I’d like to hear from growers and winemakers on how things are going out in the vineyards. In August/September, we’ve had cooler and wetter than normal weather. How’s it looking this year? Is it too early to be worried with warm temperatures being forcasted for next week?
Just got a solid dump of much needed rain. Looks like temps are dropping a bit in the forecast (McMinnville) as well. Too early to tell overall but I am starting to fantasize about picking the older vines and cool sites in October(this may not be reality, but the last week has slowed s up a bit).
Marcus is the only one looking at clusters in Oregon?
October as opposed to September?..or November? The grapes seemed ahead of schedule in late July.
From the noise I’m hearing from various places, picking looks to start happening in the next couple weeks. I think the last week of rain has slowed progress quite a bit.
A little less optimistic than Marcus (maybe my farming outlook). The crop has been looking very good, but big, with lots of clusters, but also with a good amount of millenderage. It has also been looking early. However, cooler and somewhat weather the last couple of weeks has slowed that down a bit. The last rainfall hit the Chehalem AVA pretty hard (anywhere from 1-2 inches in my vineyards), that on top of the inch that had fallen over the past few weeks. Last trip up there I already saw some swelling and some of the tiny berries going away. Not sure what this last rain will do (still showering as of this AM), but am concerned that we might lose completely some of those smaller berries and that this might also lead to some botrytis.
That all sounds more pessimistic than I wanted it to sound…I think if the weather clears up and the weather warms somewhat it still could be a very good, and early year (maybe last week in September we get started)…but I also wish this last rain had passed on by.
September (and sometimes October) makes the quality. Last year we were “behind schedule” in the growing season, then we turned warm and windy and the wines turned out to the richer, riper side. This year has been notably warm without being hot - very few days above 90, no 100s and maybe not even that close. Just consistently 80s and mid to upper 70s. Flowering was early and good in most parts, with a bigger crop that Adam mentions. Lag phase was early, veraison was early, harvest will likely be early as Marcus alludes to. But yes we’ve finally got some nice rain and cool weather. With it, disease pressure but shit, I’d rather have that then unrelenting sun. We look to dry out quickly, then warm next week, then mixed forecasts but it’s anyone’s guess beyond 7 days. Stay tuned, but I’d love unseasonably cool weather later in the month to prolong the harvest, gliding in to the end. We’ll see what we get. Always fun.
Up in the far northerly reaches of the WV we have a small-ish crop expected this year. It’s been very warm with temps in the mid 80’s for most of the summer, with frequent jumps into the high 80’s. The clusters are full of hens and chicks, but they’re tasting pretty good. An early October harvest seems to be in the cards. This recent rain has been good but it’s also rather humid out, so there is some worry about mold/mildew issues if it doesn’t dry up quickly.
arghhh, and now and now a mini heat spell.
Was out in Pinot Noir vineyards on Ribbon Ridge and all over the Eola Hills yesterday. pHs mostly in the 3.0 range, as high as 3.15 on Ribbon Ridge. Sugars anywhere from 18 to 21. Flavors definitely coming on but really mixed. With the heat this week and an expected cool down next weekend, then who really knows, I think I’ll have fruit in the winery in 10 days. Rain notwithstanding. With bloom peaking at the Ribbon Ridge site in early June, it will be time.
That’s interesting. Our vineyards are near Sherwood, Oregon…which I think of as near the northern end of the WV…and we’ve got a pretty big crop.
Hi Adam, we’re up by Gaston, another 15-20 miles north. Down the road from Big Table Farm and Elk Cove actually. There are even some past us, out by Banks. I agree you’re in the northern part of the WV though.
We were out today checking our estate and contracted vineyards in Eola-Amity Hills. There was some variability depending on site, elevation, and load. Pinot Noir in the 16-22 brix range, blanc around 18, riesling 15-20, muscat 15-17. Everything is very healthy. I just got here, but it seems to have been a very low-pressure year re. mildews. Probably would’ve been a good idea this year to have held back on leaf-pulling, though right now the acids are still pretty high. Hopefully they don’t drop too fast this week with all the heat -and thank god that the yields are up.
Was out at the vineyard today.
As reported, we’re at about 20-21 brix.
No botrytis at this time.
Starting to see some birds flitting about, and some ‘mini-swarms’. Netting up.
Little-to-no yellow jacket pressure (extensive trapping), but the bees are working it hard.
The vast majority of clusters looking really good, but some sporadic soft grapes/clusters.
Flavors in the skins are there, or nearly there. Need the pulp/seed flavors to come around a bit over the next 7-14 days…then harvest will be rocking in the valley.
If I do anything before the 28th of September I’d be surprised. Also didn’t pull any leaves until labor day.
Smallish crop for me this year. I’m just south of Amity. Smallish being 2 tpa or less before the green pass.
One block in young vines is planned to be picked on Tuesday. Possibly Doug’s vineyard on Tuesday too. I’ll have to take a close look on Friday.
Our older vineyard is at 18.2 brix at most. The acids are looking promising this year but we’ll see what happens in the small heat wave.
newbie here, but why is rain a good thing?
Rain being good/bad has a bunch of factors. The problem with the rain we had was how much we had, with many areas getting over an inch in a day or two. All that water gets sucked up by the roots and put into the grapes, which then bursts the skins, which can then lead to rot, botrytis, etc. If it was just a sprinkle or just a bit of rain, it wouldn’t be much of an issue, and it might actually be good to cool everything off just a bit.
My understanding is that the rain can be good because it cools things down and slows down the ripening. The rough part is when the heat spikes are big/sudden and the brix levels shoot through the roof…like 2006. You get like a 1 - 2 day period to pick before the window escapes you. You can easily wind up with a lot of very ripe grapes, which isn’t necessarily bad if you’re trying to make Cali Pinot .
I would say this reflects what we are looking at and have done. Other than one oddball, low-lying, south-facing vineyard on hanging trellis I don’t really see what would come in within the next 10-15 days. There are starting to be some birds and I know that there is gray mold and some mildew in canopies out there for sure. Dry for a long time would be very nice.
…and then we get grape samples today that are at 24 Brit with not that far off flavors and a definite element of softening and skin wrinkling. That will be sooner than later for sure.