Welcome to the Bergstrom Winery Harvest Journal for 2007! Here you will get to read my thoughts on the harvest and the vintage year as it unfolds on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. This is a fun opportunity for me to share with you what we go through as wine is made during the tumultuous, stressful and exciting days of October and November. Harvest is a wonderful experience, filled with great meals, hard work, long days and late nights, camaraderie, and lots of bubbling tanks of fruit and juice. Soon we will know how an entire year’s worth of hard work will end up.
First some thoughts on the 2007 season so far. I think it is fair to say that the 2007 farming season has been one of the toughest in recent years. A good flowering brought on another abundant crop, much like in 2006, which meant that we were very busy in the fields trying to drop green fruit clusters to get our yeilds down from the natural yield of 5-6 tons to the acre to a more reasonable and quality-driven 1.6-2.5 tons to the acre in each of the 17 fields we harvest grapes from.
This year saw some of the strangest weather patterns that I can remember and really reminded everyone who farms here that we do indeed live and work in a “cool climate”. Late July and all of August saw below average precipitation and temperatures with several weeks of cool and cloudy conditions. August did not see more than 3 days in a row with temperatures that hit or peaked over 80 Farenheit. Relative Humidity was higher than normal from May until August which made for one of the worst years in recent history for mildew infection in vineyards. Our team had to work harder than ever to keep our fruit clean and out of harm’s way.
And now that we have worked so hard to get to where we are, we are experiencing a very late year with cool temperatures and the threat of heavy rainfall. Most vineyards are just on the verge of ripeness. Some vineyards have developed good fruit flavors with very ripe seeds and skins and stands to make some interesting wines. Other vineyards still have green and pink berries in the clusters and the juices taste more like green bananas than Pinot Noir. Some vineyards need at least 2 more weeks of hangtime to get sufficient physiological ripeness to balance the lower than normal sugars.
On Tuesday we harvested our first fruit of the year; ripe Pinot Noir from the Bergstrom Vineyard (Dijon clones on Riparia Gloire ruitstock from blocks 1 and 2.) It looks to be of very high quality and is currently cold soaking in three French oak tanks and one stainless steel fermenter. We also harvested some young vine Chardonnay from the Carlton are that looks to be very high quality as well.
What will Mother Nature give us this year? Stay tuned. Tomorrow we start 5 long days of harvesting under threatening skies.