Sunday, October 12, 2008

it's late and it's cold

By October 12th last year 2007's wahluke slope syrah was already in the barrel - one week into malo-lactic. This year? Not so much.

On top of a season that started off with a cool spring which brought late frosts in much of california and brought a slow start to Eastern Washington we have also faced a colder than usual fall. What this means is we're still waiting for grapes to get up to the ripeness we've been hoping for.

In Southern Humboldt it looks like we're right around the corner. We've got grapes that are ripe and still developing sugars. They're at lower sugar levels then we'd original hoped for but considering the amount of time that they've had on the vine it is most likely not a bad thing. Here's to a u-haul trailer filled with yellow bins of pinot noir grapes driving south on the 17th or 18th of October.

In Washington, well... Let's hope that the frosts over the weekend haven't fried the leaves on the syrah vines at Doc Stewart. With no leaves photosynthesis stops which means that the ripening process also stops. Sugar levels can still climb through evaporation but no more ripening and in turn no more fruit development. The optimist thinks that these syrah grapes have been on the vine for a long time by now and have had the time to develop and ripen into some great fruit - now we just need so more sugar. The pessimist is crying into his drink. Here's to a red Ford pickup, loaded with syrah grapes, crossing over the pass around the end of this month.

baseball and wine tiding the times:

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