…started with a rainy Monday, October 3rd.
Harvest. Well, for most wineries in Northern California it is. But, this was a weird year. For instance, My Texas Rangers were in the World Series. For the 2nd year in a row! And they lost. Second year in a row. This time it hurt. Wow! Game 6 was exciting though. Hats off to the Cardiac Cards. Meanwhile…some of the Napa wineries were still getting fruit this past week (late October).
This season was prone to rot. The weather too cool to dry out the moisture. Winemakers had to make good decisions on when to pick, how much SO2 to add at the crusher/destemmer, how long to cold soak or wether to cold soak at all. I imagine it was even harder on the natural or native yeast proponents. Mold can take over a vat quickly in these conditions. SO2 is a microbial inhibitor. Inoculating quickly with yeast can also prevent mold growth. Good wine can and was made in 2011, but these choices were critical.
The next two pictures were taken October 6, on HWY 128 in Alexander Valley (near Fred’s family vineyard). The 1st one is Silver Oak. Notice the water tower in the background. The 2nd is Terra Rossa.
Cabernets did get some rot but were not as affected as some of the Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Especially in Alexander Valley where the weather is a bit warmer and the fog doesn’t stick around quite as long as it does in the Russian River Valley or the Sonoma Coast areas. Our Scherrer Vineyard Cabs are going to be phenomenal. Respectable alcohol levels, juicy berry-cassis aromatics with just a touch of varietally correct herb notes balanced with acidity and structure. I love doing the punch-downs on these 3 tanks.
Running errands for Scherrer Winery is a real treat in this Halloween month. On my way to drop off some Platt Vineyard Pinot Noir to the guys at Benovia Winery I met this guy:
Late in the season, the vineyard landscapes are so beautiful. So many colors. Leaves turn to yellow, red and so many shades of green. Usually though, red is a sign of a potassium or phosphorous deficiency, spider mites or worse, leaf roll virus.