We can smell…harvest 2008!
Harvest has begun and we can smell it everywhere, the sweet smell of fermenting grapes. The 2008 season has been one of almost biblical proportions. It started with an early end to the winter rains, severe frosts in much of northern California which took an especially heavy toll on many Pinot and Chardonnay producers, wicked forest fires over the summer, and finished with a severe heat spike in early August. Some in Wine Country are waiting for the locusts to arrive.
In Marin County we feel like we've dodged a bullet. We saw little frost and the August heat wave was non-existent for our chilly coastal sites. We see a beautiful crop of uber-tiny Pey-Marin Pinot and Riesling berries and have our fingers crossed that the current perfect weather will remain until we can get them in the barn, so to speak. Mother Nature may even help us make a late-harvest Riesling. Sprechen zie Trockenbeerenauslese?
We anticipated a heat spell in early September and geared up for it quite early so our Oakville vineyard (Textbook) in Napa Valley made it through with flying colors. Textbook Cabernet yields look down, but clusters are loose, tasty and in very fine shape indeed.
Down the coast in the chilly Santa Lucia Highlands our Pey-Lucia Pinot Noir site didn’t see much of a heat spike and while forest fires dimmed the skies in July we see no ill effects at all. Our Pinot clusters and berries are medium-sized and very dark – classic SLH stuff that is sure to please the Pinots-lover out there.
We’ve enjoyed some very nice accolades from the wine experts recently; Pey-Marin Riesling: 92 points, Textbook Cabernet: 94 points, Spicerack Syrah: 91 points, among many, many others. As always, the most rewarding comments come from our great supporters across the country (and globe). Perhaps the highlight of the summer was having our Pey-Marin Riesling requested to participate at the global Riesling Rendezvous Conference in Seattle. This technical conference included the top Riesling producers and wine media in the world. We'll tell you that sitting next to Dr. Loosen and the Pierre Trimbach (600 years of family experience) makes one feel quite humble. But their insight and generous comments on our Pey-Marin Riesling were a thrill to hear. Lastly, the adoption of a Riesling "Dryness Scale", based in part upon the Pey-Marin Riesling dryness scale was a rewarding nod to a "job well done".
As always, think globally, but eat and drink locally.
Jonathan & Susan Pey