2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

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Stewart Johnson
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#301 Post by Stewart Johnson » July 20th, 2020, 12:31 am

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
July 16th, 2020, 7:37 am
Casey Hartlip wrote:
July 15th, 2020, 9:25 pm
Merrill Lindquist wrote:
July 15th, 2020, 7:54 am
Why, Stewart? It's the same every year, just the timing can vary.
Merrill, when your harvest lasts 4-5 hours I can see you being relaxed about it. Mine is 7+ weeks of 16 clients taking 600 tons it's nothing I look forward to....it's what I look forward to being DONE!
It doesn't matter the size or duration - it's getting it RIGHT that matters.

I was out working in the vineyard yesterday morning and found another handful of colored berries. It is definitely on!
I'm with Casey on this one. Crush is very definitely about the number of tons you move and about duration. "Crush" is a double (at least) entendre that goes beyond the fact that some berries get squished. It means a crushing workload, a sprint that goes on for weeks. If sleeping in your truck and showering under the winery's hose aren't part of your harvest experience, then count yourself lucky, but I think that most people's notions of crush will warrant a certain amount of foreboding.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#302 Post by Merrill Lindquist » July 20th, 2020, 7:04 pm

Stewart Johnson wrote:
July 20th, 2020, 12:31 am
Merrill Lindquist wrote:
July 16th, 2020, 7:37 am
Casey Hartlip wrote:
July 15th, 2020, 9:25 pm


Merrill, when your harvest lasts 4-5 hours I can see you being relaxed about it. Mine is 7+ weeks of 16 clients taking 600 tons it's nothing I look forward to....it's what I look forward to being DONE!
It doesn't matter the size or duration - it's getting it RIGHT that matters.

I was out working in the vineyard yesterday morning and found another handful of colored berries. It is definitely on!
I'm with Casey on this one. Crush is very definitely about the number of tons you move and about duration. "Crush" is a double (at least) entendre that goes beyond the fact that some berries get squished. It means a crushing workload, a sprint that goes on for weeks. If sleeping in your truck and showering under the winery's hose aren't part of your harvest experience, then count yourself lucky, but I think that most people's notions of crush will warrant a certain amount of foreboding.
Sorry, but I find that offensive. Yours is bigger than mine? Great. I own what I own, I farm what I have, and I produce the wine that comes from it. Sorry it's not big enough for you big fellas.

And people want to know why there are not more women posting on this board. We are shut down every chance that presents itself.
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Casey Hartlip
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#303 Post by Casey Hartlip » July 20th, 2020, 8:06 pm

Oh my. This is not a gender thing at all. If you can't see that my world is not more difficult than yours, than YOU have the problem. You have ONE wine/grape lot to worry about and get 'right'. I have 16 different companies counting on me to get 60 lots picked over 7 weeks right....every time. That's not 'mine is bigger than your's at all its just reality. Do I get them all right.....no? Do I have to deal with the fallout.....hell yes. If I don't do my job right, I'm going to hear about it. My contract might not be renewed or even canceled. If you don't get your lot right your wine might not be stellar but you might be able to put a particular spin on it and you still will sell your juice to your loyal fans. Truth is I'm like a major league baseball player. I'm only as good as my last at bat....or last season. If I don't produce, I'm out of a job.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#304 Post by Casey Hartlip » July 21st, 2020, 9:27 am

IMG_20200717_092319944_HDR.jpg
Moving on. Nice pic last week of Beaujolais clone Pinot Noir. This stuff goes to Lula for Rose'. I did pull a few leaves for a better pic.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#305 Post by R M Kriete » July 21st, 2020, 10:24 am

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
July 20th, 2020, 7:04 pm


And people want to know why there are not more women posting on this board. We are shut down every chance that presents itself.
[scratch.gif] Not quite sure how you got that [scratch.gif]

I think for the big growers, Crush is kinda like "Tax Season" for H&R Block....they are just glad when it's over!

