|Loire Chenin Blanc|
|Cote du Beaune Pinot Noir Harvest|
In the weeks of this year's cool and wet Spring, local vine flowering and berry set were challenged. Fewer flowers, many knocked off by seasonal rains, poor pollination and the resulting shatter of a weak berry set indicated early on that the years harvest would be drastically affected. Trying to farm my few Sonoma County vines sustainably, an outbreak of a fungal powdery mildew, encouraged by cool temperatures, veiled Springs newly grown canopy, just as my vine curtain's fruit was forming. Outside of the seasonal rains, I purposely stopped supplemental irrigation, the canopy was then de-leafed to improve air circulation/exposure and an application of a sulfur mixture was applied to abate the fungus outbreak. Then I crossed my fingers.
|Bortrytis Noble Rot or Grey Mold|
|Magic in the cellars of Bordeaux|
In point of fact, great wines are made in every vintage, and great winemakers will consistently get the most out of the quality fruit they receive. Our global evolution in viticultural science, vineyard management practices and enology simply means that winemakers today have better tools and understanding to produce quality wines. The proof will be in the bottles of the 2011 vintage. But not in my ornamental grape garden. The ripening grapes that were not attacked by Grey Mold have now been eaten by migrating starlings. Overall, I think it will be a much lighter grape harvest this season.