What can I say? It’s now the last week of September and I hardly remember there is wine waiting to ferment, just two little lots of delicious Zinfandel waiting, waiting…just like us. This year, harvest has taken on a personality of its own or lack there of. Pinot and Chardonnay in the Russian River is wrapping up, Zinfandel in Alexander Valley and Dry Creek is hit or miss, and Bordeaux Varietals? Well who knows!? I’ve heard some blocks are sitting at around 22-23 brix! Now yes I know this is a generalization and if you go around and ask specific wineries you are going to get many different answers. Folks like Old World Winery have JUST started harvest in the last 48 hrs.
First Grapes @ Stryker Sonoma, Chardonnay
Stryker Sonoma (where I call home) is finished with whites, and just warming up with Zinfandel. What does this all mean? If you look at the papers and large growers it’s another lousy year in Northern California. But there is a golden lining to this so called “Crap”. The little guy, the winery that produced less than 20,000 cases is going to produce some of the most incredible wines of the decade in my opinion. Folks that care more about quality then yield. The producers who revel in grape tonnage of 1-2 tons an acre are giddy! Low yields are exactly what those artisan winemakers crave. Want proof? Head to Artisano mid November, get it straight from the horses mouth. Winemakers will be pouring those small lot wines. My guess is these winemakers are going to be a little exhausted, but starry eyed as they talk about this years harvest. Mother Nature has done some incredible work for us this year, lets hope this rain next week is more of a drizzle. ~ Vino Votary