March 2011


Some vineyards prune as early as November; others as late as early March. Generally, March is a time for vineyard maintenance, vacations, bottling, winery cleaning – at Ramey Cellars (where I was a cellarrat for the 1st half of 2011) many of the 2010 wines in barrel were completing Malolactic Fermentation.

I also have notes that it was sunny and warm at the end of March. 22C – 30C (70-86 degrees F) around the Russian River, Alexander Valley and Dry Creek. In Oregon there was plenty of driving rain and snowstorms in the Siskiyou Mountains when I went to visit Mom and wineries in The Willamette Valley. They are 3 weeks behind “normal” for the 2011 vintage.

Early March in West Dry Creek Valley

Head-pruned vines usually indicate Zin. West Dry Creek Road

Dry Creek Valley is known for Zin. You're lucky if you can get 1 case from A. Rafanelli

Not much going on in the vineyards so March is a good time to bottle wine. Ramey 09 RRV Chardonnay!

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