As we begin the harvest season. I think we are in for a roller coaster ride with the upcoming 2011 harvest. Due to a cold and wet spring and flowering period, many of the vineyards are about four weeks behind normal, and Mother Nature has played some very unusual cards that has made for a very unusual year.
In addition, the unusual spring conditions have kept the crop size down, with some having only 30% to 70% of a normal crop. Small crop size usually pushes the ripening forward two to three weeks.
All vineyards are affected by their local terroir, which plays a part in determining if they will be an early or late ripening vineyard. Some of these got caught by the bad spring weather and others made it through. Normally, when the first vineyard comes in, I know how the rest will follow. This I think we’ll be in for some surprises. The cold, wet spring, smaller crop size and local terroir all affect the quality of the vineyard. By the time of our October newsletter, we’ll be well into harvest and I will let you know how things are shaping up. So far, the flavors are good.