2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

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Casey Hartlip
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#451 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 9th, 2020, 8:22 am

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Final Gewurtz pick of 2020. Crop was way off historical average this year.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#452 Post by Stewart Johnson » September 9th, 2020, 3:09 pm

I've never seen a day like this. The sun never came up. It's been an orange-ish pre-dawn all day. I'll take the high temp of 62 about now, but I'm not sure it really matters since the world is so clearly about to end.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#453 Post by Al Osterheld » September 9th, 2020, 4:43 pm

It's been similar all around the greater SF Bay Area, although I think the degree varies a bit. Only saving grace (here) is that the air quality at ground level hasn't been bad. It's at least 20 degrees cooler than it would have been (temperature at my workplace actually continued to drop for 90 minutes after the sun came up. Definitely weird.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#454 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 9th, 2020, 5:20 pm

We woke to a very slight layer of ash this morning. A few days ago I asked a winemaker what else could go wrong? Covid, early heat spike (more like a week), lighting and rains, another killer heat spike (109 in Philo Sunday), so why the f_ck not should we have ash on the vineyard this morning. Oh and more CYA papers from the wineries. If this is my last harvest, it will be memorable.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#455 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 9th, 2020, 7:21 pm

Harvested at 6:30 Tuesday morning. All went smoothly. Safely in fermentation bins. Will do smoke taint testing post fermentation. Will not sell tainted wine. Big financial leap for me but I knew it was time, and given today's miserable weather, so glad I went when I did. I feel so free (now that I have my electricty back on after 36 hours without).
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#456 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 10th, 2020, 5:28 am

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
September 9th, 2020, 7:21 pm
Harvested at 6:30 Tuesday morning. All went smoothly. Safely in fermentation bins. Will do smoke taint testing post fermentation. Will not sell tainted wine. Big financial leap for me but I knew it was time, and given today's miserable weather, so glad I went when I did. I feel so free (now that I have my electricty back on after 36 hours without).
Nice to hear. Was your crop average or below? We are running 15-25% lower than historical levels.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#457 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 10th, 2020, 6:08 am

Casey Hartlip wrote:
September 10th, 2020, 5:28 am
Merrill Lindquist wrote:
September 9th, 2020, 7:21 pm
Harvested at 6:30 Tuesday morning. All went smoothly. Safely in fermentation bins. Will do smoke taint testing post fermentation. Will not sell tainted wine. Big financial leap for me but I knew it was time, and given today's miserable weather, so glad I went when I did. I feel so free (now that I have my electricty back on after 36 hours without).
Nice to hear. Was your crop average or below? We are running 15-25% lower than historical levels.
About average. I predicted 2.5 tons and it came in at 2.6. Lots of clusters at smaller than average size (weight).
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#458 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 11th, 2020, 5:05 am

And we continue. Chard today and a nibble of Pinot. Crew doing SO well now. Weather is finally fabulous, thick foggy mornings and not hot in the afternoon. Fruit has equalized from the heat as the vines recover. Another week and we'll be on the back side.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#459 Post by Karen Troisi » September 11th, 2020, 12:27 pm

Brought in malbec today from Rutherford.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#460 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 12th, 2020, 5:33 am

Going to pass the 400 ton mark today. I'm wearing down, which usually happens around now. Won't pick tomorrow. Hauled 4 tons on my gooseneck to Healdsburg yesterday and took a beating on 128 AND 101. California has the highest gas tax in the nation and the shittiest roads.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#461 Post by Stewart Johnson » September 12th, 2020, 12:32 pm

Turned the corner, aromatically, in the winery today -- from overwhelming banana (kloekera/amyl acetate) to overwhelming fart (stressed yeast/reduction/H2S).
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#462 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 13th, 2020, 5:52 pm

Getting a very firm western wind here in Anderson Valley which makes me think this is the smoke flusher that has been promised.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#463 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 14th, 2020, 5:00 am

IMG_20200913_114342505_HDR.jpg
Had some company yesterday rounding up bins.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#464 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 14th, 2020, 7:24 am

Great photo, Casey.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#465 Post by Wes Barton » September 14th, 2020, 3:46 pm

Jeff Emery just sent out his sous vide smoke taint hack.
Hi all,

This method is a qualitative way to test a sample quickly, and it definitely does work if you have definite levels of smoke taint. It won't work for crop insurance or perhaps even a contract dispute, but we found it remarkably effective.

