Harvest……At last.

Today, after 9 months of farming, the harvest has begun. After months of mud, days of wildflowers, heavy rain, hot hot heat, and everything in-between, we are completing the circle. I know I’ve said it before (sometimes even in April, June and January)….this is my favorite time of the year.

This morning, under beautiful sunny skies, our farming team gathered at the young block outside of the winery and we talked about the year. Buckets and picking shears in hand. Nervous anticipation. We reflected upon the countless days of hard work that we had seen up until this point. Now was the time to complete a year’s worth of work towards quality with careful picking.

We picked two of our youngest blocks in de Lancellotti Vineyard and the Winery block. Usually, we would hope to push harvest into October for these sites but as many of you already know, this has been Oregon’s hottest year on record. The young vines are beginning to show the signs of the stress and dehydration with yellowing leaves and shriveling fruit. So today we brought in a small 4 tons of fruit…only the tip of the iceberg so to speak.

But the beginning of harvest in any way shape or form is a celebration. And the winery was a jovial place to be today. The tasting room was busy all day with people from near and far. A group from America and Bordeaux was enjoying an epicurean dining/tasting experience inside of the barrel cellar and the harvest-deck was busy with fruit, workers, bees and ladybugs. Needless to say, champagne was opened and toasts were made. It is definitely a happy time.

From here we will see little harvest activity for the next 7 days, as we are planning on bottling the 2008 wines next week. The weather forecast looks outstanding with some heat in the early part of next week and then dry and warm towards the end of next week. The Older vines in the valley still need a week or two to build sugars and drop acids.

Here are some pictures from today to enjoy. Maybe we’ll see you around the winery during the next few days. If not, you can always rely on an update here every few days as it all unfolds.

Cheers!

picking the "back-breaker" winery block

picking the "back-breaker" winery block

Even Lily and Grace are getting into the mood.....ahhh harvest love!

Even Lily and Grace are getting into the mood.....ahhh harvest love!

careful selection in picking the right clusters in the winery block

careful selection in picking the right clusters in the winery block

good technique!

good technique!

Mr. Chavez running a smoothe picking and testing flavors...what a multi-tasker.

Mr. Chavez running a smoothe picking and testing flavors...what a multi-tasker.

young-vine clusters starting to show dehydration (shriveling) in de Lancellotti Vineyard.

young-vine clusters starting to show dehydration (shriveling) in de Lancellotti Vineyard.

The queen bee in the Mini harvest machine :)

new Bergstrom barrels from Burgundy getting ready for new wine!!!

new Bergstrom barrels from Burgundy getting ready for new wine!!!

The queen bee in the Mini harvest machine 🙂

Posted in Harvest 2009