Another tale of two vintages

It is early on the morning of October 7th. We have now harvested just over one hundred tons of fruit from most of our vineyards. What remains to be picked is roughly half of the Bergstrom Vineyard, half of de Lancellotti Vineyard, half of the Shea Vineyard and most of our old vines from Temperance Hill and Hyland as well as some key Chardonnay blocks from Carabella and Wren.

We have definitely seen another example of how Oregon Pinot Noir vintages have become more and more a tale of two vintages. For example….This year we saw big summer heat which really dehydrated and stressed out the younger vines. These vineyards needed to be harvested early because the fruit was shriveling up rapidly. The sugars were sky-high and acids were fairly low for our taste. These wines which were harvested in the third week of September will make robust, round fleshy wines with higher alcohol levels much like 2003 and 2006 vintage wines. The vineyards that remain to be picked, however, have benefitted from cooler weather and will definitely yield wines of a different nature, almost as if they were wines from a different vintage. These older vines have been able to withstand the heat and make it into the cooler part of our Pacific Northwest Autumn and are holding on to their acidities while they build tremendous flavors. This is definitely an exciting vintage!

Today we are going back into the Bergstrom Vineyard to pick the Pommard block, our best block of fruit. We picked our high-density blocks and the Dijon-115 block at Bergstrom yesterday and we will let the surly old Wadenswil block hang a little longer as it usually benefits from the longest hang-time possible.

The mornings right now are breathtaking. The sunrises are vivid orange and pink and the waning moon (almost full) is still high in the sky as the sun comes up. The colors are exploding across the valley in trees and shrubs and meadows. This is why we live here. I was joking yesterday with Paul de Lancellotti that this is the time when we need to take mental images and save them so that we can upload them in January as mental screen-savers when the weather is gloomy and wet and cold.

The mood at the winery is good. People are tired from long days but we are working hard towards a common goal and having fun doing so.

Talk to you soon!

The Willamette Valley Hazelnuts are also being harvested as we are busy picking grapes.

The Willamette Valley Hazelnuts are also being harvested as we are busy picking grapes.

grape must slowly rising in a tank as it ferments....time for punchdowns!!

grape must slowly rising in a tank as it ferments....time for punchdowns!!

The Bergstrom Vineyard about to be picked over a three day push.

The Bergstrom Vineyard about to be picked over a three day push.

Posted in Harvest 2009.