The 2010 harvest is almost in the books.
Prior to 2010, the latest that we have ever picked grapes was November 7th. This year we picked our final grapes on November 19th. I could see it coming. The entire vintage from bud break to verasion was delayed due to the cool summer conditions. We typically begin our harvest on September 2nd and this year it wasn't until September 26th that we got our first grapes into the crush pad.
Overall, the quality has been very good. The vineyards, almost without exception, were in great condition through the small heat spikes we got in September and if you held on long enough, were able to achieve an ideal harvest balance of flavors, brix and pH/acid balance.
We brought in 13 different lots made up of 9 different varietals. The largest was the Sauvignon Blanc at 8.5 tons and the smallest was the Syrah from Santa Cruz Mountains at one ton. 95% of our harvest came from vineyards within the Livermore Valley which is pleasing to me because it is the culmination of 5 years of exploring the valley, sifting through the varietals and vineyards that are here, and making a game plan for the future of the winery. We have settled on a handful of extraordinary vineyards that produce unique, delicious wines.
We ended up processing roughly 45 tons of grapes.
Gary Brink was a big help on the crush pad, aiding in processing and cleaning of equipment. John Ignowski and Adam Ono also helped out on the occasional late night and Michael Curran was not involved too many days this harvest, but when we saw him, he made a big impact taking large tasks off of my plate freeing me up to get to the winemaking.
It will be remembered as the vintage for which i bought way too much acid that I ended up not using. Because of the slow maturity and long hang time, as we attained the brix and flavor balance in the vineyard we were able to bring grapes in with excellent acid/pH numbers.
Thank you to my wife for once again putting up with the unpredictable, frenetic schedule of being a winemaker. September was mellow but when the grapes started to pour in, there were many times that I arrived home after midnight during the month of October.