Alan Baker
August 24, 2010 | In the Winery | Alan Baker

Send the Sizzle for Shizzle!

heat spike

That's right, it's 106 deg f in Healdsburg right now. Considering it's August 24th, this should be sending us all screaming for the valleys trying to steal someones crew to get grapes picked. However, there is nobody flailing about. Why? Well, you've perhaps heard the endless litany of how cold it is in CA wine country this year. Thanks to the SLOW season the grapes are nowhere near ripe, and this heat spell can't possibly push us over the edge, sugar-wise.

I was in six vineyards today looking at progress and monitoring for heat stress etc. The amazing thing is that because of the cool weather that we've had, the vines were showing almost no signs of heat stress. Several vineyards were getting a good drink to help them shake off the heat but even those vines which hadn't seen a drop from irrigation yet this year were solid as a rock.

Considering we're dipping back down to a stretch of normal, to cool, temps in the next few days, it's a good thing this heat spell is going to whack the vines a bit. Many vineyards were still pushing canopy growth which in a dry warm year would have stopped long ago.

One of our primary vineyards, Floodgate, is just about 100% through veraison so we're starting the countdown to harvest. Sugar sampling will begin next week for all Cartograph vineyards. Today I saw a few guys who are notorious early pickers already out sampling vineyards that still had green grapes showing. Maybe they know something, or maybe they can't ignore the calendar and have never seen such a late season? Better safe than sorry, I guess.

I'll be out later this week with a camera in tow.

- Alan


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