Harvest Update by Melissa Stackhouse, VP of Winemaking
Monday, September 19, 2011
With The Cooler Weather, We Wait
I walked through Nicole’s Vineyard early last Friday, tasting fruit that’s slated to be picked over the next few weeks. With the foggy, cool mornings, we’re running a bit behind schedule while Mother Nature warms up.
I had the same thought about our Bow Tie Vineyard, located on Westside Road. The clusters are still a couple of weeks from ripening. The vine canopy looks healthy, and the 10-day forecast is for 85-degree daytime temperatures. It’s a Pinot Noir winemaker’s dream forecast.
Bow Tie Vineyard
I should be ecstatic. And I am. But my adrenaline was so revved up during our sparkling wine harvest, which at this point is 80% complete, there’s a part of me that wants to charge forward.
Full disclosure…I’m an impatient soul. I do understand the importance of long hang-time and the maritime influences that can sometimes bring the harvest to a grinding halt. I do appreciate and expect a slow ripening, the respiration of acid, waiting for that phenolic ripeness of the grapes seeds, and above all, cheering on those intense flavors we’ve come to expect in our wines. I’m so excited to get my hands on these beautiful grapes that it’s difficult for me to wait on Mother Nature.
As with every harvest, I have no control. The pace is never in our hands and it unfolds differently each year. I have no doubt this will be an extraordinary year for Russian River Valley Pinot Noir grapes, but this waiting is killing me!