2019 West Coast Weather Thread

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Paul Gordon
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#351 Post by Paul Gordon » September 2nd, 2019, 12:03 pm

We finished August with slightly higher than average temps on both the hi and lo - 81F/57F. For reference this August Cote Rotie averaged 84F/61F.
We are just about 90% colored. Average temps the next few days should just put us over the top. Then it is forecast to cool down with highs in the low/mid-70s. I think we are heading to a late October pick again.
Development is matching 2018 exactly. Last year July was a little above average temps and August lower. It is the flip this year. It will be interesting to see if that difference reduces the malic acid, after the very high percentages last year.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#352 Post by Steve Edmunds » September 2nd, 2019, 12:34 pm

Night time lows in the Apple Hill area in Placerville, and down in the hills east of Sutter Creek (the two areas where my grapes are grown) are 4-6 degrees above what they've usually been. It's the most striking feature of this season, for me. The season itself was probably 10 to 14 days behind at bloom, and the gap is now about 3 days. First grapes tomorrow.

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#353 Post by Ken Zinns » September 2nd, 2019, 12:40 pm

Steve Edmunds wrote:
September 2nd, 2019, 12:34 pm
Night time lows in the Apple Hill area in Placerville, and down in the hills east of Sutter Creek (the two areas where my grapes are grown) are 4-6 degrees above what they've usually been. It's the most striking feature of this season, for me. The season itself was probably 10 to 14 days behind at bloom, and the gap is now about 3 days. First grapes tomorrow.
Hope you have a great harvest & crush this year, Steve! [cheers.gif]
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#354 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 2nd, 2019, 3:38 pm

Steve Edmunds wrote:
September 2nd, 2019, 12:34 pm
Night time lows in the Apple Hill area in Placerville, and down in the hills east of Sutter Creek (the two areas where my grapes are grown) are 4-6 degrees above what they've usually been. It's the most striking feature of this season, for me. The season itself was probably 10 to 14 days behind at bloom, and the gap is now about 3 days. First grapes tomorrow.
Good luck young fella!
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#355 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 2nd, 2019, 3:45 pm

I welcome some cooler weather. Have a pretty full plate the next few days. Trying to wrap up the sparkling stuff and move into other things. Gruner is off. Thought we had a ton and ended up with 3 on 3 acres. What this tells me with the girth of this year's wood we could have 8 tons next year!

After the bubbles, there's Pinot Gris some Pinot noir for Rose' and we'll be in ripe Pinot noir in the blink of an eye.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#356 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 2nd, 2019, 5:53 pm

Roy Piper wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 3:47 pm
Brix taste like 21 at Moulds and 20 at Houyi. Guessing 5-6 weeks out. No hurry. Really don't care about brix anyway. If I had to watch a number it would be pH and I am looking for 3.65-3.75 at pick. Usually find the rest falls in line at those levels.
I use the brix initially because it is easy to do as I taste through the vineyard (vineyard is in the back yard, so easy access). When it tastes and measures out in sync, then we'll run full labs.

My basal leaves are not turning yellow as they normally do at this stage of the cycle. I think those winter rains (long and heavy) had a huge impact on this vintage. I do see some of it in neighboring vineyards, and I saw some head trained Zin's leaves turning red, but a different year, here, for the visuals.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#357 Post by Ben M a n d l e r » September 2nd, 2019, 6:59 pm

The last few days have seen a dramatic increase in the number of pickups going 25 mph at 4am looking for their turn off River/Wohler/Eastside/Westside Road...a lot more people must be picking!

As with the others (above), we're entering a cooler period. Highs in the Middle Reach will stay below 90 on Wednesday (maybe even tomorrow) and stay in the low-mid-80s for the next week. Lows will get into the low 50s. This is nice for the grapes but even nicer for those of us out in the sun all day.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#358 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 3rd, 2019, 11:44 am

Doing about 25 tons/day of sparkling Pinot and Chard. Per day. Crop is on the high side and I'm expecting some of my clients to hold us to max tonnage on the contracts. I'm just happy to have a home for most of my fruit. I hear horror stories of unsold fruit and bulk wine inventories expanding.

