Oct 2011

October

…started with a rainy Monday, October 3rd.

OCTOBER 3 SAW A WEE BIT OF RAIN. PHOTO AT WOHLERS AND RIVER ROAD

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).

BOTRYTIS EXPLODES. THE 2011 STORY.

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.

OCTOBER LEAVES. DROPPED FROM FRUIT ZONE. PICKERS REMOVED THEM FOR EASIER ACCESS TO CLUSTERS. NOTICE THAT THEY ARE MOSTLY YELLOW, ONE INDICATOR OF RIPE GRAPES

WE DID GET SOME NICE MARTINELLI ZIO TONY PINOT CLONES ON OCT 3. CALERA ON THE LEFT, ELITE ON THE RIGHT

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.

CABERNET IS A THICKER SKIN, LOOSER CLUSTER, LATER RIPENING VARIETAL. NOT AS PRONE TO ROT

SIGN SAID TERRA ROSSA. NOT SURE WHOSE CABERNET THIS IS.

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.

DON'T FORGET, SOME OF THE HARVEST STARTED IN THE 2ND HALF OF SEPTEMBER. HELFER CHARDONNAY AT PEAK FERMENTATION OCT 7

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:

HORSE PASTURE NEAR KING VINEYARD RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY

IT WAS A SCENE RIGHT OUT OF A DISNEY FAIRYTALE. CLICK PIC TO SEE ALL THE HORSES

LOW HANGING FRUIT STILL LEFT IN THE ORCHARD

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.

SYRAH, JUST BEFORE BEING PLUCKED. OCT 24.

I LOVE THIS PICTURE. BEAUTIFUL BUT SICK. THAT LONELY RED PLANT.

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