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#306 Post by Casey Hartlip » July 24th, 2020, 4:51 pm

As always happens, fruit is coloring pretty quickly. I'm seeing it in all colored varieties now. My foreman says he tasted a Gruner Veltliner berry today and he said there was certainly sugar in it. We applied our final sulfur dusting in sparkling Chard as its so prone to powdery mildew. We're really trying to not apply another spray. We're irrigating regularly now, most fields every 10-12 days about 8 gallons/vine. Crews are dropping crop in the usual fields (mostly high end still Pinot blocks) in some cases about 25% or more. I made my only trip away this summer, a quick 5 day road trip to Oregon to bring my twin 13 year old grandkids back from the other grandparents. We did have a couple of fun days away and the kids had a great day fishing (pics to follow). But it WAS a 9 hour drive up, 3 days of fun and a 9 hour drive back. Those kind of days were fun when I was 35, but not so much now.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#307 Post by Jim F » July 27th, 2020, 5:47 am

I enjoy reading this string. Sorry to see it go quiet.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#308 Post by Merrill Lindquist » July 27th, 2020, 8:14 am

I was working out in the vineyard yesterday and was surprised to see how much color has come on within a very short period. Color went from less than 1% to 40-50% in about 10 says. I tried to get a photo but it was the wrong time of day, with the sun bearing down directly. I'll try today.

While many of the tasks associated with growing to selling (and everything in between) become routine and not very exciting, veraison still gets my heart going. The beauty of seeing the color come on, day after day, spreading throughout the vineyard, with green berries turning pink and pink berries turning blue...there's nothing boring about that!
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#309 Post by Casey Hartlip » July 28th, 2020, 10:16 am

IMG_20200728_093009833_HDR.jpg
Pinot Gris turning color.
IMG_20200728_092819031_HDR.jpg
Gewurtz doing the same.

I squeezed some Chard berries and they are starting to soften.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#310 Post by R M Kriete » July 29th, 2020, 8:22 am

Given what you all are seeing with veraison, will this year be an early/normal/late harvest?

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#311 Post by Merrill Lindquist » July 29th, 2020, 9:04 am

R M Kriete wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 8:22 am
Given what you all are seeing with veraison, will this year be an early/normal/late harvest?
Don't know, honestly. Some years veraison starts later but zooms ahead due to heat. But color doesn't indicate sugar and flavor. At this point all I can predict is sometime in September.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#312 Post by Casey Hartlip » July 29th, 2020, 9:48 am

R M Kriete wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 8:22 am
Given what you all are seeing with veraison, will this year be an early/normal/late harvest?
I think we're tracking to be about spot on with our 10 year average. Maybe 4-5 days later than our normal.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#313 Post by Casey Hartlip » July 29th, 2020, 10:11 am

I drove through the parking lot at Roederer yesterday and they had their bins our ready to wash! Gave me a stomach ache!
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#314 Post by Merrill Lindquist » July 29th, 2020, 10:27 am

Casey Hartlip wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 10:11 am
I drove through the parking lot at Roederer yesterday and they had their bins our ready to wash! Gave me a stomach ache!
I don't get a stomach ache, but when they deliver the tractor and forklift to my property a day or two before harvest, I get pretty jumpy. A combination of excitement and nerves (can't put those clusters back on the vines - when you call it, you call it and live with it for its entire vintage life). That's for those of us who own the vineyard AND produce the wine. If you are a vineyard management company, like the one who comes to pick for me, I'm sure it is out of sight, out of mind.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#315 Post by Casey Hartlip » July 29th, 2020, 8:19 pm

Starting to make lists. Jobs to fill time before harvest, harvest supplies, tree trimming to be done. Now that we're semi night harvest we have outfitted our two John Deere tractors with LED lights on frames. We will be ready this year. Like I said before, trying to schedule a few fun activities before we start picking. Opening of deer season is August 8. Pics will be posted on the 'Hunting/Fishing' page.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#316 Post by Stewart Johnson » July 29th, 2020, 10:02 pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
July 20th, 2020, 7:04 pm
Stewart Johnson wrote:
July 20th, 2020, 12:31 am
Merrill Lindquist wrote:
July 16th, 2020, 7:37 am
It doesn't matter the size or duration - it's getting it RIGHT that matters.

