After last year we thought for sure there couldn’t be another year that cold again any time soon. Never. Can’t happen.
Yet, here we are in the middle of the ripening season and this year has shaped up to be very similar to last year in terms of heat accumulation, or shall we say lack therof.
It’s the end of September, we haven’t picked a single grape yet and the weather forecast is calling for several inches of rain next week.
What to do? Without ripe grapes on the vine, nothing really. We must take what mother nature hands out and make the best of it. Fortunately the grape varieties that make up Continuum’s vineyard, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and petit verdot all have loose clusters and thick grape skins so rain doesn’t tend to harm the fruit as long as the wet weather is relatively short lived and followed by dry weather. We will have to be patient and wait for mother nature to play her hand before we get to play ours.
Last year, we feared that the cold year would leave us with wines of insufficient ripeness and depth. So far however, the 2010 blend is shaping up to be an excellent wine, although in the end there may not be as much of it as we had hoped. It shows as a testament to Continuum’s vineyard site that such a wine can be made in a far less than optimal year. You might say that our vineyard has good fundamentals.
So, even though things look ominous at the moment I feel confident that we have plenty of time to get our vineyards to optimal ripeness during October and come out of a late 2011 harvest with some more fabulous wine in our cellar.
We’ll just have to get comfortable with the idea of having our Thanksgiving turkey in the winery while we press off lots of cabernet, and opening Christmas presents between filling barrels with petit verdot. All part of the fun!