September 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

If we’re learning anything, it’s how much variation exists between vintages in Virginia.  This time last year, for instance, we had already picked about 40 tons of fruit, and in some cases had already fermented and barreled down the newly made wine.  Today, however, we’re just twiddling our thumbs, (im)patiently waiting for proper flavor development.  Not only were rains in August heavier than normal, but, at the start of September, we got a 10 day stretch of rain and overcast days, slowing ripening to a near-halt and creating pretty good conditions for mildew, were it to want to thrive.

Chardonnay grapes enjoying the sun after a liberating leaf-pull

Luckily it did not.  Our vineyard crew spent many enjoyable days in ponchos and rain boots pulling leaves from around grape clusters to allow airflow around berries, which helps dry things out to avoid potential rot problems.  Seems to have paid off.  We’ve got healthy fruit hanging after some pretty bad rainstorms.  Now that the sun’s out, we wait.

Like a nude beach for vinifera

 We have picked a few small lots – one of Viognier, and one of Albariño, which was being stolen, grape by grape by grape, by our neighborhood robins.  Weather looks good for the next seven or eight days, so we’ll be doing what we do best: waiting.

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