Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Vineyard Update - August 2010

 With the change-up in weather this week, I took the opportunity to ask some questions of my winemaking partner, Mark McKenna about how the current conditions, as well as the overall season, and how they will affect the 2010 harvest.  Here’s a digest of our conversation.

Stefano:  How has this summer's weather affected the growing season?

Mark:  It's been as close to perfect as we could ask for.  The cooler summer, with lots of rain in the spring has slowed ripening, giving the grapes more "hang time".  Longer hang time gives more time for the greater development of flavor and complexity.  Best year, so far, since 1999.

Stefano:  Will the hot spell we're currently experiencing help, hinder or otherwise affect the crop - especially this close to harvest?

Mark:  If anything it will catch us up a bit; but, it has not been extreme in any way and the vineyards look so healthy up to this point that I don't see it as much of an issue.

Stefano:  If you could create the perfect weather for the remainder of this year's growing season, what would that be?

Mark:  Mid 80s and dry.

Stefano: When will the harvest begin, and how long will it run?

Mark:  Whites (Pinot Grigio) will start next week and reds will come 10 to 14 days after that.  Zins and Syrahs first as always, then on to Sangiovese, Cab, Petite Sirah, and Barbera.  We're almost always done by the second week of November.   

Stefano:  Any other top of mind factoids that readers might enjoy hearing about?

Mark:  Avio has the only Estate grown Pinot Grigio in Amador County and it is often the very first field in the County to be harvested.  As goes Avio, so goes Amador.  

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