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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#601 Post by Merrill Lindquist » November 15th, 2017, 4:55 pm

The rain started last night, and pretty much has not stopped all day. Pretty heavy rain - to the point that the Sheriff's office just sent out a message saying where one can pick up sandbags.

Now if someone could please tell these three cats that I am not personally responsible for this huge rain....

So glad we got the tractor in before the last rain; I think that cover crop is going to do its job this season.
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#602 Post by Roy Piper » November 17th, 2017, 12:23 am

Over the previous 48, it felt like 3 inches here.
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#603 Post by Casey Hartlip » November 19th, 2017, 7:18 am

Back from my 8 day roadie to South Dakota. Haven't been to work yet but boy are things green here around my house. I could easily see the difference in a week in the central valley. Much greener in just a week.

Had a very successful hunt for deer and pheasants in a very short period of time. Nothing like 50 hours in a pickup to know how much you enjoy your traveling companions!

I'll be in Anderson Valley tomorrow to see how things are.
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Me and my brother Tom. Missouri River in the background.
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Tough bird hunting without dogs but we worked hard!
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I'm forever humbled by nature's beauty.
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#604 Post by Andrew Demaree » November 19th, 2017, 6:09 pm

That would be pheasant cassoulet at our house.

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#605 Post by timmy roos » November 21st, 2017, 7:32 am

Andrew
Do you have a recipe?
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#606 Post by Andrew Demaree » November 21st, 2017, 6:14 pm

I don’t. It’s something I’ve made twice as an adaptation from a more typical cassoulet recipe found online.

We’ve also enjoyed roast pheasant with a brandy and cream sauce. Had that for Christmas dinner two or three years ago.

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#607 Post by Casey Hartlip » November 21st, 2017, 8:35 pm

Weird weather today in Anderson Valley. I left Ukiah in a dense fog only to get over the hill (AV is known for fog!) to sunny and warm with a slight wind. It felt like Hawaii.

My crew has started pruning in sparkling Chard. Older vines that are pretty tough where early pruning shouldn't hurt much. We must start early as we have many acres to do and people who need paychecks.

Me and my two foremen worked on installing graduated plates on our staff gauges in some of our ponds. This is required for accurate measurements of water both diverted and used during the season. This is required by the state water resources control board. Just more fun for me.
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#608 Post by Casey Hartlip » November 22nd, 2017, 10:31 am

Ribbons of cover crop running up the hill.
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#609 Post by Casey Hartlip » November 26th, 2017, 8:26 am

.75 of rain overnight. Getting some pretty strong winds too. Too bad yesterday was turkey soup day.
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#610 Post by Paul Gordon » November 26th, 2017, 2:39 pm

We just went over a foot of rain for the season. The bulk in November with just an inch in October.
There has been very little rain SF and south. A very typical La Nina pattern.
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#611 Post by Merrill Lindquist » November 26th, 2017, 5:08 pm

It has been raining hard all day. The temperature is fairly mild, but it is dark and very wet.
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#612 Post by Jason Oliver » November 26th, 2017, 10:52 pm

Sunsets/Fall colors have been awesome last couple weeks
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#613 Post by Merrill Lindquist » November 27th, 2017, 9:03 am

Jason - what is your location?
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#614 Post by Jason Oliver » November 27th, 2017, 9:55 am

Merrill, I work in the tasting room at Murrieta's Well winery in Livermore. Looking forward to seeing the fall colors on the Silverado Trail after a med school exam Thurs.

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#615 Post by Merrill Lindquist » November 27th, 2017, 10:36 am

Jason Oliver wrote:Merrill, I work in the tasting room at Murrieta's Well winery in Livermore. Looking forward to seeing the fall colors on the Silverado Trail after a med school exam Thurs.
Excellent! I will have a photo from this morning's view (out to my vineyard) posted here tonight. Get in touch if you are making your way up to Calistoga.
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#616 Post by Andrew Demaree » November 27th, 2017, 3:50 pm

Posting for Merrill:
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#617 Post by Merrill Lindquist » November 27th, 2017, 5:23 pm

Thanks, Andy.

Still a lot of leaves on the vines. The cover crop is coming in nicely, but honestly, much of this occurs naturally (not planted). I have an interesting site.
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#618 Post by Jason Oliver » November 27th, 2017, 6:23 pm

Beautiful Merrill!

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#619 Post by Merrill Lindquist » December 1st, 2017, 4:34 pm

Gorgeous Napa Valley winter days this week: the morning opens at 32 degrees, and then it climbs into the 60s. Not windy, very warm and sunny. This is classic Napa Valley. And even for those of us who have lived here for 15 years or more, it is still a delight.

