ValleyFogBlog


We Have Color: Harvest 2017 Looms by Jennifer

Over the past few days, a major heatwave brought 100+ degree temperatures all over the San Francisco Bay Area and up north into Mendocino County. San Francisco reached a record high of 106 degrees and friends in Anderson Valley reported that the mercury topped out at more than 110 degrees. During our visits to all four of our Waits-Mast Family Cellars vineyard sources in Mendocino County a week ago, the weather was already hot, even at our traditionally cooler sites.

Anderson Valley on August 25, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast

Anderson Valley on August 25, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast

Grapes had matured considerably since our visit in July, although there was quite a bit of variation, even within one vineyard. As is typically the case, some Pinot Noir clones ripen more quickly than others.

Nash Mill Vineyard on August 26, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast

Nash Mill Vineyard on August 26, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast

Additionally, the geography and orientation of rows within a vineyard can lead to different timing for ripening, as we saw at Nash Mill Vineyard last week.

Nash Mill Vineyard on August 26, 2017. Photo: J. Waits

Nash Mill Vineyard on August 26, 2017. Photo: J. Waits

The heat was a big topic of conversation during our travels. Mariah owner Vicki Tomola pointed out that it’s been a pretty hot summer, telling us that it had been warm and still the night before our visit. We’ve been at that vineyard on cool afternoons, with heavy cloud cover, so this trip was a major departure.

Mariah Vineyard on August 26, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast

Mariah Vineyard on August 26, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast

Our northernmost vineyard source is Oppenlander and our morning visit there on August 27 was hotter than normal, which was expected, as we didn’t see any fog on the Mendocino Coast that morning.

Oppenlander Vineyard on August 27, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast

Oppenlander Vineyard on August 27, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast

Later that day during our tour of Wentzel Vineyard in Anderson Valley, we were struck by the absent afternoon breeze.

Brian Mast and Roland Wentzel at Wentzel Vineyard on August 27, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast

Brian Mast and Roland Wentzel at Wentzel Vineyard on August 27, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast

With temperatures remaining hot throughout the week and getting hotter over Labor Day weekend, it may mean that our pick date estimates are off. We were guessing mid to late September, but we’ll continue to monitor the grapes in consultation with the vineyard owners in the days to come. Harvest 2017, here we go!

 

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