Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

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PHuff
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Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

#1 Post by PHuff » September 15th, 2019, 6:15 pm

I assume that there are still a lot of grapes left to be harvested......Any insight from the Winemakers on the Board on how the vintage is looking?
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Re: Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

#2 Post by R Roberts » September 15th, 2019, 7:52 pm

There's a thread for that:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=157104&start=350
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Re: Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

#3 Post by Eric Sch » September 16th, 2019, 8:37 am

That thread looks pretty Napa focused.

I personally am stoked as I have been waiting for a cool vintage here in the WV. Watching Harvest carefully.
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Re: Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

#4 Post by John Peacock » September 16th, 2019, 9:49 am

A cool vintage would be fine. An inch of rain the week of picking is not good.
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Re: Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

#5 Post by Jim Anderson » September 16th, 2019, 10:08 am

At this point more annoying than problematic. Hate to be the old guy that’s all, “yeah, I’ve seen worse so everyone don’t get your panties in a twist quite yet.” But if I don’t Todd will, so there’s that. We’re just ready to go is all. I have a person up from CA, another in from VA and we’ve picked 20 tons over 2 days so far and if we were having normal Oregon September weather we’d be hard at it by Wednesday or Thursday. Now folks are cooling their jets and they want to work. I would like to accommodate them and pick. No, I’m not a fan of this but I don’t think we’re at starting a 2019 shitty Oregon Pinot Noir thread quite yet.
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Re: Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

#6 Post by Mattstolz » September 16th, 2019, 3:08 pm

posted on Eyries Instagram today:

"some thoughts on rain.

Its raining in the Willamette... here's what I've learned about rain over the vintages...

Burgundy typically gets 2.5 inches of rain in August and 2.1 inches in September. McMinnville so far is at 0.55 inches for September and 0.01 for August. Even with the rain coming in the current forecast, we'll be at a fraction of Burgundian averages.

Because recent Septembers have been so dry, this seems like a lot of rain. it isn't.

Skins are really thick this year, botrytis pressure is still far off...

everything's gonna be alright. better than alright.
Example: the 1999 vintage, perhaps the greatest vintage since 1985 and certainly the best of the 90s. 1999 was similar to 2019 in that we had a warm summer, rains in early October (yes, we picked in October back then) continued for a week. what followed was a glorious Indian summer. those that waited were rewarded. (See also 1976, 1979, 1981, 1986,1993, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2017...)

Warmer, drier weather is coming. Breathe, prepare, clean."

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Re: Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

#7 Post by Yao C » September 16th, 2019, 4:37 pm

Jim Anderson wrote:
September 16th, 2019, 10:08 am
At this point more annoying than problematic. Hate to be the old guy that’s all, “yeah, I’ve seen worse so everyone don’t get your panties in a twist quite yet.” But if I don’t Todd will, so there’s that. We’re just ready to go is all. I have a person up from CA, another in from VA and we’ve picked 20 tons over 2 days so far and if we were having normal Oregon September weather we’d be hard at it by Wednesday or Thursday. Now folks are cooling their jets and they want to work. I would like to accommodate them and pick. No, I’m not a fan of this but I don’t think we’re at starting a 2019 shitty Oregon Pinot Noir thread quite yet.
How long of a window of sunny weather is needed to dry the grapes out so picking can start?
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Re: Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

#8 Post by Jim Anderson » September 16th, 2019, 7:00 pm

Yao C wrote:
September 16th, 2019, 4:37 pm
Jim Anderson wrote:
September 16th, 2019, 10:08 am
At this point more annoying than problematic. Hate to be the old guy that’s all, “yeah, I’ve seen worse so everyone don’t get your panties in a twist quite yet.” But if I don’t Todd will, so there’s that. We’re just ready to go is all. I have a person up from CA, another in from VA and we’ve picked 20 tons over 2 days so far and if we were having normal Oregon September weather we’d be hard at it by Wednesday or Thursday. Now folks are cooling their jets and they want to work. I would like to accommodate them and pick. No, I’m not a fan of this but I don’t think we’re at starting a 2019 shitty Oregon Pinot Noir thread quite yet.
How long of a window of sunny weather is needed to dry the grapes out so picking can start?
If things are ripe, literally a day. We are picking on Friday. It is almost certainly going to rain tomorrow and then Wednesday and Thursday are up for grabs at this point. It takes little time for rainwater to dry off grapes.
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Re: Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

