We finished harvesting on Thursday September 10th and are now winding down what has been the most unusual harvest to date.
I have never seen more beautiful fruit on the vine! The berries and clusters were small and bursting with flavor. Some warm weather at the tail end of ripening launched us into picking on August 20th, nearly two weeks earlier than is typical.
We harvested most of our spectacular fruit before the fires came to our part of Wine Country. Though we have been monitoring for early signs of smoke taint and to date, the analyses have given us no indication that our fruit was damaged. However, we cut harvest short because more smoke came to the vineyard and we noticed the signs that the remaining fruit was being damaged by smoke. It means we will make less wine than we usually do, but it will be among the best we have ever made.
Most of the grapes have fully fermented and are now settled into barrels. Across the board, the wines are deeply colored, highly aromatic, and delicious. We have just two tanks fermenting away—in fact, one was foaming over with magenta colored foam just prior to this writing. This early in the fermentation process the wine smells like cotton candy and candy apples! By the end of the week, all will be quiet in the cellar again.