Veraison has arrived in the valley and seems to be moving by pretty quickly. Having 2010 and 2011 still fresh in the mind skews my perspective a bit on what is normal here in the valley. Im often saying to myself that we are really far ahead and this year is looking great! (great: referring to early harvest and fruit quality)
I then have to remind myself that in terms of the vine's physiological processes, this year is closer to average. (in terms of degree days, [heat accumulation during the course of a growing season]. That is not to take anything away from what looks to be an extremely high quality year. It really is looking great out there!
Here on the hill we have made a pass of dropping fruit and pulling leaves. The guys are now staying busy with developing the piece of land behind Cyril's house. They are pounding stakes and removing rocks. End posts have just been installed. Soon the irrigation system will be installed up there as well. At Anderson we are busy with ground work and removing rocks. The next step there will be to prepare the ground for the winter. This entails laying down an erosion control cover crop on open ground and covering the ground with hay.
Now that berries are starting to size up, we have been working on forecasting what we will be bringing in to the winery this fall. So far it is looking very exciting. A couple little rain events back during flowering caused a little bit of shatter. To our favor, in my opinion. The fruit to canopy ratio really seems to be in balance this year. Not a lot of fruit needed to hit the ground and there wasn't a ton of canopy manipulation needed. Balance seems to be the theme so far this year.