#9 Post by Vincent Fritzsche » September 16th, 2019, 9:53 pm

Agree with Jim. Rain is annoying but most things aren’t ready to pick so the fruit hangs. Have some things slated for Saturday and then next week I’m sure will be very busy.
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Re: Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

#10 Post by Todd Hamina » September 18th, 2019, 7:46 am

We have had a nice bit of cluster cleaning from a dusty summer. Apparently we could get a bit more rain and then it'll dry back out for a spell. I think we can make it into October before getting busy. This is almost like old times.
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Re: Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

#11 Post by Gray G » September 18th, 2019, 7:56 am

still warm relatively, windows open at night listening to rain for most folks
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Re: Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

#12 Post by Merrill Lindquist » September 18th, 2019, 9:01 am

Best of luck to my fellow growers/winemakers up there! We have our own bit of rain throwing a small wrench into things, but that's what we all do: identify issues, make plans, solve problems. Like any other business!
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Re: Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

#13 Post by Todd Hamina » October 1st, 2019, 6:25 pm

We started yesterday. Odd year, I've never seem so much tartaric acid on the machines and we started later than most. It will be interesting to see our botrytis levels, but clean so far. It is like old times again.
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Re: Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

#14 Post by Yao C » October 1st, 2019, 7:23 pm

Todd Hamina wrote:
October 1st, 2019, 6:25 pm
We started yesterday. Odd year, I've never seem so much tartaric acid on the machines and we started later than most. It will be interesting to see our botrytis levels, but clean so far. It is like old times again.
Does it normally get this inhospitably cold in McMinnville this time of year (i.e. lows in the 30s)? I suppose it must be good for the grapes, but I have to sprint through the parking lot in the morning because it's too cold to walk lol
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Re: Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

#15 Post by Todd Hamina » October 1st, 2019, 7:27 pm

Not for the past six years! This is a real vintage with serious pitfalls and presents itself as a fantastic puzzle to solve.
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Re: Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

#16 Post by James Lyon » October 1st, 2019, 8:43 pm

Yeah, being on the East Coast I'm curious how the vintage plays out. The weather forecast is not good for the next week or so. Cooler temperatures and rain, but how much rain? Based on recent emails and the gram, some folks are still waiting a few more days or week(s) for some picks and some folks are mostly done. Good luck to everyone.

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Re: Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

#17 Post by Jim Anderson » October 1st, 2019, 9:27 pm

Last (discounting one thing that’s weird) pick is tomorrow. I’ve been in “go time” mode for about 10 days. From the outside looking at weather reports it would seem “rainy vintage, dilute wines.” Now that I have picked 200 tons across nearly every nested AVA in the WV I think I finally get it. This is, I believe, is an unusual vintage. If there is a precedent in Oregon I’m not aware of it.

These are exceptionally ripe grapes. By any measure other than brix these are grapes from the vintage I thought we were getting, not the vintage we seem to have gotten. I have a range from pressed wine to just picked fruit. As it has gone on with only a slightly upward shift in brix but noticeable shifts in every other measure I have realized that this vintage may well provide wines of intense ripeness with alcohols of 13% or less (or slightly more).

I will admit to the concerns and biases I initially had about the vintage and the issues with powdery mildew and the resulting problems therein. Early picks of necessity reinforced some of these thoughts although resulting wines seem to have dispelled them. Now that I’m in the thick of our wheelhouse stuff it’s clear that I and y’all should be expecting much different than what weather.com might indicate is coming your way.

Time will tell. Wildly optimistic if insanely overworked right now.
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Re: Looks like a lot of rainy cool weather in the Willamette Valley

#18 Post by Todd Hamina » October 11th, 2019, 2:13 pm

Final pick is scheduled for Wednesday (semillon for a client). All of the Pinot noir for still red production has been in for a week. Interesting vintage, and I am curious to see how some people will spin their take on it. I like it, but we brought in clean and late (110ish days post bloom).
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