I see Oregon and Washington are getting slammed with rain over the next 2 or 3 days…I hope this doesn’t negatively affect the harvest and the 2023 vintage…
From what I’ve seen on social media so far (mostly Walter Scott), harvest has already been underway.
I’m just one data point, but Championship Bottle is practically all-in already (and not in an uncommon position). 2023 is going to be defined by a warm summer, which continued into September here in the Willamette Valley–so grapes came in fast and furious over a relatively short period of time for me. I have one vineyard (a new Pinot Blanc site that’s quite cool) that’s still hanging, but it represents about 5% of the grapes I’ll be bringing in this year. It also needs to keep hanging, and I think it’s going to be better in a week or so than it would have been had we pulled it over the weekend.
To a more general point: even though we’re getting “slammed” with rain for a few days, we’re still probably talking about as much rain as falls in a region like Touraine during an average September or October–and we have plenty of vegetation that has been aching for moisture through a long summer and will pull it out of our (formerly exceptionally dry) soils pretty quickly.
Thanks for the ITB insight Saul…
I’ve seen a lot of activity over the last week and a half. Walter Scott is in, Goodfellow is in except for some Riesling, Eyrie has everything in except some Pinot Gris. I did notice a bunch of fruit still hanging out toward Sheridan during my Friday bike ride. The level of concern will depend on how long the wet spell lasts.
Ditto - I am pretty sure I saw the Lingua Franca was in as well as Hundred Suns…
We just have our Gamay left hanging. I don’t mind that getting a little rain. Really dry year this year overall so nothing to worry about.
We are all in too (Pinot. Chard). But yes, Gamay and others need more time. I make wine at Björnson and their Van Duzer Vineyard needs more time (Mondeuse, Gouais Blanc, Pinot for red, etc, etc).
Saul’s summary on the vintage weather is great. I would just add it was a weird year. Very very dry (appreciable rain on May 12 and Aug 24 only); very very late bud break; but flowering in the normal mid-June time frame due to the very warm weather in May and June.
Some vineyard friends had very low yields (even though flowering was perfect)— probably a residual effect from last year’s heavy crop.
Edit: I should have led with: the flavors are great! The Pinot came in at 22 to 23 Brix for the red Pinot, depending on the clone/block. The Chardonnay came in at 20 Brix and 3.2 pH with great flavors two weeks ago (the malic acid is very low -50% this year so I think she will be fine). This is Eola Amity Hills Cortell Rose and Royer Vineyards respectively.
I got an email from Lumos and it appears only the early ripening clones were harvested last week (for Lumos— not sure about others). This is the Pumphouse block, 114, 115 and one other that I can’t remember (113?)
We are all in as of Saturday.
It’s a big harvest, but not unexpected after the freeze last year. Acids are a fantastic balance, malic is about 20-25% of total acidity, flavor development is super delicious, and sugars are low. Base wines for sparkling really look to be spot on for what we’re looking for. We’re about 65% white wine/sparkling this year…
Reds are mostly modest sugars, with the Yamhill-Carlton fruit being an exception (24 Brix…), and early aromatics and flavors in fermenter are very pretty.
I’n excited to get a better look at everything once I can remember my name. We did 125 tons this year after doing 70-80 for the past 3 years, and the majority(110 tons) came between the 6th and the 20th, and the first 10 days were really long. (Our harvest help was scheduled on the 18th and arrived then…)
Just for clarification, we had a relatively wet and cool late spring. Dry from May on but cold nights until the weird warmth in early August.
Malics are low, we had only one wine with more than 3.0g/l, and many ranges 1.9-2.5 g/l, but plenty of tartaric.
And you are correct that the other Pumphouse clone is 113. We get 1 acre and it’s mostly 113. We picked last Wednesday, much earlier than anticipated, but the fruit was ripe and is extremely pretty in fermenter.
Good point— this must have pushed ripening. Based on flowering, we were all expecting a later harvest. Our harvest crew luckily started on the 11th, but much of the BJ & client sparkling was pressed by then.
The PNW didn’t see as many or as severe extreme heat events as the rest of the cont. US, but this global graph is shocking and very worrisome…
Anderson Valley got about a quarter inch. A true dust settler.
My block of a Pinot Noir at Temperance Hill is hanging tight as of this afternoon. Same with half of our block at Zenith. Also some Gamay still out there. We’ll be picking the Pinots Saturday and the Gamay maybe early next week. Then all in for Oregon. Still Napa Cab hanging into October, stoked about that.
Those vines look done The gamay at BJ looks great and tasting riper yesterday… Same with the Pinot Blanc. … and looks like the rains are mostly done (perhaps a bit Friday)
It’s true the canopy is pretty done but I think the fruit still matures, certainly tastes riper than a week ago and the fruit looked unchanged from the rain. Not soft or beat up at all. Hoping we dry out Thursday and Friday but this weather reminds me of mid harvest in 2005 and that was such a great year.
We are pulling in the Gamay on Friday. Last pick of the year. (All estate in 2023)
Congrats — what’s your estate production level estimate? By the way, I have gotten to know Elle a bit through committee work with the EAHWA— she is amazing!
Elle is an absolute star. We are extremely lucky to have her running the show.
Looking at about 1300 cases this year.
Saw this thread and will add a thought or two about Washington. Eastern Washington got a bit of rain, first of significance since spring. It was welcome and had no impact on harvest. Much was already in, lots of reds still hanging.
Only impact might have been any winemaker coming over Chinook Pass from the west side for a look since it got some snow.
Another thing to add is that the rain ended the fire season, which thankfully had very minor impact in 2023. The few days of smoke impact mid-summer were mostly due to Canadian fires. First time in probably past 5 years some part of Eastern Washington didn’t have large fires. Of course someone will probably correct me, but I didn’t see any from my vantage point near Yakima, and we made a few trips through Yakima and Walla Walla Valleys.