Today we started the harvest with two and a half tons of young vine 115 clone pinot noir from the Shea vineyard. It was a beautiful day with clear blue skies, a strong easterly wind and infinite visibility. The forecast is excellent; 5 days of sunshine with temperatures in the 80s, another great year?

My concerns are that the coho winds are drying out the vines and their fruit at a furious pace and sugars are rising faster than we can plan out picking dates. My consolation is that the acids are remaining high, higher than normal for Oregon, which means that the wines, high in alcohol as they will be, will have balancing acids. Also, the stems, shoots and seeds have been lignified since the end of August, which means that the polyphenolic structure is ripe and physiologically mature. The skins are thick and the fruit is bleeding color, which are all good signs that the fruit is very ripe and ready to give all that it has toward the wines that we desire.

We will harvest 25 tons of younger vine pinot noir this week and look toward next week for the older vines, Arcus and Bergström Vineyard, to be harvested. The Pinot Gris and Chardonnay vines are maturing their bounty at a beautiful pace. We’ll look to harvest them in two to three weeks if the weather allows us to push the envelope. I must say, two weeks ago the forecast looked challenging and once again we have been blessed with a slow Oregon summer. The oak leaves are starting to turn to hues of orange and brown, the hazelnuts are on the ground and we still have summer on the brain. Cheers, to our fifth harvest at Bergström, and to the beautiful skies to come–sunsets marked with violets and tangerine with a glass of pinot in hand.