Monday, August 18, 2008

Harvest Timing

After a very cool Spring and Early Summer, August has come with a mini-heat wave. It has not been super hot, just steady temps in the 90's for two weeks running.

Right now it looks like not only are we caught up from the cool Spring, we're actually ahead of schedule. That really doesn't mean much though right now. Last year it looked like we were two weeks ahead of schedule and then we had cool weather and some rain come in early October. Some people were worried it would ruin harvest. The grapes were not just ripe yet and if the cool rainy weather stayed, we'd have unripe grapes.

The weather cleared though around the 15th and we had 5 weeks of warm sunshine. We mostly harvested three weeks later, in the last week of October. So an 'early year', became a normal year. Maybe even a week later than normal.

In 2005 we thought we might have an early harvest, but everyone was worried that the plants were behind schedule. That may seem confusing, but what had happened was the grape sugars, were well ahead of flavor development and everyone worried they would have to pick before the grapes got ripe flavors because the sugars would be too high. Then September came and we had 9 weeks of mild, sunny weather. The rush, turned into harvesting at leisure.

This year a lot can still change things. But sitting here in mid August, looking at the grapes and starting to taste them, we may be 2-3 weeks earlier than the past few years. We'll wait and see though, nature has a away of making its own schedule.

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