Come to Napa Valley. We are not wiped out from the fires! Yes, there is sad devastation, but for the most part, if you are a tourist, you will find things here very attractive. Check with hotels you thought were out of your price range - you just might find deals that will enhance a trip you wanted to take.
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#620 Post by Casey Hartlip » December 1st, 2017, 7:53 pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:Gorgeous Napa Valley winter days this week: the morning opens at 32 degrees, and then it climbs into the 60s. Not windy, very warm and sunny. This is classic Napa Valley. And even for those of us who have lived here for 15 years or more, it is still a delight.

Come to Napa Valley. We are not wiped out from the fires! Yes, there is sad devastation, but for the most part, if you are a tourist, you will find things here very attractive. Check with hotels you thought were out of your price range - you just might find deals that will enhance a trip you wanted to take.
I guess Merrill has a new job with the chamber of commerce!
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#621 Post by Merrill Lindquist » December 2nd, 2017, 10:09 am

Really, Casey? You criticize me when I throw people off my and my neighbors' property. Then you criticize me for advocating for our Valley.

You attacked me in a PM., which I then gave you an opportunity to retract and then I posted. And you did not like that. Perhaps a couple of years ago.

Would you like for me to just stop posting? So you and your male compadres could go on without lusting after the land I have? Would you have me be complicit, like Katie Couric, as the males in our world seek to silence us?
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#622 Post by R M Kriete » December 2nd, 2017, 10:43 am

Merrill Lindquist wrote:Really, Casey? You criticize me when I throw people off my and my neighbors' property. Then you criticize me for advocating for our Valley.

You attacked me in a PM., which I then gave you an opportunity to retract and then I posted. And you did not like that. Perhaps a couple of years ago.

Would you like for me to just stop posting? So you and your male compadres could go on without lusting after the land I have? Would you have me be complicit, like Katie Couric, as the males in our world seek to silence us?
Wow! I took Casey's note to be nothing more than good-natured ribbing......As Ron Burgundy would say, "that escalated quickly!"

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#623 Post by Merrill Lindquist » December 2nd, 2017, 12:34 pm

RM Kriete - it is not good natured. For some reason, Mr. Hartlip likes to take shots at me. I am tired of it. It is offensive and aggressive.

I will not follow in the footsteps of Miss Couric, and smile when the offenses continue. They build. When women allow themselves to be shoved aside, snickered at, or attacked, in the end we all lose. If you do not see it, nor recognize it, then move along.
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#624 Post by Merrill Lindquist » December 2nd, 2017, 2:36 pm

My gardener was here this afternoon. He is new in the last few months. He remarked how lovely my vineyard looked, and asked if it was organic. (Yes - organic fish emulsion instead of chemical fertilizer.) Did I use Round-up? (No, hand-dig weeds.) He questioned if this is why my place looks so green and so healthy. I told him I don't know. He asked if organic farming made the wine better. I said I don't know.

But if it works, I am not likely to change anything.
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#625 Post by Casey Hartlip » December 2nd, 2017, 4:42 pm

R M Kriete wrote:
Merrill Lindquist wrote:Really, Casey? You criticize me when I throw people off my and my neighbors' property. Then you criticize me for advocating for our Valley.

You attacked me in a PM., which I then gave you an opportunity to retract and then I posted. And you did not like that. Perhaps a couple of years ago.

Would you like for me to just stop posting? So you and your male compadres could go on without lusting after the land I have? Would you have me be complicit, like Katie Couric, as the males in our world seek to silence us?
Wow! I took Casey's note to be nothing more than good-natured ribbing......As Ron Burgundy would say, "that escalated quickly!"[/quote
FWIW It WAS posted as a good natured ribbing, but your overreaction speaks volumes.
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#626 Post by Casey Hartlip » December 4th, 2017, 6:30 am

Looks dry for the next 10 days. I can't believe how fast the cover crop has grown. Pruning as fast as we can as there's lots of it for us. I refuse to worry too much about the lack of rainfall......yet!
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#627 Post by Ken Zinns » December 4th, 2017, 6:55 am

Casey Hartlip wrote:Looks dry for the next 10 days. I can't believe how fast the cover crop has grown. Pruning as fast as we can as there's lots of it for us. I refuse to worry too much about the lack of rainfall......yet!
Casey, have you seen any mid- to long-range forecasts for rain later this month and through the next 2-3 months? Not that those forecasts are necessarily accurate...
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#628 Post by Casey Hartlip » December 4th, 2017, 7:37 am