I was out working in the vineyard yesterday morning and found another handful of colored berries. It is definitely on!
I'm with Casey on this one. Crush is very definitely about the number of tons you move and about duration. "Crush" is a double (at least) entendre that goes beyond the fact that some berries get squished. It means a crushing workload, a sprint that goes on for weeks. If sleeping in your truck and showering under the winery's hose aren't part of your harvest experience, then count yourself lucky, but I think that most people's notions of crush will warrant a certain amount of foreboding.
Sorry, but I find that offensive. Yours is bigger than mine? Great. I own what I own, I farm what I have, and I produce the wine that comes from it. Sorry it's not big enough for you big fellas.

And people want to know why there are not more women posting on this board. We are shut down every chance that presents itself.
Well, if you are willing to work that hard at it, I guess you are entitled to take offense.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#317 Post by Stewart Johnson » July 29th, 2020, 10:16 pm

Last spray (I hope) today. It's been many years since I've really cultivated to the degree I've done this year, and I was really aware of how much freaking dust is involved in that MO today. I used to think tractor cabs were for sissies. My tractor is a low-slung, vineyard panther that is great on a hillside, but it puts you right down in the middle of the rolling cloud of dust that you become in a cultivated vineyard. I went through many rounds of sinus rinses tonight before the mud stopped flowing out of my head. Shoulda worn a mask.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#318 Post by Casey Hartlip » July 30th, 2020, 6:02 am

Stewart Johnson wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 10:16 pm
Last spray (I hope) today. It's been many years since I've really cultivated to the degree I've done this year, and I was really aware of how much freaking dust is involved in that MO today. I used to think tractor cabs were for sissies. My tractor is a low-slung, vineyard panther that is great on a hillside, but it puts you right down in the middle of the rolling cloud of dust that you become in a cultivated vineyard. I went through many rounds of sinus rinses tonight before the mud stopped flowing out of my head. Shoulda worn a mask.
Dude, I sprayed for 30 years on an open station tractor, mowed, disced too. By this time of year I would get so sick of the dust. I pretty much would wear a N-95 whenever possible. I would also get cane whipped this time of year in certain fields depending on spacing and trellis. These enclosed cabs with Bluetooth and charcoal filtration are the Shit. But luckily I'm the boss now and don't have to spray.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#319 Post by Casey Hartlip » July 31st, 2020, 7:46 pm

IMG_20200730_113556414_HDR.jpg
Mendocino wine growers asked for a 'in the vineyard' photo for a social media campaign so my foreman and I got that done. Also rumor has it I'm in the Navarro catalog yet again. Never gonna get the same hat size again!

The heat has broken. Fog hung around AV until 10:00 this morning. You could feel the marine influence today. As my crews adjust crop they are finding small spots of botrytis.

As I type, this is the first time in weeks that we've had the house open to the outside at this hour. We had dinner out on the screened porch tonight with great comfort.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#320 Post by Chris Johnson » August 1st, 2020, 11:07 am

I’ve been dealing with splitting grapes in my Cinsaut for about 7-9 days post verasion. I thought it might have been PM I dealt with earlier in June, but I started seeing the splitting in my Tannat as well. I set the pest traps and didn’t get anything that would be causing it. Earlier this week I was looking through the Cinsaut in the other block that had no PM and found the same thing. This morning I found snails in two clusters that were clean yesterday in the no PM block and a slug in my canopy. All of the grapes are split in those clusters now. Any tips for dealing with snails? There’s no vegetation at the base, so I’m at a loss where they’re coming from.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#321 Post by Paul Gordon » August 1st, 2020, 1:39 pm

July is finished. It started cool for us, with the first half of the month running a couple degrees below average. The last ten days of the month (excluding the 31st) were consistently warm. Nothing above 90F but always in the mid/upper 80s. That warmth ironically was caused by the cooler weather in Napa, inland Sonoma and throughout the Bay Area - there was no heat pulling ocean air on land.
We ended with an average high of 81F, which is a degree warmer than our 6 year average, and an average low of 56F, which is one degree lower than our 6 year average.
Hot in the Northern Rhone yet again! Ampuis had an average high of 87F and low of 64F. That compares to historical averages of 80F/61F.

