Where did the year go? It seems like only yesterday it was April. Harvest and crush 2011 have come and past. All of our new wines with the exception of Late Harvest Petit Manseng have completed fermentation and are resting comfortably in tank and barrel.
Vintage 2011 was by all accounts an up and down year. Bud break was normal, mid to late April, followed by many spring rains. By the first of June it had turned dry and extremely hot, causing fruit set problems primarily with some young Merlot plantings. Off and on rains continued throughout most of the summer but by early August the rains had stopped, it was hot and we were poised for another great vintage. Then, the proverbial bottom fell out.
In late August two tropical systems, Irene and Lee brought the first rains of the harvest season and a sign of what was still to come. Lee hovered over the region for about a week before slowly moving on north and then for the rest of September and into early October it either rained or was cloudy just about every day. Fortunately we were able to harvest ripe Sauvignon Blanc and Petit Manseng before the rains, but our reds were not ripe when the rains came and we decided to wait it out. Looking back now it was the right decision. We lost much of our crop to rot but what we did harvest in late October and early November had gained sufficient ripeness to make some very nice wines. Over this winter we will be bottling most of our 2011 white wines and also assembling the 2011 red wine blends.