Summer is upon us. After a gorgeous Spring filled with warm and sometimes hot
days, we are now settled into our usual summer weather pattern. The days
begin with fog that breaks in the late morning giving way to endless blue
skies, hot afternoons and cool evenings. This is perfect weather for growing
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.
To us it’s always amazing how the seasons roll around
and come back again, each with their own predictable weather pattern. True,
there are often days of unusual weather that don’t fit into the seasons
historical patterns (especially now with global warming) but generally we can
predict how each season will play out weather-wise. Are the gods favoring us?
So far the seasons have lived up to all the predictions–good for us farmers
who need a bit of foresight into what’s coming up.
And right now our vineyards look great, like a sea of
green sailing through time. The vines stand tall, the rows have been sheared
and de-leafed, and are devoid of weeds thanks to our vineyard manager
Sebastian who spent many days trimming the vines and cleaning away the leaves
that blocked the sun from getting to the grape clusters. Maintaining the
vines is an important part of getting the best crop possible.
Look a little closer and you can see our new crop of
Pinot Noir grapes, hanging at the bottom of the green vines. They are coming
along well, the clusters exposed to the east, facing the morning sun. The
little grapes have been growing steadily bigger over the last few months. Their
clusters are tight and clean. With all the rain we experienced over the past
winter and spring, and good weather between now and harvest time, we predict
a better than average harvest this year. A heavier harvest. We shall see.
We’re hoping! That would mean more wine! Yay!
Soon veraison will be taking place again–that magical
change in the grapes that turn them from green little balls into juicy purple
orbs. It is a signal that harvest time is coming. Like a zucchini that starts
with a blossom. When the blossom fades and curls up you know you better keep
an eye on that zucchini or soon you will have a monster on your hands. Well,
maybe it’s not quite like a zucchini but you know what we mean.
Our 2016 Pinot Noir is almost finished aging in the barrel
and we will be bottling it on August 11th. We barrel tasted it at the last
wine club event on April 27th and everyone agreed it was so good it was ready
to drink but with 3 more months of oak-barrel aging it will be even better!
With one Pigs & Pinot Award in our pocket we have visions of another
award winner in the works. Needless to say we are looking forward to enjoying
our new Pinot Noir vintage in the near future.
Our 2016 vintage Chardonnay has just been bottled on
July 7th at Martin Ray Winery. Last year we made our first vintage of
Chardonnay and we were very pleased with how it turned out. When we had our
first sip we knew we had a winner! We think those of you who tasted it
enjoyed it as much as we did. The 2015 vintage was served exclusively at our
events but we will be offering our 2016 Chardonnay to our wine club members
in the near future. We can’t wait!
Our next wine club pick up party is scheduled for
Sunday, September 17th. We hope you can make it. Besides lots of wine we will
have a “no theme” barbeque. Come as you like and enjoy the latest vintages,
and great food! We hope to have a band, too. We’ll be sending out the
invitation with further details in the next month or so. Keep your eye out
See you in September!
Dan and Jan and everyone at
O’Connell Vineyards and Vine Hill House
"True love is like a fine wine...
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