Also found some mold in low lying areas in a Pinot block that we always have some issues. The Chard we picked today was gorgeous. No time for pics today as I was humping full and empty bins starting at 4:45 am.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#359 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 4th, 2019, 11:48 am

Things going too well. Passed the 200 ton mark today. Been super crazy this no photos lately. Cool weather finally came to AV with thick fog both mornings. Sparkling stuff will likely be done tomorrow.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#360 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 4th, 2019, 3:15 pm

I was in St. Helena today, and around 1:00 or so, there was a rain shower - with big drops. When I left for Calistoga (all of 10-15 minutes up the road), I saw it had rained a bit. My place seemed dry and did not have that "rained on" smell, as early rains often create on dirt and pavement.

Anyway, it is back to pretty hot - 88 degrees, currently at 3:00.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#361 Post by Stewart Johnson » September 5th, 2019, 12:16 pm

Every harvest, for the past several, I've had my fingers crossed that my truck will make it through "just one more." It's 20 years old with a quarter mil+ miles. It used to handle 6 tons on the trailer without breaking a sweat, but the old gray mare ain't what she used to be. Last year, with a heavy load on the trailer, I had to start going past my normal Treasure Island exit, to get off the freeway in SF and get back on in the opposite direction just to approach the TI off-ramp with the less steep hill to navigate. Tues night, I barely made it over the Vallejo bridge on Hwy 37 with only 3.6 tons of grapes on the trailer. The thought of having to back the trailer all the way down that long grade at 3:30 in the am was starting to get real, but it made the crest at about 10mph. I think the end is here.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#362 Post by Karen Troisi » September 5th, 2019, 12:17 pm

Started our 16th harvest today with sauv blanc from Rutherford.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#363 Post by William Segui » September 5th, 2019, 2:28 pm

first red in the house, here we go. best of luck y'all!

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#364 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 5th, 2019, 5:21 pm

We broke a single day tonnage record today of 38 tons with a single crew. Started at 5:00, finished at 11:00. We are now officially done with sparkling......240 tons worth. Now onto Pinot Gris, Gewurtz, Pinot Rose' etc. Weather God's are smiling on us.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#365 Post by Jim Hartten » September 6th, 2019, 10:43 am

Good to hear that the weather is cooperating and the yields are solid or better. [cheers.gif] Looking forward to following the harvest - best to all growers and vintners. [berserker.gif]

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#366 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 6th, 2019, 12:22 pm

A full, proper sample was taken today and we are at 22.7. Not far off from the handful of berries I collected and measured at 23B. Something I never noticed before was some berries had one green seed and one brown. Curious.

Anyway, we have some nice growing weather, and we might not be far off the mark that I intuited a few months ago predicting a Sept. 15 harvest. But it is not over 'til it's over.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#367 Post by N Weis » September 6th, 2019, 6:34 pm

Casey Hartlip wrote:
September 5th, 2019, 5:21 pm
We broke a single day tonnage record today of 38 tons with a single crew. Started at 5:00, finished at 11:00. We are now officially done with sparkling......240 tons worth. Now onto Pinot Gris, Gewurtz, Pinot Rose' etc. Weather God's are smiling on us.
Whoa! A single crew picking 38 tons? As in 8-10 people? That's mighty impressive. Musta been some gooood picking there.

Our crew has been picking Oakville Sauv blanc. Also some solid picking. They're very happy indeed!
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#368 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 6th, 2019, 7:14 pm

N Weis wrote:
September 6th, 2019, 6:34 pm
Casey Hartlip wrote:
September 5th, 2019, 5:21 pm
We broke a single day tonnage record today of 38 tons with a single crew. Started at 5:00, finished at 11:00. We are now officially done with sparkling......240 tons worth. Now onto Pinot Gris, Gewurtz, Pinot Rose' etc. Weather God's are smiling on us.
Whoa! A single crew picking 38 tons? As in 8-10 people? That's mighty impressive. Musta been some gooood picking there.

