Another blazing hot day around the winery. Is it really almost October? The temperatures neared 90 degrees today in the vineyards and on the crush pad. Fruit had to be processed quickly to avoid the hot afternoon temperatures. I keep thinking how this year is beginning to remind me more and more of 2003. Heat and East winds over the past three or four days has dehydrated grape vines and fruit has gathered sugar at an alarming rate. Potential alcohols have moved from 12.5% on Sunday to 15%+ today! Acids are slowly precipitating but are still reasonable. The positive side is that flavor development is coming on strong and seeds are very brown in most vineyard sites meaning that the tannins should be ripe.
Today was our third day harvesting fruit. On Monday we harvested part of the Bergström Vineyard. Tuesday saw the arrival of the first fruit from Shea Vineyard and block 2 and the front yard from the Bergström Vineyard. Today we harvested Bishop Creek (Yamhill-Carlton District), Black Hole Vineyard ( Parrett Mountain ) and Hidden Rocks Vineyard (Eola Hills.) The fruit looks very nice coming in the door and little sorting has been needed save for the occasional leaf or sunburned berry. Our vineyards worked very hard early on eliminating any green or sunburned berries so that our sorters would have an easier job at the winery. It is always easier to eliminate flawed fruit in the vineyard than on the sorting table.
Tonight the sorting ladies are preparing a traditional Mexican meal of Flautas and beans fried over chiles. Tomorrow we will not pick any fruit. It will be a day of organization and examination of the fruit which has already come in. The whole cluster tanks will start to ferment soon and we will start to punch them down by foot.