Yes I have. My new year’s resolution was to try and have a blog post or update at once a week. That lasted roughly six months (pretty sure that is an above average finish for most resolutions) and since June I’ve been slackin’.
Last month I was able to get out a pre-harvest update so I figure it is about time to do a proper harvest update now that the Riesling has come in and the Merlot is schedule to come in later this week!
Many of you know how giddy I was, yes… giddy, to get the 2013 Riesling into the MTGA lineup and I am extremely happy that I am able to carry that over to 2014. About 2.5 tons were brought in during the wee hours of the morning on September 11th. The grapes were quickly pressed and the fermentation is off and too the races. Like the 2013 release I am looking to keep this Riesling in stainless steel and make sure it is ready for bottling next spring. The grapes did end up coming in pretty early compared to last year but the vineyards to sit in a fairly warm area outside of the town of Sonoma. Pair that with a warm, dry year and an early harvest is what you get. That said the grapes did hang a little longer than expected to ensure that there was plenty of great flavor.
The 2014 Merlot is very much in the same boat as the Riesling; it isn’t coming in quite as early but it is having to hang on the vine a little longer than expected for all of the flavors to develop. What I have noticed out in the vineyard is that the vineyard seem a little lighter compared to the last couple years so it will be interesting to see what the overall yield from the vineyard is this year. The fruit is looking and tasting great and should be making its way to the winery in the next couple of days.
One of the major questions, or concerns, that keeps popping up this year is the drought that California is experiencing. Luckily enough the little spurt of rain that we saw in March was able to provide a good chuck of water that might have been needed for this growing season. In general it always seems that drought years provide some pretty good growing conditions. With a lack of water the vines are forced to struggle which, in theory, helps concentrate the flavors to provide a great starting point for the winemaking process. Of course it is going to be a fair amount of time before we ever see the end result of this harvest but there is one thing that continues to be true: it is still hard to have a bad vintage in California.
There will definitely be more to follow. Stay tuned for more 2014 harvest updates!