Fog Valley Crush. Reserve your copy through her Kickstarter campaign here and like it on Facebook. Don’t let her British accent fool you. She knows this place like the back of her hand. I can’t wait for my copies (they make great holiday gifts).

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

"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.

"Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get"

"Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get"

What we "expected" from climate in Mark Twain's time was not the change that we experience in today's climate. When it comes to farming, the devil remains in the details of seasonal weather patterns.

Some folks are already running around Sonoma with their hair on fire proclaiming an early harvest. They might be right but the numbers don't support their generalizations, so anything is possible at this point. It's why we play the game and why I'm a weather über-geek.

Here is your monthly coma inducing 2-Minute winegrowing weather update. I still haven't cracked the code on how to make these more interesting without calling Jimmy Kimmel to create a Charlie Bit My Finger skit like thisGame of Weather Vanes motif, maybe? Look out for the casting call... No dragons will be harmed.

"Just for the record, the weather today is calm and sunny..."

"Just for the record, the weather today is calm and sunny..."

"but the air is full of ..." OK, no need to complete Chuck Palahniuk's quote because the truth is in the numbers. Besides being calm and sunny, the air was also warm and dry in the vineyard last month. Instead of boring you to tears by making your wade through another weather post, I created this 2 Minute Video report to bore you in half the time. Pretty pictures, cooler graphs, half the calories.