It always happens. Fruit starts coming in, fermentors start to bubble and barrels need to be filled with new wine and before you know it, more than a week has passed since my last journal entry.
All is well at Bergstrom Wines. The rain stopped for a four day period last week which allowed us to harvest over 70 tons of Pinot Noir from many different sites. Most of it looked very promising. Some of it did not. All of our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is in now. We are now waiting for the Riesling and it looks like we are going to get more than 7 days of beautiful weather starting tomorrow which should allow for a fantastic Riesling harvest! The highlight was some beautiful late hanging Pommard at the Shea Vineyard which only got better with the rains and cool weather. The low point was some Chardonnay that only hit 18 degrees brix but had to be harvested due to encroaching botrytis bunch rot. With the good comes the bad I guess. But surprisingly this year, there is less bad than we feared.
Early on in the harvest, I believed the worst possible outcome was on hand. Let’s face it, it didn’t look good for a while there. But you know what? The fruit is surprisingly nice. Flavors picked up and acids came down. The fermentations look and small very healthy and, actually, intensely fruity!
The wines that we are bleeding off from the first fermenations are incredibly dark and rich with beautiful aromas and lovely structure. The acids are high and the alcohols are low while the wines are flirting between lush and lithe. This could turn out to be very interesting.
The crew is weary. We are really only at halftime now. Today I counted over 65 cold soaks in the winery and only 12 active fermentations. The early harvested fruit is now pressed off and being put into barrels but that only accounts for 118 barrels out of the total 450 barrels that we will fill this year.
My next entry will probably be from New York City as we are leaving on Tuesday for our bi-annual pilgrimmage to the Wine Spectator’s New York Experience for 3 days. Stay tuned. This could get hairy.