The year’s rain has come and gone with the heat of summer now waiting to take the vines the rest of the way. The worry has subsided and now been replaced by anxious expectation. Walking the vineyards these past couple of weeks, watching as the inflorescences flower and begin their transfiguration into fruit, the heart has been buoyed. The months of March and April could not have been more perfect. Gentle rains matched by mild temperatures provided everything a vine needs to awake from winter’s slumber and start life anew. Nothing more could be asked of the vineyard for the time being. The relief and pleasure of a perfect spring can never be overstated.
Fruit set is looking perfect, just slightly heavy so excess fruit can be dropped and yeilds from the vine can be optimized to our liking. Now that we are in mid-May, things are still looking wonderful. While the winter was warm and dry, summer has not reared it’s aggressive head yet. Temperatures have maintained in the high 80’s, preventing any early stress that can accompany the annual 100 degree days of Wine Fest. The flowering also looks to be well spaced. Our Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah flower first, taking their place as the initiators of harvest. The mix of Grenache, Malbec, Cab Franc, Merlot and the White Rhones seem to always jumble for attention mid-harvest. The last vines to set their fruit are the Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvedre and Zinfandel, the grapes that have you sweating late fall rainstorms hoping for just one more day to ripen.