Tuesday, August 11, 2009
The first grapes to be picked in the county make the news every year. Usually it seems to be Chardonnay or Pinot Noir meant for sparkling wine as these are picked earlier (less ripe). And usually it's from Carneros.
This year was a small Pinot Noir vineyard in Sonoma Valley near Glen Ellen--a little warm for Pinot. These grapes are meant for sparkling wine as usual. And it was a much larger crop than last year.
What was surprising is the size of the crop. Last year was a very small crop. Lots of winery folks are at least secretly hoping for another small crop this year as the demand for grapes isn't there. Like a lot of other fruit they cycle through small crops and big crops.
The harvest is predicted to be two-to-three weeks behind the average meaning things may not get into full swing until well into September. Is that a problem? No, as long as the autumn weather stays dry and warm.