We started irrigating today. Though a low rainfall year, the moisture seemed to go a long way. Surely helped by three prior wet years, 3in rain in mid-May and a coolish June/first half of July.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#322 Post by Merrill Lindquist » August 3rd, 2020, 10:07 am

Right now I am guessing at a vintage where the flavors run ahead of the sugars. I was out working in the vineyard this morning and tasted some random berries, and the flavors were great but not sweet. Not puckeringly un-sweet, but just not where the flavors were. Sugars may catch up - August is the month where, at my site, just about anything can happen. One vintage I picked on August 22 - compare it to my latest (and lowest brix) of October 3. I find that the attainment of "ripeness" does not happening linearly.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#323 Post by Casey Hartlip » August 3rd, 2020, 4:06 pm

I heard first hand today that sparkling fruit in Anderson Valley is at 15 brix. Now that's trucking along. I have a row of Pinot I drive by daily at Day Ranch and it looks about 70% colored already. Whereas the weather inland has been quite hot, AV has been 10-12 degrees lower. That means optimal vine function.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#324 Post by Stewart Johnson » August 3rd, 2020, 6:25 pm

It's been a few days since I've been in the vineyard. I had to go up to St. Helena this morning, and everything I saw from the road looked completely through veraison. I think I did the same thing and had the same reaction last year--"Cripes, harvest is bearing down earlier than anticipated!" When I got back to my vineyard though, things were on a pretty normal pace, 50-60% through veraison. Hopefully, sparkling and rose picks will hold off until the first week of Sept. and the main pinot picks will wait until the second half of the month. Syrah is showing no sign of veraison and will straggle in in Oct. With it being a dry Winter, I had thought everything would skew a bit earlier. They still could, but so far, pretty standard.
The bright side of the fact that there's just about nowhere to sell wine is that I'm spending just about no time on sales. Consequently, I've had more time in both the winery and the vineyard than usual, and they are a both a little closer to being buttoned down than is normal for me. Broke but tidy.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#325 Post by Ben M a n d l e r » August 5th, 2020, 11:19 pm

Stewart Johnson wrote:
August 3rd, 2020, 6:25 pm
It's been a few days since I've been in the vineyard. I had to go up to St. Helena this morning, and everything I saw from the road looked completely through veraison. I think I did the same thing and had the same reaction last year--"Cripes, harvest is bearing down earlier than anticipated!" When I got back to my vineyard though, things were on a pretty normal pace, 50-60% through veraison. Hopefully, sparkling and rose picks will hold off until the first week of Sept. and the main pinot picks will wait until the second half of the month. Syrah is showing no sign of veraison and will straggle in in Oct. With it being a dry Winter, I had thought everything would skew a bit earlier. They still could, but so far, pretty standard.
The bright side of the fact that there's just about nowhere to sell wine is that I'm spending just about no time on sales. Consequently, I've had more time in both the winery and the vineyard than usual, and they are a both a little closer to being buttoned down than is normal for me. Broke but tidy.
I was walking between the vineyards outside St Helena on my lunch break late last week and everything I saw was through veraison. Wild.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#326 Post by Merrill Lindquist » August 6th, 2020, 7:25 am

Mine are still not 100%. I'm still working (as is my neighbor) on dropping the stuff that just won't make it, but still the majority of cluster are at 90% or so.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#327 Post by Andrew Demaree » August 6th, 2020, 9:27 am

Posting for Merrill:
89C750AE-0E62-4379-A0E4-06258A54E8A9.jpeg

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#328 Post by Merrill Lindquist » August 6th, 2020, 9:37 am

Thanks, Andy. As one can see, we are well on our way!
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