Ken Zinns wrote:
Casey Hartlip wrote:Looks dry for the next 10 days. I can't believe how fast the cover crop has grown. Pruning as fast as we can as there's lots of it for us. I refuse to worry too much about the lack of rainfall......yet!
Casey, have you seen any mid- to long-range forecasts for rain later this month and through the next 2-3 months? Not that those forecasts are necessarily accurate...
Ken, you answered your own question! I really never look out more than 10 days, and really only trust 5.
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#629 Post by Ken Zinns » December 4th, 2017, 7:53 am

Casey Hartlip wrote:
Ken Zinns wrote:
Casey Hartlip wrote:Looks dry for the next 10 days. I can't believe how fast the cover crop has grown. Pruning as fast as we can as there's lots of it for us. I refuse to worry too much about the lack of rainfall......yet!
Casey, have you seen any mid- to long-range forecasts for rain later this month and through the next 2-3 months? Not that those forecasts are necessarily accurate...
Ken, you answered your own question! I really never look out more than 10 days, and really only trust 5.
Thanks, Casey. The forecasters have been wrong about long-term rainfall projections so many times in recent years I should have known better than to even ask!
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#630 Post by Merrill Lindquist » December 4th, 2017, 8:23 am

I want to apologize, here, to Casey, for over-reacting to his post. It was probably good-natured ribbing, but I went backwards.

The past couple of months have not been good ones. The fires and evacuation freaked me out. Add that to some family/business pressures, and I do not feel so good. Don't feel like myself - and yes, I am under a doctor's care and have friends helping out.

When we returned from the fires, I posted on another thread that there was a good guy who came by to help. He ended up to be not a good guy, and I had to call the police and my home security company. Too much information? I don't know.

I think I will take the month of December to focus on feeling better.
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#631 Post by Al Osterheld » December 4th, 2017, 8:23 am

One reason for concern is that the high pressure ridge that pushed most of the rain to the north during some of the drought years has formed again and is the reason for current prediction of dry weather. That doesn't necessarily mean it will stick around long term, of course.

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#632 Post by Casey Hartlip » December 4th, 2017, 1:33 pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:I want to apologize, here, to Casey, for over-reacting to his post. It was probably good-natured ribbing, but I went backwards.

The past couple of months have not been good ones. The fires and evacuation freaked me out. Add that to some family/business pressures, and I do not feel so good. Don't feel like myself - and yes, I am under a doctor's care and have friends helping out.

When we returned from the fires, I posted on another thread that there was a good guy who came by to help. He ended up to be not a good guy, and I had to call the police and my home security company. Too much information? I don't know.

I think I will take the month of December to focus on feeling better.
Understood. Hope your situation improves soon.
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#633 Post by Casey Hartlip » December 5th, 2017, 7:16 pm

Spent a couple hours pruning solo in one of my favorite young pinot blocks. Just warm enough to really enjoy being out in the field . SO much bullshit work the past few weeks with all of this water reporting and documentation, it was just nice to connect with some grapevines. I'm still in awe that my crew (and a tiny bit of myself) can manually prune over 140,000 grapevines in a single season.
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#634 Post by Casey Hartlip » December 9th, 2017, 3:45 pm

This thread is about as stagnant as the high pressure system! Cover crop ripping even with 27 degree mornings. Getting some weed spraying done. Men pruning away. I've been doing water rights crap and budget stuff. Hope to enjoy some pruning myself next week.
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#635 Post by Merrill Lindquist » December 9th, 2017, 4:54 pm

This morning was as cold as I have seen it this season: 28 degrees here at the ranch.

It is quite lovely out, with the temperature climbing throughout the day to about 70. With plenty of sun and no wind, that is about perfect.

The scent of Lychee or Kumquat from a tree down 3-4 driveways is wafting through the air. Almost sick-sweet.

The cover crop is well-established but will need some rain to keep it from turning yellow. I still have leaves on the vines, although they are diminishing. Down to maybe 5-10% left. All grounds that were brown during the summer are now green...just nature working her magic.

It's a fine time to visit Napa Valley.
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#636 Post by timmy roos » December 10th, 2017, 9:38 am

With the frosts do you have any vineyard pics showing color contrasts?
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#637 Post by Merrill Lindquist » December 10th, 2017, 10:19 am

Timmy - the leaves are few and far between compared to my photo above (post#616). The color has not changed, just the volume. Some other vineyards turn totally brown - I don't know why. My neighbor, just the next row over, has completely bare vines.

I did some early food shopping this morning at 8:00, and I had to scrape some pretty heavy frost from the windshield and windows of my car. It was about 30 degrees at that point; 2 hours later it is 50 degrees.
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#638 Post by Casey Hartlip » December 11th, 2017, 7:13 pm

The drought (there I said it!) continues. Thought it was the last day of water rights stuff but after emailing pics to my consultant, I wasted 3 hours today. I pruned in my favorite field for a couple of hours. Also completed some horsetrading with a local winery and acquired a used Kubota double seat UTV. This will be used for troop transport and all around convince with ranch chores.
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#639 Post by Merrill Lindquist » December 13th, 2017, 8:20 am

The pattern continues, with very cold mornings and warm, sunny afternoons.

