It’s Labor Day and we are on our second day of picking Sauvignon Blanc from the Creek Block. We started last Friday, August 31st. What a beautiful morning it was! We had remnants of some clouds from a tropical storm that came up the coast from Mexico.
I think southern Monterey County and Paso Robles got a little rain. We didn’t get any rain, but the clouds were really beautiful, especially at sunrise.
We went after 6 tons on Friday and we are going after another 12 tons today. That will finish this block of Sauvignon Blanc. The juice that got pressed into a tank on Friday tastes really good. I’m pleased with the condition of the fruit and the vines right now.
Even though we had some heat, the quality of everything is looking really good so far, so I’m happy. One of the things the heat does is compressing the picking. It’s not necessarily bad for the grapes. You can still get good quality fruit. The issue becomes the work that is involved in picking it, trucking it and processing it, because a lot of people want to do it at the same time.
For example, on Friday, 6 tons with a full crew of 16 guys would have taken about an hour and a half, maybe, especially Sauvignon Blanc, it’s fairly easy picking. But, because it’s warm lots of people want to do different stuff. Not only did Larry have an outside vineyard management company picking at night for another winery, he was also picking a block of Chardonnay for two wineries that are splitting the fruit. So he basically had to split his crew 3 ways, so it took us longer than it should have to pick those 6 tons. In fact I would have picked more, but I didn’t want to go on much past the late morning when it’s so warm.
That’s the kind of thing that can get ya, and it’s the same thing this morning. It should have been all my crew this morning, well it’s not all my crew, I did get the big part of the crew but not all of it. That’s one of the main things that happens (what heat does and how it affects harvesting). Of course the same thing is happening at the winery. Everything is backing up because everyone wants to do the same thing at the same time. But the fruit quality looks really good.
In terms of the weather, it’s at least 10 to 12 degrees cooler this morning when we started at 6:30am. On Friday it was closing in on 70 degrees at the same time. So hopefully the full 10 degrees cooler will carry out throughout the day. We are supposed to see some cooling tomorrow, but then heat back up again. We are a little bit above normal, but as of right now, I’m pleased with everything I see.
Later today at Laird they will be racking the Sauvignon Blanc juice that we pressed on Friday. It’s been settling in a nice cold tank over the weekend. That will get yeasted and put down to a mixture of new French oak and stainless steel barrels, as I normally do. We will press today’s Sauvignon Blanc pick also, and tomorrow we will go after the Bressler Merlot.