Hurrying and Waiting

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“Hurrying and delaying are similar ways of trying to resist the present” – Alan Watts



ow is the big silence, the calm before the storm.  The grapes are ripening and the 2018 harvest will be upon us before we know it. The weather has been a little screwy with some vineyards reporting average crops and others are reporting lower, some are still flowering and others will be picked soon.

For us, all we can do is prepare the best we can and get ready for another harvest. This year, we are sourcing most of our fruit from the Santa Barbara area and Paso Robles. I am getting excited because we will be dealing with award-winning vineyards and new a varietal, Grenache.

This year we are sourcing our Cabernet Sauvignon from the same vineyard as the 2015 & 2016 vintages. This year our block is slightly higher in elevation than in 2016, which was higher than in 2015. It seems as we go higher up the hill, the better the fruit and we are hoping for some gold.

We are also sourcing Malbec from the same vineyard as our 2015 Gold Medal winning wine. I am looking forward to this – just to see what we can do with it and how the two vintage compare.

We are also going back to Lodi for some more of the great 2016 Zin we have. The wine on the shelf is from 9-year-old vines and we have some barrels of wine from 80+-year-old vines which you haven’t even tasted yet. This year we are getting our entire lot from the Old Vine Zin vineyards which should be fun.

Now is the time of year when Mother Nature begins to change how this vintage will turn out. Hot days and heat waves cause the fruit to ripen quickly; however, it might not be mature. Cold nights preserve the acidity in the wine, but hot nights leave the wine flat and flabby. Dry conditions dehydrate the fruit. Rain brings molds, mildews and rots which is never a good thing. Hale, critters, and insects can destroy a vineyard quickly. I am just glad I am not a farmer.

At this point, all we can do is to wait and see. But our hopes are high, but so are our nerves.