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Notre Vue

Michael Westrick
 
September 6, 2017 | Agrarian Heritage, Harvest, Rich Tapestry, Winemaker Notes | Michael Westrick

Weathering through Harvest

Weathering HarvestDo you ever wonder why winemakers are always “worried” about the weather at harvest?  Why do we constantly, and I do mean constantly, check the weather reports? 

The main reason is that we need to know if there are any “problems” looming.  Might rain be on the horizon?  And, if so, when?  How much?  What kind of weather follows the rain?  Or perhaps a heat spell is forecast.  How hot?  And for how long?

Armed with that intel, winemakers can then more appropriately decide when to pick a certain block.  For example, if a heat spell is predicted and I have a block that is very close to ready, I may pick it a day or two too early just to protect that fruit and to get it into the house.  On the other hand, if extreme heat is predicted and a block is healthy and far from ripe, I am much less inclined to pick prior to the heat wave.  Weather the heat and regroup.  Same thing with rain.  Sometimes it is better to pick ahead of rain, others times we’ll just sit it out, knowing then that we’ll have to be particularly diligent about looking for and handling bunch rot if it shows.

The  photo shows today’s forecast and it is as close to perfect as a winemaker can hope for!  Cool nights and mornings with sun and warmth in the afternoons.  That combination helps the grapes maintain solid acidity while slowly accumulating sugars.  It concurrently allows winemakers to space out picking dates a little more, which eases the pressure on the pickers, on trucking and on the cellar.  We’re tired enough without the added pressures of inclement weather so have a glass of your favorite Notre Vue or Balverne wine and pray for warm days ahead!  You’ll be rewarded with stunning wines from Harvest 2017!  Cheers!

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