2017 West Coast Vintage Weather Thread

Discussions and questions (vintages, winemaking, etc) for those ITB. All are welcome to post.
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Merrill Lindquist
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2017 West Coast Vintage Weather Thread

Post #351  Postby Merrill Lindquist » August 11th 2017, 5:19pm

William Segui wrote:
Merrill Lindquist wrote:Not sure where your comments about 2013, 2015, 2016 come from.


That day job of mine allows me to see a lot of fruit, try a lot of wine. My personal experience with 2013 & 2015 was warm+ year w/ small berries and lots of structure. 2016, again in my experience, was less relative heat allowing for more hang time that led to more mature tannin, making the wines a little more approachable early. YMMV
And that is a great day job you have.

2015 was my earliest pick ever. My first 2015 I have opened was today - two months after bottling. I'll take a deeper look, but right now it looks pretty good.
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Post #352  Postby Ken Zinns » August 11th 2017, 8:07pm

Saw some SLH Pinot for sparkling wine come in today at a winery where I was helping with bottling, for a small private-label project. And I saw on Facebook that Bokisch Vineyards in Lodi picked today for Rosado. So things are underway.
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Post #353  Postby Nolan E » August 12th 2017, 7:57am

I think we'll be picking for sparkling in 2-3 weeks, probably during our largest bottling run of the year. Fortunately (?) it's a 6 hour press cycle so not much to worry about except not hitting the press with a forklift.
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Post #354  Postby Merrill Lindquist » August 14th 2017, 8:32am

Just in from the vineyard, things are moving along quite nicely. The deepest colored berries are tasting like wine grapes! When they turn to tasting like Cabernet grapes, harvest won't be far off.

Afternoons have still been in the 90s - we are supposed to get a break from that this week. This morning is very grey and cool...a great time to get some water in the ground for the vines. Diamond Mountain is shrouded in fog, but it does not come down to the valley floor - just puts us in cool/grey mode.
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Post #355  Postby Joe Webb » August 14th 2017, 10:28am

A few pictures from yesterday. Were getting ready for bottling this Thursday. Trying to finish last few nets. There is more veraison on the early morning side than the afternoon sun side, don't remember that hapening before.
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Afternoon sun side
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Morning sun side
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Post #356  Postby Casey Hartlip » August 14th 2017, 2:32pm

Roederer started picking Pinot today. I need to test some fields this week. Still hope we're two weeks out, lots of loose ends to clean up.
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Post #357  Postby Casey Hartlip » August 15th 2017, 10:03am

Tested two sparkling Pinot blocks today. 14.3 and 14.5. Two weeks out.
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Post #358  Postby D@vid Bu3ker » August 16th 2017, 3:44am

So then around 9/1 to start then. That seems later than recent years, but still a couple of weeks ahead of where things used to be. Is that true?
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Post #359  Postby Casey Hartlip » August 16th 2017, 6:23am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:So then around 9/1 to start then. That seems later than recent years, but still a couple of weeks ahead of where things used to be. Is that true?

Actually 9/1 would be just about the historical average. Roederer is now picking fields with light crops and healthy canopies. We've got nice crops with healthy canopies.
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Post #360  Postby Merrill Lindquist » August 16th 2017, 9:09am

I was out just now in the vineyard and decided to taste a berry or two. Tasting good. brought a few in and they read 21Brx. So things are moving along, but still plenty of clusters that are not 100% color.
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Post #361  Postby Joe Webb » August 16th 2017, 9:36am

Casey Hartlip wrote:
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:So then around 9/1 to start then. That seems later than recent years, but still a couple of weeks ahead of where things used to be. Is that true?

Actually 9/1 would be just about the historical average. Roederer is now picking fields with light crops and healthy canopies. We've got nice crops with healthy canopies.


Casey same timing we saw here when we sold sparkling to Schramsburg harvest was around labor day, a few days before or a few after.