Our crew has been picking Oakville Sauv blanc. Also some solid picking. They're very happy indeed!
Obviously I have some Mendo Mtn folks that are hungry and motivated. As you'll learn things are different up here in the sticks. You poor Napa guys won't have Taylor's Refresher as a default lunch spot. Gonna be Lemons market and deli sandwiches.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#369 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 7th, 2019, 9:30 am

IMG_20190907_083603569.jpg
Chard 548 about the size of your fist. Kind of like picking Pinot. The sparkling stuff was clone 4 about double the size. Off tomorrow and then another busy week.
Got to meet fellow Berserker Nate Weis briefly this morning. Just as handsome as I imagined!
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#370 Post by N Weis » September 7th, 2019, 1:25 pm

Aw shucks, Casey. My mom tells me I’m handsome, too.

Re: lunch, solid Napa history but it hasn’t been Taylor’s for well over a decade now. Part of the Gott’s Roadside empire now. I leave that one to the tourists. Food’s awesome but even *I* don’t have 90 minutes to wait in line for lunch.

You forget I have a lot of “winemaker” in me. So of course I’ve scoped out all available Anderson Valley lunch spots (all 4). What I do enjoy is their “flexible hours”. Never can tell what’s going to be open. We took Paul Ardzrooni to breakfast this morning at the Poleeko Roadhouse. Solid biscuits and gravy. Paired nicely with the Seismic IPA.

Nice to finally meet in person and I see a few afternoon G&Ts on the deck in our future as the madness winds down.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#371 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 8th, 2019, 3:59 pm

We will shift to multiple clients picking days which makes things much harder to set up. Tomorrow we pick 3 different fields for 3 folks. From a single ton of Chard, to 5 tons of Pinot for Rose' then onto 15 tons of Gewurtz. Every time we change fields, we lose time and momentum. The two small lots will be trucked by the clients. Going to finally start checking some folks off my list.
Still wine Pinot will really ramp up in Anderson Valley soon.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#372 Post by timmy roos » September 10th, 2019, 9:03 am

casey how is crop size so far?
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#373 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 10th, 2019, 9:15 am

Cold mornings - just 50 degrees - and not very hot in the afternoon. But I see a big warming trend coming...up to 95 Thursday, 99 on Friday, and 95 on Saturday. Should get the Cab to the finish line.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#374 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 10th, 2019, 10:47 am

timmy roos wrote:
September 10th, 2019, 9:03 am
casey how is crop size so far?
Don't want to hurt my arm patting myself on the back but we're hitting some of our estimates. When we're missing the crop is a bit over than what we thought. Pinot Gris tomorrow and Thursday. Will get some pics because that stuff is so unique.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#375 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 10th, 2019, 2:22 pm

My clusters are well-formed with smallish berries. Not my words - another winemaker's words who walked my vineyard with me last week.

My St. George block has less shatter than expected, and fine, fine, flavor. Getting ready.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#376 Post by Steve Edmunds » September 10th, 2019, 5:39 pm

We've now picked Vermentino and Grenache Blanc, and Gamay for both red and white (last of the Gamay yesterday). Shake Ridge left to finish off the harvest, over what I'm hoping won't be more than the next 2-3 weeks. Everything thus far, seems superb!

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#377 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 11th, 2019, 7:44 am

The head trained dry farmed zinfandel and syrah are being picked as I type. This is at the corner of Silverado Trail and Pickett Road. I awoke to the sound of the tractor bouncing along with the 1/2 ton bins at the back.

