They enter the new world naked, cold, uncertain of all save that they enter. All about them the cold, familiar wind- William Carlos Williams
The daylight has now overtaken the darkness. Each rotation here in the North now sees more of the sun with the moon more often framed by blue than black. This is usually the time we start to look for the first signs of new life among the vines. Surprisingly, things have happened a bit earlier than usual this year. More often than not, early April gives us our first hints of green emerging from the cordon. The 2013 vintage has decided to begin just as the sun and the equator align themselves on the same plane.
In 2012, the first bud break of the Estate Chardonnay plantings took place around April 5th. Here is a photo of that same Chardonnay this last Friday, March 15.
Our Estate Chardonnay was harvested on August 31st last year. This represented a journey of 148 days from bud break to the press. A similar lifespan would put the first pick of 2013 sometime around August 10th. While I don't see that happening, our earliest ever harvest was August 15th. So it is within the realm of possibility.
This has been a fairly dry year so far with no major winter storms, just the occasional light rain. The temperatures have been mild to cool, so things may slow down a bit over the next 4-5 months. There is no telling what April (The one month a year when the Central Coast Weather reporter actually must do some work) will bring. But shockingly enough, even the Malbec looks like this today.
A quick walk down to the next block also saw the Syrah starting to rustle and swell. Of course, the late bloomers like Cabernet, Mourvedre and Zinfandel are yet to say their piece. The all important flowering is still yet to come. But as things stand right now, an early harvest may be bearing down on us. It is time for winemakers as well to roust from winter's time of recovery, and make the preparations for what lies ahead.
They enter the new world naked, cold, uncertain of all save that they enter. All about them the cold, familiar wind- - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15536#sthash.2DKOMCf