I think that all harvest journal entries have historically begun by stating; “Is it already September?” Well, yes, it is already September and this year has once again flown by and we are busily preparing the winery to receive our first fruit sometime late next week. The machinery is being cleaned and barrels are being carefully prepared as we rack our last 2005 Pinot Noirs from their French Oak to tanks for bottling before the end of the year. This place will soon be as busy as it has ever been.
It has been a hot and dry summer to say the least. We have already surpassed 2003 in heat units and have seen over 20+ days where temperatures soared over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Flowering was efficient under ideal conditions in June so we are looking at one of the biggest crops since 2001. In some vineyards we have had to drop 84% of the crop just to arrive at a more reasonable 2.0 tons to the acre (rather than 12+ tons to the acre!) Ripening has been uneven in most vineyards forcing us to make several extra “green-thinning” passes to remove green clusters and in several cases, individual green berries from ripe clusters. This has been difficult, delicate and costly work but I feel that our countless hours in the vineyard this year will be rewarded with high quality Pinot Noir.
This year we will be working with several new vineyards: Durant Vineyard, Anderson Family Vineyard, Carabella Vineyard, Kalita Vineyard, Pelos Sandberg Vineyard, and Wool Blanket Vineyard (formerly Jacob Hart Vineyard.) These farmers and their management teams have been working diligently all year long to ensure the highest quality for Bergström Wines this fall and we are very excited to be working alongside them this year and into the future. As well, this year will also see familiar vineyards turn one year older. Our estate vineyards; Bergström Vineyard, de Lancellotti Vineyard and Bergström Winery Estate enter their 8 th and 6 th years respectively. Shea Vineyard, Nysa Vineyard, Hyland Vineyard, Cherry Grove Vineyard, La Collina Vineyard and Chehalem Mountain Vineyards all continue to produce strong wines of great character and have found a happy home at Bergström.
I look forward to sharing our experiences with you this harvest. Harvest is always a busy and stressful time where workdays blend into each other and fatigue wine-stained hands feel heavier with each passing hour. But harvest is also a time of great joy and tradition where a long year in the vineyard is brought to fruition (pardon the pun.) Many of my great winemaking memories revolve around happenings during harvest. I hope to share some of those with you as we begin.