Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Harvest Spin

I've been keeping up on postings on line about harvest around the state. One thing seems to be happening already that I'm calling harvest spin.

A few posts ago I wrote about being surprised about early harvesting going on. I was even more surprised to see pictures of these harvests. The grapes just did not look ripe. Green stems and green seeds in the bins. A few old growers joked about 'panic', and those harvesting shot back with some pretty harsh words about people who 'pick by the numbers'.

Now this week I've seen a few of those early pickers start talking about what a great job they did. How now the weather looks cooler, and there is rain on the way (40% chance of 1/4 inch of rain this week) and the harvest is ruined for everyone else. I'll tell you what I think that is....pure spin.

I think those earlier harvesters got nervous with the little heat wave and worried it would not end. They picked when their grapes got in the sugar ranges they wanted because they worried the sugars would climb too high. I also think those grapes were not ripe yet. Now they are trying to make a bad choice, seem like a good one, even if only to themselves.

The weather has turned cool, but it's in the normal range. There is light rain in the forecast, but just a little, and the vineyards will dry out fine afterwards. Now the patient people are talking about a harvest a week or so earlier than 2005 or 2006, with ripe grapes and lower alcohol wine. That sounds like a great combo to me.

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