This past week the warmer weather (and sun) have finally arrived. After a very cool, almost cold, Spring all of us in the wine industry are very happy to see this change. In just the past week, the vines have really come to life and are starting to look healthy. I think many of the visitors to wine country are also loving the heat and sun – after all, people come from all over the world to visit sunny California. Of course, we have to remind them that it’s actually Central and Southern California that’s mostly sunny.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that we’re back on track in terms of timing for harvest. It still takes a certain amount of time from bloom to harvest and most vineyards are just blooming now. We will definitely be looking at a late harvest this year. How late? Well, that remains to be seen, but it looks like anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks – assuming the heat remains constant over the next two months.
The good news is that unlike last year (at least so far), the heat has come on nice and slow. Last year, you may recall we saw a heat spike of more than 50-degrees in some areas. It was a huge issue and took many labor hours to counteract what happened. Last week most areas were in the upper 60’s and have slowly moved into the 80’s over a period of days. The warmest areas today saw 95 plus, but generally those regions are used to that type of heat and are growing grapes that thrive in that climate.
What are my plans? Well, it’s warm outside and that means shorts and t-shirts and plenty of Rose, grilled foods and picnics. Of course, there will be a good mix of other white and red wines in there too, but this is an excellent season for pink wine. I’ll be consuming more than my share, that’s for sure.
I’ll keep you updated on any new info from wine country….