Jeff’s Corner 8-12-22

Hello again, everyone!

Last week, we began the final chapter of our five-part series of a grape vine’s life cycle by discussing what goes on in the vineyard leading up to harvest. We learned from our vineyard manager (Clint Messimer) about the types of sampling and chemistry involved that will determine exactly when we pick grapes.

This week, we’ll check out some specifics on a very difficult 2022 growing season. I doubt I need to mention that this has been one of the very hottest summers on record, and the heat and drought have been the dominate challenges we’ve had to face. There are many similarities between this year and the brutally hot and dry 2011 vintage.

Like last Friday, I’m going straight to the source and we’ll get to hear some intersting comments not only from Clint, but also our owner, Brian Heath.

First, here’s Brian:

“Clint can give you specifics on the estate but here are a few thoughts:

Drought, drought, drought.
Spring hot weather and winds created a lot of “shatter”. Basically the blooms or part of the blooms blow off the vine which reduces the number of clusters and the size of the clusters. We had it in the estate and west Texas had it too. Some varieties like Viognier were hurt more than others based on where the vines were in the bloom development cycle. Also, the dry weather resulted in smaller berries. While crop load is decreased it might result in a more extracted wine. Could be a year of low quantity and high quality which we will know better after harvest and fermentation.”

Now, on to Clint:

“Brian pretty much got everything. I would add that the extreme heat is probably giving us some extra hang time. The vines mostly shut down above 98 degrees and about 60% of the last four months have been over 98. Also, we’ve only had 6.5″ of rain since January 1, and 2.5″ of that was the dumper a few weeks ago. Small berries across the board except the Monty (Montepulciano).”

Well, that about wraps it up for this series. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. I want to extend a very special “Thank You” to Clint and Brian for their insightful comments. They are two of the busiest people I have ever known, yet always take time to answer my never-ending questions.

See ya soon…