Tuesday, November 16, 2010

2010 Harvest: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Ah, 2010 vintage. For me this has been the most unusual year to date since I started making wine in Napa in 1999.  The Summer was very cool and the grapes were weeks behind a normal ripening schedule.

Newbie "Merus" Vineyard
The good was that my new vineyard looked great this year.  This site, that I share with Merus, is textbook perfect in appearance. Here's a pic on harvest day:

The fruit had great flavor and crop level through the Summer and was lookig like it was going to quickly ripen to perfection.


Thats when the bad happened.  Rain.  Lots of rain.  I was out in the vineyard in a rainstorm tasting grapes and I was surprised on how good the fruit was tasting.  The only problem was that the rain leads to mildew and the vines could only handle a week or so after the last rain before the fruit had to come in.  I think the full potential of this new site probably was not achieved but still I'm tasting some really excellent (and really young) wine from it.

All went well in the winery this year, Jeff and the crew were excellent as usual.  I caught this shot of the last of the juice leaving the hopper on the way to the destemmer-crusher.  I'm hopefull for a happy ending to this year's vintage, only time will tell but so far so good...
Last drops of 2010
The Ugly, 90% of Midoriya was lost

Oh, I forgot about the ugly.  Poor Midoriya Hills Vineyard was devistated by the weather.  The cool summer followed by a couple of heat spikes just killed the fruit on the vine.  It shriveled up and died a premature death, well before it was ripe enough to harvest.  I did manage to salvage about 1000 pounds of fruit, and while it looked less that ideal the wine is tasting surprisingly good!