We recently took two Cabernet Sauvignon samples, one from off of Bear Creek Road and one from up above Cupertino and applied this method. The one above Cupertino was fruity and bright. The one off of Bear Creek Road was like opening a bag of bar-b-qued potato chips. Seriously smoky in both nose and mouth. We also ran a known smoke taint sample from south Monterey County that was not off the charts, but confirmed by a lab. That had a definite "ash tray" character using this method.

So take this for what it is and realized that "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence". In other words, if it comes out smelling nice it doesn't mean you are in the clear, but if it's bad then it's clearly bad.

Good luck out there!

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SOUS VIDE SMOKE TAINT HACK



SAME DAY sample to taste protocol
Ingredients

Surplus amounts of fruit in question (1 bucket/FYB per sample)

Neutral spirit (>100 proof)

Hardware

1-gallon Ziploc freezer bags

Strainer (if desired)

Graduated cylinder or other liquid measuring glassware/plasticware

Sous vide bath

Scale

Procedure

Preheat sous vide to 150F

Destem berries into desired Ziploc bags

Crush berries in bag to release juice

Separate juice from solids by pouring juice through strainer into graduated cylinder

Weigh solids left in bag and measure volume of juice in graduated cylinder, note ratio

Add neutral spirit to bring juice to 10% alcohol by volume

Recombine a known quantity of solids (0.5 or 1.0 kg) with the appropriate amount of liquid per the noted ratio in step 4, in the freezer bag

Place sample(s) into sous vide bath, start 4-hour timer when temperature recovers to 150.

Remove from sous vide, cool. (cold water bath optional to accelerate assuming good bag seal)

POUR off the liquid (don't press/squeeze bag - might alter alc %), using strainer if necessary

Taste, evaluate life choices.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#466 Post by Matt Wood » September 14th, 2020, 6:34 pm

Many of you might be aware of this, I just received it from the home winemaking club I'm a member of, hopefully it can help someone, I wish the best for all the growers and wineries out there:

Dear All:



The UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology would like to provide as much useful information as possible about the potential risk of smoke impact, from recent events on the West Coast, to grape growers and winemakers. To that end, we are providing the following resources:



The West Coast Smoke Exposure Task Force Grape Sampling protocol: WCSETF Grape Sampling Protocol
The WCSETF Small-Scale Fermentation Protocol: WCSETF Small-Scale Fermentation Protocol
A Video of Dr. Anita Oberholster (UC Cooperative Extension Specialist in Enology) processing 10 lbs. of grapes (~3.3L of juice) through the Small-Scale Fermentation Protocol, explaining the process step-by-step (How to do small-scale fermentations for the evaluation of grape smoke exposure risk).
A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet that will be updated on a regular basis: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet
A Zoom link to an upcoming “Office Hours with Dave and Anita” on Tuesday, September 15, from 2-3 pm, where Dr. Oberholster will be available to answer your questions regarding the information provided above. The link is provided here. https://wineserver.ucdavis.edu/events/o ... berholster


If you want to ask questions at the Zoom Meeting you can do so three different ways: you can email klblock@ucdavis.edu and your question will be read/answered, you can ask it live by raising your hand or unmuting yourself, or you can type it in the chat and either send it to everyone or specifically to Karen Block.



For those of you who have emailed questions to Dr. Oberholster, she is trying to get back to you all as soon as possible. An overwhelming number of questions have come in and she is currently unable to get to them all as quickly as she would like, as she too is in the middle of harvest. Some of the projects currently being harvested are smoke exposure experiments that will hopefully provide answers to questions for which we do not currently have answers. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions link to see if your question has been answered in that document. In addition, you can attend the Office Hours Q&A on Tuesday (Item # 5 above), during which we will answer as many questions as possible. Please refer to the paragraph above for details on how to ask a question during that session.



-----------------------------------------------



How smoke compounds interact with grapes in the vineyard and the potential risks for smoke damaged grapes and their effects on wine quality are not well understood. Laboratory analysis of smoke exposed grapes can reveal useful information, but often such analysis alone is insufficient to reliably predict the risk of smoke affected wines. Consequently, researchers recommend the use of laboratory analysis and sensory analysis of wine made from a small-scale fermentation of smoke exposed grapes.