This morning it reads 28 degrees, and everything is covered with thick frost.
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#640 Post by Jim Hartten » December 13th, 2017, 9:03 am

Casey, as I recall you were getting good rainfall last year at this time. I hope the weather pattern changes so you all can reload ponds and ground water levels in preparation for the 2018 growing season. It seems like doesn't take much of a drought these days before many growers start to have water availability issues. [cheers.gif]

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#641 Post by Casey Hartlip » December 14th, 2017, 11:58 am

Thanks Jim. Still not letting this nice weather (well in the afternoons anyway!) bother me. There's still a whole lotta time to catch up. I feel very sorry for the folks whole enjoy skiing as that industry is off to a slow start. We're just slugging away on our pruning and following up with mowing the brush as we go. Happy Holidays!
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#642 Post by Merrill Lindquist » December 16th, 2017, 7:48 am

We are under a weather alert due to strong winds. It is pretty crazy out there. Extremely low humidity, all of which heightens the risk of a fast spreading fire.
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#643 Post by Merrill Lindquist » December 16th, 2017, 8:35 am

Posting from my phone...electricity is out. Going to have to charge my phone out at the car.
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#644 Post by Casey Hartlip » December 16th, 2017, 7:31 pm

Ok I'm going to call it a drought now. Haven't had rain for weeks and nothing showing up in the 10 day forecast.
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#645 Post by Andrew Demaree » December 17th, 2017, 10:00 am

Posting for Merrill:
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Merrill Lindquist
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2017 West Coast Vintage Weather Thread

#646 Post by Merrill Lindquist » December 17th, 2017, 10:37 am

Thanks, Andy. Just a shot I took from my phone this morning. After these massive winds the last few days, preceded by several hard frosts, the vines are now bare. The cover crop is hanging in and advancing, despite lack of rain recently.

It's a great time to be in Napa Valley!
Merrill
EMH Vineyards - Home of the Black Cat
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Joe Webb
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2017 West Coast Vintage Weather Thread

#647 Post by Joe Webb » December 18th, 2017, 3:38 pm

Cold nights,(sub 32), have been the norm lately. Only 7 inches or so rain thus farm this year, maybe a 1/4 inch tomorrow night. Lets hope this weak la nina gains strength and we get some activity soon. Went skiing last week, not great but better than expected. The mountain biking is still all time right now just very short days.
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Morning
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Sunset from tasing room
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Casey Hartlip
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2017 West Coast Vintage Weather Thread

#648 Post by Casey Hartlip » December 20th, 2017, 5:45 am

A quarter of an inch was all we got!
Ordway's Valley Foothills

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Merrill Lindquist
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#649 Post by Merrill Lindquist » December 21st, 2017, 11:28 am

I thought last night/early morning were supposed to be exceptionally cold. Didn't happen. But I again drained the water system for the vineyard/yard so I wouldn't have frozen/burst pipes. I still need to irrigate the yard due to little rain, so that keeps water in the pipes. Now they are saying the real cold will start at 1:00 am. Let's see. I have it covered.

Going back and forth the length of Silverado Trail to the winery and back saw very seasonal work going on: the pulling of vineyards and massive working of the soil following the pulls. Notable new spaces are the large parcel across from Regusci, and the one surrounding Titus. The large vineyard space in front of Quintessa holds no vines, but the cover crop (not sure if natural or planted) is in. I saw burning of pulled vines, too, which horrified me, due to what we have just been through with the wildfires. I think it is crazy. We had winds overnight that were enough to blow outdoor chair cushions across the yard, and bring down small branches and more pinecones. And people are intentionally burning outdoors. Makes no sense at all.
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2017 West Coast Vintage Weather Thread

#650 Post by Casey Hartlip » December 22nd, 2017, 6:19 pm

Head down and grinding it out. Trying to finish my 2.4 acre 2007 Pinot block before I go get lazy in Mexico in January. I just can't for the life of me get out there in the morning when it's 27 degrees! For 35 years I've just stood out there and worked, usually with some company. This year I've discovered Pandora (yeah late to the party I'm sure!). I'm afraid I'm not going to reach my goal of completion, so I might bring one of my A team guys to help me get 'er done. My crew has knocked out a 12 acre Chard field this week! Way to go boys! I tried to show a before and after of pruning a vine, but the background was poor and things just looked confusing.
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