It's happening.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#378 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 11th, 2019, 9:09 am

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Pinot Gris on a foggy morning.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#379 Post by Vamsi Kaipa » September 11th, 2019, 2:12 pm

Has anyone had acid drop but Brix not moving much?
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#380 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 11th, 2019, 2:52 pm

My guess is the 4-5 days of cool weather we've had has slowed the sugars. Can't quite explain the acids.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#381 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 11th, 2019, 4:22 pm

Brix have not moved in nearly a week. Flavors are delicious. I can't speak to acids. My guess is that the warmer temperatures coming in the next day will push things along.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#382 Post by Stewart Johnson » September 12th, 2019, 9:58 am

I've wrapped up the early pinot picks for sparkling, rose and the "red fraction" of the still wine. A little pause here before moving on to chardonnay and the main body of the still pinot. Viognier and syrah are still a long way off. There's a chance of rain coming Monday, and that may lead me to pull the trigger on the chardonnay a little early.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#383 Post by Evan Pontoriero » September 12th, 2019, 3:45 pm

Looks like PGap Sauvignon Blanc will beat out Rockpile Zin by one day this year(Sunday/Monday). The rest seems pretty far down the calendar. Though we are picking the Rockpile with a bit less sugar this time. [cheers.gif]

Our Rose PN pick will probably be next week or next weekend.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#384 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 12th, 2019, 7:02 pm

Pinot Gris....done. After Saturday most Gewurtz will be gone. Pinot for Rose'....done. Chard for low alcohol after tomorrow.....done. As my new employee told me today we are entering phase 3 of harvest. Phase one is sparkling. Phase two is aromatic whites and Pinot for Rose'. Now we enter phase three: high end Pinot. Not that any of the previous lots have not mattered, but the still wine guys are a whole nother lot. They want it how they like it and they want it NOW. The next 10 days I'll be massaging some egos and doing some salesmanship to bring it all home!
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#385 Post by Stewart Johnson » September 13th, 2019, 1:46 pm

I was trying to get some water on the top of my vineyard ahead of the heat, and my irrigation pump was having a hard time getting the water all the way to the top. That usually means pond weeds are clogging the screen of my pump inlet pipe. That, in turn, means swimming or wading out into that soupy green gunk to clear the blockage. It's no day at the beach under any circumastances, but yesterday it turned out that the blockage was 4 or 5 decomposing salamanders mashed into the screen. Gross, all the way around.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#386 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 13th, 2019, 2:42 pm

Stewart Johnson wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 1:46 pm
I was trying to get some water on the top of my vineyard ahead of the heat, and my irrigation pump was having a hard time getting the water all the way to the top. That usually means pond weeds are clogging the screen of my pump inlet pipe. That, in turn, means swimming or wading out into that soupy green gunk to clear the blockage. It's no day at the beach under any circumastances, but yesterday it turned out that the blockage was 4 or 5 decomposing salamanders mashed into the screen. Gross, all the way around.
[swearing.gif] But wait, I still don't understand why this glorious job results in such high bottled wine prices. [tease.gif]
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#387 Post by Evan Pontoriero » September 13th, 2019, 3:45 pm

Welp, so much for the SB before Rockpile. Second year running Rockpile Zin wins the race to ripeness. Pinots and chard still a week to weeks away.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#388 Post by Marc Hauser » September 15th, 2019, 3:43 pm

50% chance of rain Monday morning here in Napa.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#389 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 15th, 2019, 4:14 pm

Marc Hauser wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 3:43 pm
50% chance of rain Monday morning here in Napa.
Probably gonna get a bit wet in the morning. Saying .05 so we're going to go ahead. Still too much to pick to lose a day.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#390 Post by N Weis » September 15th, 2019, 4:48 pm

Forecast is screwy. Depending on what you look at, it's 0-50% of 0.05 - 0.25". Seems like Sonoma County and upvalley Napa aren't supposed to get anything.

Anyways, I'm with Casey. My only concern is about the way it affects logistics. Don't want to pick or ship in the short period it might actually be drizzling. It's not enough moisture to affect anything other than being an annoyance.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#391 Post by Paul Gordon » September 15th, 2019, 9:02 pm

Our reds (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre) are 99% colored with just the odd straggler.
Did a quick Syrah brix check today: the block of 174 that is always the most advanced is 21.5b. The Chave block that is always the lowest brix is 19b. With a cool 4-5 days ahead (highs in the 60s) looks we are around 4 weeks from pick. Yet again matching last year exactly.