Fermenting a grape field sample is one of the best tools currently available to predict smoke exposure markers (both free and bound volatile phenols) that may be present in a wine post-fermentation. A winemaker or grape grower can use the finished small-scale fermentation to evaluate the presence of off-aromas and ashy flavors (through sensory evaluation) and should also submit a wine sample to a certified laboratory for volatile phenol and glycoside analysis to understand the potential risk of smoke damage.



If you have questions about any portion of the above information, please email klblock@ucdavis.edu

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#467 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 15th, 2020, 6:11 am

Had to happen.....one carload of my crew didn't come today because yesterday was payday.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#468 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 15th, 2020, 6:33 pm

Looooooong friggin day. Just got home at 6:15 after starting at 4:15 am. Had to do the bin retrieval game from fruit delivered yesterday. I'm getting to know every bump between Philo and Kenwood very well. What a wonderful sight to see in Anderson Valley upon my arrival......clear air and the fog bank headed inland. Gonna need the comforter on the bed tonight. We have a bunch of big days in the next week. Oh and confirmed....air quality in Philo is 0!!!!
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#469 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 17th, 2020, 6:47 am

A very fine misty drizzle from the fog this morning.

Our final day of picking Chard. Fruit really looks beautiful. Clone 548. Moving over to a Pinot field next. Just a week longer and we'll wrap this mess of a harvest. We feel very lucky to have been able to pick as much as we did, considering how others suffered so much. We will have picked close to 100 tons that will have to be tested clean to get paid, a risk I decided to take. Will likely take months to know, but sensory evaluation will be quicker. Already have reports of very nice smelling wines.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#470 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 17th, 2020, 6:51 pm

IMG_20200917_184236348_HDR.jpg
Not a great pic of Anderson Valley fog on its way in this afternoon. Picking more Pinot tomorrow. The end of harvest 2020 is close.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#471 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 17th, 2020, 6:59 pm

My fermentation is smooth - down to about 2 Brix. I tasted it today and was very pleased - lots of raspberry flavor. I'll see if I ca get a photo up here that I took showing the fermenting fruit and also the wine in a stem.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#472 Post by Andrew Demaree » September 17th, 2020, 7:05 pm

Posting for Merrill:
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#473 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 17th, 2020, 7:45 pm

Thanks, Andy. I love the color my vineyard gives me.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#474 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 18th, 2020, 7:45 am

Lots of picking going on in Calistoga this week - Kenefick has made lots of headway (saw Nickel&Nickel bins out there) and my Neighbor Frediani and crew are really hauling it this morning! I awakened to the familiar sound of bins being loaded and unloaded, and tractors with mutiple full bins coming down from Pickett Road (probably Frediani's "Five Acres" vineyard - a beautiful vineyard. Will check on Eisele later. They crush onsite so not coming down my way.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#475 Post by Karen Troisi » September 18th, 2020, 3:32 pm

We are picking G3 cab on Monday.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#476 Post by timmy roos » September 18th, 2020, 5:14 pm

For those picking are you testing for taint?
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#477 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 18th, 2020, 6:59 pm

timmy roos wrote:
September 18th, 2020, 5:14 pm
For those picking are you testing for taint?
Yes. As soon as my fermentation is dry, will send in samples to ETS. Will barrel in neutral barrels next week until the results come back. I will be surprised if I am not ok. But I will not sell to my customers if it is not within the approved range for ETS. Assuming it is taint free, my customers will receive lab results or something official to make them feel secure in a purchase. If it comes back tainted (which I could not taste or sense yesterday), I'll dump it and take a huge loss. This grower/winemaker takes this stuff seriously.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#478 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 18th, 2020, 8:26 pm

Destemed a half ton of clone 23 Pinot Noir for my barrel of wine for 2020. Had to make a bit if a sugar adjustment as it was a touch ripe. Also picked 120 pounds of whole cluster and put them in the bottom of the T bin. I will enjoy the next 7-10 days of hand punching down twice daily and smelling that beautiful transition from grapes to wine. Every morning popping the lid off the bin and smelling that smell is why we do all of this stuff. We have about 3-4 more picking days until we wrap. Luckily the weather the past week has been glorious. Off to bed!
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#479 Post by Stewart Johnson » September 18th, 2020, 9:15 pm

