A lot of people are beginning to compare this vintage to 1998. Certainly at this point it does have some similarities, but having done this for 23 or so years now, you learn real quick that there are no comparisons that can last the whole season.
We did have a large (generous) harvest in 1997 and we did see a large harvest in 2005. We are not having a warm early spring, and that is true of 1998 also. However, the proof is in the pudding, and we still have the rest of spring, all of summer and some of fall before we get everything in. Still comparisons are being made, but I think itâ€™s too early to do so.
We certainly can say we will have a smaller crop this year than last year, for two reasons. Last years crop was a generous yield, and last spring wasnâ€™t as good a spring as in 2004. The spring of the year before is what sets up fruitfulness for the following year. In other words, 2004 was a nice warm spring, shorts wearing weather in February. That sets up a nice fruitful harvest for 2005. In 2005 it wasnâ€™t nearly as warm and nice in the spring, and thatâ€™s when the possible fruitfulness in the buds is set for 2006. So knowing what kind of spring we had in 2005 along with the generous yield in 2005 usually means we wonâ€™t have a big harvest this year. This is in our favor if we are going to be a little bit late with harvest this year.