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#392 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 16th, 2019, 6:28 am

Woke at 3:00 to the sound of rain. As I live 15 miles east of work I checked the weather station. .25 inches in Philo. Then it rained for a while at my house.

Texted most of my crew that the pick was off. Fruit would be too wet and dilute the sugars. Drank a cup of coffee anyway and went to to the hot tub. Smelled really nice outside. Went back to bed and over the next 2 hours fielded texts from fellow farmers and clients. Finally fell back asleep for a while.

Today will be endless calls and texts rescheduling stuff that was already planned. Hopefully will just shift everything a day and move forward.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#393 Post by Gray G » September 16th, 2019, 8:43 am

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 2:42 pm
Stewart Johnson wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 1:46 pm
I was trying to get some water on the top of my vineyard ahead of the heat, and my irrigation pump was having a hard time getting the water all the way to the top. That usually means pond weeds are clogging the screen of my pump inlet pipe. That, in turn, means swimming or wading out into that soupy green gunk to clear the blockage. It's no day at the beach under any circumastances, but yesterday it turned out that the blockage was 4 or 5 decomposing salamanders mashed into the screen. Gross, all the way around.
[swearing.gif] But wait, I still don't understand why this glorious job results in such high bottled wine prices. [tease.gif]
LOL Merrill, I don't understand the correlation as I clear my fountain pump filters all the time, easy peasy champagne.gif
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Casey Hartlip
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#394 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 16th, 2019, 4:40 pm

Sent the tractors down the rows with the fans on high to blow the water out of the vines. Texted my ass off to move a bunch of things around. I now have the next few days scheduled as long as it doesn't rain Tuesday night. I'm concerned about rot and mold now, as there was already a touch here and there in pinot and Chard. Both pretty sensitive grapes on their own. Grapes like Cabernet have nice thick skins and don't rot easily.
Last edited by Casey Hartlip on September 18th, 2019, 5:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Casey Hartlip
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#395 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 17th, 2019, 7:32 am

IMG_20190917_072326433.jpg
Clone 943 Pinot. That's a nickel for scale. Tiny berries, in the wine, makes me feel happy....Don Ho!
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#396 Post by Steve Edmunds » September 17th, 2019, 2:00 pm

7/8 of an inch yesterday morning at Shake Ridge! It poured for about 45 minutes to an hour. Lots of shaking of vines to dry things out (they don't call it Shake Ridge for nothing, I guess. :-D )

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#397 Post by Ken Zinns » September 17th, 2019, 9:04 pm

Steve Edmunds wrote:
September 17th, 2019, 2:00 pm
7/8 of an inch yesterday morning at Shake Ridge! It poured for about 45 minutes to an hour. Lots of shaking of vines to dry things out (they don't call it Shake Ridge for nothing, I guess. :-D )
How far off is your fruit at Shake Ridge, Steve?
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#398 Post by Steve Edmunds » September 17th, 2019, 10:50 pm

we actually picked the Tempranillo, and about half the Grenache yesterday before the rain, Ken. Hoping to see the rest in the next 10-15 days, but feel, since this is only the fourth harvest from Shake Ridge, that I'm now in somewhat uncharted territory, since this seems to be the weirdest vintage in the last 8 or 9.

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#399 Post by Roy Piper » September 18th, 2019, 12:30 am

Was coming on here to see if Merrill had picked yet. Gotta figure Calistoga is 24-25 brix by now, which I think is usually in her wheelhouse. I am going to both my vineyards tomorrow to see where they are at.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#400 Post by Gary Schulte » September 18th, 2019, 4:55 am

Casey Hartlip wrote:
September 17th, 2019, 7:32 am
IMG_20190917_072326433.jpg
Clone 943 Pinot. That's a nickel for scale. Tiny berries, in the wine, makes me feel happy....Don Ho!
Kind of reminds me of the "champagne grapes" they sell in the grocery store.

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