Well, after one of the longest and dryest summers in Oregon’s recent history, the grapes are finally hitting the level of ripeness that we are looking for and we are taking to the fields to start bringing in our year’s work.
The 2012 vintage is tracking almost identically in heat units with 2002 and 2008, both stellar vintages which could also be called Oregon “classics.” But 2012 seems to be marked thus far by the extended dry conditions. We had a small shower the other day, almost not enough to matter, but at that point we had experienced over 80 days in a row without measurable rainfall! The vines and trees and shrubs in the valley are beginning to show the stress of the drought and the leaves are beginning to turn yellow and fall to the ground. The grapes are small and concentrated with lignified shoots and seeds. This has really been an ideal Oregon summer; the kind that makes you thankful to put on a sweater when the first frost comes. But there is no frost in the forecast. In fact we are looking at 10 more days of warm dry weather and perhaps even longer. The tasting room and patio are packed with sun worshippers enjoying the dog days of Summer with a great glass of Pinot Noir and a picnic.
Today we started the 2012 harvest with Carabella Vineyard Chardonnay, a perennial favorite and usually a component of either the Sigrid or Old Stones Chardonnays. This will be the only fruit for the day and we will take the weekend off before attacking more Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in ernest next week. But we toasted the start of the harvest anyway with a spirit-lifting flute of Champagne and off we go. It’s time to make some wine again.
I hope you will tune in frequently throughout the harvest as I try to describe it and how it unfolds here at Bergstrom Wines. We have a great team on board to work hard to help us bring you a fantastic lineup from what is promising to be a great vintage.