Harvest begins in the Vineyard
Picking season is here on the hill. I am writing this with semi-sticky hands after we just picked our first block of reds (Merlot) here at Chappellet this morning. Merlot typically comes in first, with Cab Franc and Malbec a close second. Cabernet will be coming in in about a week or two.
In the later part of this growing season, we have seen pretty moderate temperatures without a lot of fluctuation. This has led to slow and steady ripening of all varieties. However, this year nature worked with us in providing a very nice heat wave this past weekend that pushed ripening along nicely. Fruit quality and fruit condition is looking fantastic! The yields are good. This is shaping up to be a very good year. (I say this while knocking on wood in hopes that the weather Gods don's spite me for saying so). Its looking like from here on out things will be coming in pretty steadily. The cellar crews and the vineyard crews will be staying busy!
Here is a picture of the guys during the pick. As you can see they prefer the over the vine method of delivering the grapes to the half ton bins rather then the under the vine method.