The Kenwood Press|
Vintage 2013 on the way
Harvest 2013 is so close that by the time you read this some of our Sauvignon Blanc grapes will already be fermenting in the winery. But right now, it's hard to exaggerate the building tension. Regular readers of this column will know that I tend to think about our relationship with the vines in human terms. If so, it's like we are 8 months, 3_ weeks pregnant. And the harvest this year looks like it may be about 10 days early.
We can forecast the harvest Brix (sugar) to be around 23 percent sugar. During harvest if you visit us and squeeze the juice of one of our bunches into your mouth you will find that the flavors are of fresh pineapple and apricot nectar. The job of our winemaker friends is to shepherd the juice through fermentation and processing to not lose any of these flavors and aromas. Pay attention, winemaking staff; we will be sending you some great grapes.
Javier's Zinfandel Report
We would like to thank Chuy and his team for their extra work getting us ready for harvest. They came through a few days ago and checked on each and every one of us. They cut off any bunch areas that were not uniformly dark blue-black. We Zinfandel are infamous for some of our bunches not ripening uniformly - such that a portion of a mostly mature bunch may still have an area with hard green berries. For great wine, it is critical that we are all ready together, and Chuy's men made certain that each of our bunches had a home of its own, not touching or overlapping any other bunch.
Some of our bunches had a small bunch shoulder that they removed. Finally, they removed a few extra leaves so that all of us would have air and light. All this is to minimize danger of bunch rot or rain damage. All of our bunches now are ready for our push on to a perfect maturity with perfectly uniform bunches. Thank you Chuy, and get ready…we expect our harvest to be early - somewhere close to the third week of September.
We Zinfandel have set a high bar for ourselves with our vintage 2010 winning gold medals at three major tastings. We do not expect anything less for our coming vintage 2013.
Vines, grapes, picking, work and winemaking crews, all pay attention. We are about to make a lot of people happy - our bankers, our large family, and, most important, all of our 450 Association members who depend on us for great wine that will gladden the hearts of all of us. Our 2013 Journey to Harvest together is almost complete. Let's go for a rush together to the finish line.