September 1, 1995 to September 5, 1998
September 1, 1995
Just to start out, I thought I'd tell a funny story that happened 3 harvests ago -
It was a trying day in Dry Creek Valley. After harvesting 20 tons of Sauvignon Blanc for Ferrari-Carano, we started in on 5 tons for our own Zinfandel. Everything went well until my best friend who was driving my tractor could not see where the tractor wheel ended and my toe began. Of course instead of thinking too much about where to go for the next harvest section in the vineyard, I should have been looking at the tractor wheel. Needless to say I had to crush the 5 tons even though I was bleeding away. THE HARVEST MUST GO ON!!
Now, on to this year's notes:
September 2, 1998 (102 degrees high; 55 low)
My assistant winemaker, Brendan Eliason, arrived this week so I had to put him to work. We drove over to Lambert Bridge Winery this morning to pick up a few new barrels we ordered to add to our inventory of used barrels for the coming harvest. After that, Brendan and I filtered the last two gallons of 1997 late harvest sauvignon blanc, which we then hand-bottled and labeled and plan to sell only at the winery in half bottles for $20. Based on our walk through the vineyard yesterday, it looks like harvest will begin around the 20th of September, starting with the grapes for dry sauvignon blanc which we sell to Lambert Bridge Winery and Ferrari-Carano. Zinfandel for Nalle Winery and for our program will probably start a few days later.
September 3, 1998 (103 degrees high; 53 low)
9:30 a.m. Jeffrey from Ferrari-Carano made his second appearance
of the year with the result of the sugar tests on the sauvignon blanc grapes
being sold to them. Six days ago he had a sugar reading of 17.8. Today
the test was 19.3. It appears that we are 2 to 2-1/2 weeks before harvest
of these grapes. Ferrari-Carano wants 23% sugar.
September 4, 1998 (92 degrees high; 60 degrees low)
The Labor Day weekend traditionally means I'm out in the vineyard counting vines, looking at bunches and preparing for harvest, if not actually harvesting, so it seems odd that I get to take the day off today and drive to Santa Rosa to visit my favorite hangouts: Costco and Best Buy. I always come home with more than my family thinks I need, but you never know when you might have a cookout and need 6 giant bottles of ketchup!
September 5, 1998 (81 degrees high; 61 degrees low)
After almost a week of temperatures in the 100+ range, we woke up today
to gray, overcast skies - which thankfully brought not even a traceable
amount of moisture for the day instead of the predicted thunderstorms.
Trouble with my irrigation pump which is located down by the creek prompted
me to take another look at the vineyard today, and the grapes have dramatically
changed in color and apparent ripeness, so it now appears that the harvest
may begin a little sooner than I had anticipated, but certainly not before
the 15th of the month. The pump needs servicing and new parts so it's a
good thing that we are approaching harvest, as I normally cut off irrigation
2-3 weeks before harvest anyway. While I was out in the vineyard, Pat spent
the morning boxing up cases of wine for a number of people who were planning
to drop by to pick up their 1997 futures orders today. It turned
out that approximately 40 people stopped by and we enjoyed an afternoon
of tasting wine, listening to music, and reacquainting ourselves with so
many of our faithful supporters!