Now that spring is finally here, it's time to kick off another growing season with our April Winegrowing Update. But first, a word about how the drought is affecting us here in the Petaluma Gap within the Sonoma Coast.
By all accounts the quality and quantity of the 2013 vintage rivals those of 2012.
Regional temperatures exceeded 10 year averages with the only “typical” temperatures in April, July and October. Even 2012 and 2009’s warmer than average conditions were surpassed by 2013 temperatures. Solar radiation exceeded historical averages as well as levels seen in 2011 but trailed 2012 and 2009. Only October experienced greater sunlight than 2012 and 2009.
Humidity levels were higher than average through most of the growing season with the exceptions of April, May and October. The increased humidity due to the marine layers during the height of the growing season surpassed those seen in 2012 and 2009. Wind conditions in our otherwise windy region were slightly diminished as compared with previous averages. This, combined with increased humidity levels during the summer, required diligent canopy management.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Harvests
- Fredrick's Vineyard Pinot Noir Clone 115 (8/29, 1.5 Tons, 23.7 ˚Brix, 3.59 pH, 6.51 TA)
- Gaps Crown Vineyard Chardonnay Clone 76 (9/14, 1.5 Tons, 25.1 ˚Brix, 3.38 pH, 6.3 TA)
- Robert's Rd Vineyard Chardonnay Clone 95 (9/20, 2.5 Tons, 24.8 ˚Brix, 3.47 pH, 5.55 TA)
- Robert's Rd Vineyard Pinot Noir Pommard (9/26, 2.5 Tons, 25.5 ˚Brix, 3.67 pH, 5.29 TA)
All of our fruit is "in the barn" as we say. Fredrick's Pinot Noir is through primary and secondary fermentation and is safely in barrel. Both of our Chardonnay lots are also through primary fermentation, which only 50% or so we'll be allowed to complete secondary fermentation (MLF). We do this to preserve some of bright malic acid. Our final Pinot Noir made it to the winery last Thursday and is still in tank finishing it's primary fermentation.
We had a great growing season for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay here in the Sonoma Coast / Petaluma Gap. I look forward to sharing a glass (or two) of it with all of you soon.
If you haven't you secured your allocation yet, you can do it now here
Fedrick Vineyard Pinot Noir Harvest
On Thursday, August 29th, we picked our first block of Pinot Noir of the season from Fedrick Vineyard (1.5 Tons of Clone 115). The fruit looked and tasted great with very little botrytis, most of which was dropped out in the vineyard. The fruit underwent a cold soak through the weekend and was inoculated with Assmanhausen yeast early in the week. We'll report on fermentation as it progresses.