All the pinot is in -- at about the point I'd like to think about starting to pick, for still wine, in a normal year. I'm still waiting on smoke taint results for a sample sent off on 8/26. I thought I caught a whiff of ash in one lot, but when you're looking intently for one thing, you tend to find it. We'll see if that's a figment of my imagination after fermentation.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#480 Post by GregP » September 18th, 2020, 10:07 pm

timmy roos wrote:
September 18th, 2020, 5:14 pm
For those picking are you testing for taint?
You really can't. ETS is now running 4 to 6 WEEKS out, and even that is probably optimistic at this point. Had a phone conversation with Gordon Burns of ETS, head honcho, on September 1 after they missed 2 promised dates for us already and he lied to my face that his people will now give realistic time frames. When I submitted another sample just 2 days later they lied to me, again, wildly missing the stated time frame. Extremely frustrating, to put it mildly.

Best anyone who picks at this point can do is test once ferments are done. No one right now should, nor could rely on ETS results to come back in a meaningful time frame before a pick to help anyone make a decision. Won't happen. Worst part of this cluster fark is that samples submitted early on, with 4-7 days of exposure to smoke, have WEEKS now of more smoke since initial samples were submitted. I asked Gordon to discard both of our samples, they mean absolutely nothing at this point, no matter how low a result comes back. I know that some are picking based on results from those initial first few days after fires started. We decided not to after seeing low levels of smoke taint (from August 25 sample submitted by another winery drawing fruit from same vineyard), and in one case for us vineyard owners made the decision themselves not to pick.

Wineries will have to pick and ferment, and only then find out. Hell of a year...
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#481 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 19th, 2020, 3:04 pm

IMG_20200919_052544093.jpg
The morning punchdown after the crew got going at 5:00 am. Don't need to be starting at 4:30 anymore as we have just a few 10 ton days left. Inoculated the Pinot this afternoon as it was already starting to perk on its own.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#482 Post by Karen Troisi » September 19th, 2020, 4:04 pm

timmy roos wrote:
September 18th, 2020, 5:14 pm
For those picking are you testing for taint?
Yes. Micro-ferments with our growers and also at the winery. And third party labs also.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#483 Post by timmy roos » September 19th, 2020, 4:34 pm

Thanks for answering my question but I asked it poorly. How are you managing the testing for taint with the lag times in testing information. We have condemned our chard crop based on the amount of exposure and tests of our other fruit that came back tainted but still have not received the individual results. There are a lot of areas that were impacted more minimally by smoke and the financial gamble is different. Two years ago we picked based on being very close to the line thinking a soft press might skirt by only to have wine rejected
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#484 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 19th, 2020, 4:52 pm

Right now the only thing is to pick and test post-fermentation. The grapes are shriveling on the vines, and have been subjected in some way to smoke this month, most likely. I picked on the 8th before neighboring Cabs, and am just hoping for the best. I think the smoke at ground level (I am on the Valley floor) was minimal if any before I picked, so I am hoping for good lab results. "There's got to be someway out of here...."
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#485 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 19th, 2020, 6:09 pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
September 19th, 2020, 4:52 pm
Right now the only thing is to pick and test post-fermentation. The grapes are shriveling on the vines, and have been subjected in some way to smoke this month, most likely. I picked on the 8th before neighboring Cabs, and am just hoping for the best. I think the smoke at ground level (I am on the Valley floor) was minimal if any before I picked, so I am hoping for good lab results. "There's got to be someway out of here...."
I've heard that high elevation vineyards in your area are considered much more likely to be smoked than valley floor. Just what I've heard.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#486 Post by Stewart Johnson » September 19th, 2020, 10:53 pm

I had been noticing a pretty pronounced spiciness in all the freshly crushed pinot fermenters, but I hadn't thought too much about it. Then caught it again last night when pressing the chard, and it dawned on me that it's probably guaiacol/eugenol from the smoke. It's a spiced apple cider sort of aroma, and pretty pleasant. Keeping my fingers crossed that I got a better version of smoke taint than the ashtray variety, but I don't know that that's really a thing.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#487 Post by Paul Gordon » September 20th, 2020, 10:40 am