Doing last round of weak shoot thinking in SaviB and Semillon. All nets are up. We bottle on Thursday and I will likely do first round of sampling next week. Veraison will be done by then and it will be a god first look on my rows of PN.
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Post #362  Postby Merrill Lindquist » August 17th 2017, 3:44pm

I worked out there mid-day on a cool day. Typically I tend to work looking to the west, as the sun is coming in from the east. Today was cool and grey long enough to tackle those areas that I might have missed.

My cats are hilarious: when they think I have been out there too long, they find me and cry at me and Lady Sapphire, the kitten, will climb into the vine I am working on. This ranch works on balance.

The fruit is looking and tasting awesome. Can it go another month? I don't know. I know it is not ready now.
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Post #363  Postby Casey Hartlip » August 17th 2017, 5:40pm

Preharvest safety meeting today. Had my contractor buddy who does bilingual safety training come and give a power point presentation. Last year he came during harvest to observe my crew. He wound up working with them for a couple hours and got a good feel for it all. He used some pics of my crew which gave them a good laugh. Sent samples to Roederer but haven't heard yet...I'm guessing 14 or so.

It's going to be my 38th harvest and I'm wearing down. It's not much fun anymore. Still glad I don't have an 8 to 5 gig. I told my crew that I have 7 more harvests which they found amusing.

After the safety meeting I gave a preharvest overview. It's all about money right? These folks don't do this work for the passion of Pinot Noir. I bumped my bucket prices last year to encourage my folks and it worked. There were days when we actually had too many folks picking.
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Post #364  Postby Andrew Demaree » August 20th 2017, 10:46am

Posting some pics for Merrill:

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Post #365  Postby Andrew Demaree » August 20th 2017, 10:47am

Casey - what brix do you usually pick at/around for sparkling?
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Post #366  Postby Merrill Lindquist » August 20th 2017, 12:12pm

Thanks, Andy, for posting.

Coloring is evening up...perhaps due to some cooler, sunless temps for more hours. We don't want TOO much of that, but it is my belief that hour upon hour, day after day, of 95-100 degree weather does not do a lot to develop flavors. Not scientific; just an observation.

So let's see what is going to happen. I'm still saying, based on nothing, Sept. 15.
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Post #367  Postby Casey Hartlip » August 20th 2017, 5:01pm

Andrew Demaree wrote:Casey - what brix do you usually pick at/around for sparkling?

I'd say the magic number for most folks is 19.0 plus or minus a half a freckle. The thing is the ripening curve is pretty steep through the teens. It can jump 4 brix a week at this time of year.

Lots of samples this week and out come the bins and trailers.
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Post #368  Postby Andrew Demaree » August 20th 2017, 8:25pm

Interesting. Thanks.
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Post #369  Postby timmy roos » Yesterday, 7:52am

Got a call from a broker friend saying early fruit hasn't sized well. We won't pick till late sept(lake co.). Casey, is this what you meant by light crops?
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Post #370  Postby Casey Hartlip » Yesterday, 11:42am

timmy roos wrote:Got a call from a broker friend saying early fruit hasn't sized well. We won't pick till late sept(lake co.). Casey, is this what you meant by light crops?

Sounds like your situation is fruit late to develop compared to a very light crop that ripened quickly?
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Post #371  Postby Merrill Lindquist » Yesterday, 1:14pm

We are just seeing the first peek of sun here today in Calistoga at 1:00 p.m. It does not appear to be breaking fully - cool and cloudy with a top temperature (so far) of just over 70. But a quick inspection of the vineyard just now found what I had found a couple of days ago: that the lower temperatures are allowing for development of color and flavor. We don't need any major slowdown as with 2011, but we do not need to speed ahead as we did in some other years. Just moderate stuff, please.
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Post #372  Postby Nolan E » Yesterday, 3:01pm

The eclipse definitely pushed back harvest a couple of hours.
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