Casey Hartlip wrote:
September 19th, 2020, 6:09 pm
Merrill Lindquist wrote:
September 19th, 2020, 4:52 pm
Right now the only thing is to pick and test post-fermentation. The grapes are shriveling on the vines, and have been subjected in some way to smoke this month, most likely. I picked on the 8th before neighboring Cabs, and am just hoping for the best. I think the smoke at ground level (I am on the Valley floor) was minimal if any before I picked, so I am hoping for good lab results. "There's got to be someway out of here...."
I've heard that high elevation vineyards in your area are considered much more likely to be smoked than valley floor. Just what I've heard.
That has not been my experience Casey. The smoke generally settles low. A number of days we have had a light haze at our altitude and can see much more dense smoke in Anderson Valley.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#488 Post by Paul Gordon » September 20th, 2020, 10:45 am

I did some sampling yesterday. Our Syrah is in a tight range of 21-21.5b. The Roussanne and Marsanne around 18.5b.
Some amazingly small berries this year. Many Syrah clusters are all chicks and no hens.
It will really suck if we lose this year to smoke taint. Clearly our best balanced year ever in the vineyard.
We are finish off a micro-ferment started last Sunday (9/13). There has been very little smoke since. Hopefully I can get it dry in the next couple days and then get results about a week later.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#489 Post by GregP » September 20th, 2020, 3:39 pm

Paul Gordon wrote:
September 20th, 2020, 10:45 am
I did some sampling yesterday. Our Syrah is in a tight range of 21-21.5b. The Roussanne and Marsanne around 18.5b.
Some amazingly small berries this year. Many Syrah clusters are all chicks and no hens.
It will really suck if we lose this year to smoke taint. Clearly our best balanced year ever in the vineyard.
We are finish off a micro-ferment started last Sunday (9/13). There has been very little smoke since. Hopefully I can get it dry in the next couple days and then get results about a week later.

Paul
Paul, yes, my understanding as well, air mass usually flows down off the mountains.

Find another lab, ETS won't have your results until early to mid November given current time frames, even for micro ferment.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#490 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 20th, 2020, 4:37 pm

We are all guessing and anxious. All we can do is follow through with our plans - whether to make wine or leave the fruit hanging (like Montelena, Neal, and others). For those hanging and waiting for lab results for micro-ferments before picking (and I am just talking north Napa Valley), the fruit that I see and feel and taste is not in prime condition. I have not been to Rutherford or Yountville or Napa/Coombsville - the situation may well be significantly different there. But the Zin vineyard down the road from me that Montelena passed on tastes pretty crappy. So does some neighboring Cabernet.

Best of luck to all my fellow growers and winemakers - and myself! My work is done...it is just a waiting game. Whether my labs results come back from ETS in two weeks or ten, the wine will rest in barrel waiting for my next move, based on those lab results.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#491 Post by Adam Frisch » September 20th, 2020, 5:43 pm

After heat spike it seems like sugars are staying put and recovering and in some instances even regressing slightly, so the crazy projected rush is now leveling out and it looks like it will spread out over October a bit more evenly. I'm much less than halfway through, but it's already been an exhausting harvest with everything that can go wrong, go wrong. Lodi has been mercifully relieved from most of the smoke problems to the west, but it's going to be a long slog until the end.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#492 Post by Ben M a n d l e r » September 20th, 2020, 6:42 pm

Paul Gordon wrote:
September 20th, 2020, 10:40 am
Casey Hartlip wrote:
September 19th, 2020, 6:09 pm
Merrill Lindquist wrote:
September 19th, 2020, 4:52 pm
Right now the only thing is to pick and test post-fermentation. The grapes are shriveling on the vines, and have been subjected in some way to smoke this month, most likely. I picked on the 8th before neighboring Cabs, and am just hoping for the best. I think the smoke at ground level (I am on the Valley floor) was minimal if any before I picked, so I am hoping for good lab results. "There's got to be someway out of here...."
I've heard that high elevation vineyards in your area are considered much more likely to be smoked than valley floor. Just what I've heard.
That has not been my experience Casey. The smoke generally settles low. A number of days we have had a light haze at our altitude and can see much more dense smoke in Anderson Valley.

Paul
In general, yes, but the proximal smoke in Napa starting ~August 18 sat in the hills for several days before settling into the valley. Pritchard Hill was bathing in thick smoke for quite some time before the floor saw anything. Of course the total smoke exposure ended up being significantly longer than that, but in terms of exposure to potential smoke taint from nearby fires, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the higher elevation areas fared worse. To be clear, I’m only talking Napa region here - may have been very different up where you are.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#493 Post by Paul Gordon » September 20th, 2020, 8:33 pm

GregP wrote:
September 20th, 2020, 3:39 pm
Paul Gordon wrote:
September 20th, 2020, 10:45 am
I did some sampling yesterday. Our Syrah is in a tight range of 21-21.5b. The Roussanne and Marsanne around 18.5b.
Some amazingly small berries this year. Many Syrah clusters are all chicks and no hens.
It will really suck if we lose this year to smoke taint. Clearly our best balanced year ever in the vineyard.
We are finish off a micro-ferment started last Sunday (9/13). There has been very little smoke since. Hopefully I can get it dry in the next couple days and then get results about a week later.

Paul
Paul, yes, my understanding as well, air mass usually flows down off the mountains.

Find another lab, ETS won't have your results until early to mid November given current time frames, even for micro ferment.
Going to use the guys in SLO. Australia is the fallback.

Paul
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#494 Post by Paul Gordon » September 20th, 2020, 8:35 pm

Ben M a n d l e r wrote:
September 20th, 2020, 6:42 pm
Paul Gordon wrote:
September 20th, 2020, 10:40 am
Casey Hartlip wrote:
September 19th, 2020, 6:09 pm


I've heard that high elevation vineyards in your area are considered much more likely to be smoked than valley floor. Just what I've heard.
That has not been my experience Casey. The smoke generally settles low. A number of days we have had a light haze at our altitude and can see much more dense smoke in Anderson Valley.

Paul
In general, yes, but the proximal smoke in Napa starting ~August 18 sat in the hills for several days before settling into the valley. Pritchard Hill was bathing in thick smoke for quite some time before the floor saw anything. Of course the total smoke exposure ended up being significantly longer than that, but in terms of exposure to potential smoke taint from nearby fires, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the higher elevation areas fared worse. To be clear, I’m only talking Napa region here - may have been very different up where you are.
Ben

Agree with you - the issue with the eastern hills in Napa was the proximity to the fire.

Paul
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#495 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 21st, 2020, 6:57 pm

Lots of picking going on, but it seems more low key than in a typical year. I was wrong about Frediani's 5 acres - I walked by and all fruit is still hanging. From the street, Eisele Vineyards appears to be pretty much picked out. I saw some fruit hanging on their St. George rootstock. Kenefick was irrigating, so I guess they are hanging on a while longer. Plenty of bins hanging and banging around in the area.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#496 Post by Karen Troisi » September 21st, 2020, 7:13 pm

We picked Rutherford cab today - yields were down from last year.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#497 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 22nd, 2020, 5:12 am

We will finish tomorrow. 10 tons today and tomorrow. Our Pinot is just starting to warm up a bit. At last night's punchdown it was cool as I inserted our temperature probe (my arm), but this morning it's not cool anymore. I have a good friend who's giving me a three year old French barrel, which will be the nicest wood I've ever used for home wine. Smells like blueberry muffins!
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#498 Post by Edward H. Earles » September 22nd, 2020, 8:20 am

I see a stem in there. What's your percentage of whole-cluster?

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#499 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 22nd, 2020, 1:09 pm

Hell of an eye there Ed. 120 pounds in the half ton batch, so not very much. Can't wait to do the evening punchdown
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#500 Post by Stewart Johnson » September 22nd, 2020, 3:15 pm

Re: smoke taint and insurance
I spoke with my adjuster yesterday and learned a few things.
1) You need a separate lab analysis from samples taken before picking for each variety. You don't need results before picking or making wine.
2) You should pick even badly tainted fruit for the purposes of maintaining your average yield that subsequent insurance policies will cover.
3) For growers that make their own wine, if you eventually get a lab result from the grape sample showing a high probability of smoke impact on the resulting wine, insurance will cover the difference between the District average price per ton that you're insured at and the price you could get for smoke tainted wine. That latter price is miniscule. You don't have to actually sell the resulting wine, and you don't have to destroy it. They are just taking the difference between the District average and the market for smoked wine as the measure of the damage you suffered.

The upshot, for me, is that insurance allows me to go ahead and make the wine and see how it eventually turns out. Whether or not it turns out to be tainted, I'll get paid for 80% of my average yield at the District average, minus some small amout that represents the market for tainted wine. Without it, I'd be in the position of having to decide to fish or cut bait without lab results or any other sort of reliable indicator of the likely outcome.
BTW-- my agent, Trevor Troyer at Agricultural Risk Management, has been really good on this and other calamities.
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