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Wine, a work in progress
"An April cold spell is unusual but not unheard of in Amador, CA. However, on Monday night and early Tuesday morning (4/12/22), temperatures dropped significantly lower and for a significantly longer period of time than anyone anticipated. For vines that had faced near 90° weather the week prior, this extended cold snap (low to mid-20s) proved devastating.
We spent the week walking our vineyards and taking stock. Some areas fared better than others but almost all vineyards were affected to some degree. In some places, the damage is extensive. Sangiovese is particularly sensitive to the cold and had budded out more vigorously than our Aglianico, Canaiolo Nero, or Trebbiano. The damage, though, isn't limited to Sangiovese nor to just Amador County. We have heard from growers in Calaveras, Yolo, Nevada, and El Dorado counties. Some growers are in tears.
Winegrowers in Northern California, unlike - say - growers in Burgundy, Champagne, and the Loire Valley in France, are not used to dealing with April frost. Indeed, it's been said that there hasn't been a frost this bad since 1971 - almost twenty years before Noceto's first vintage." - Tyler, Vino Noceto, 4/15/22
"As we usher in a new year, we look back on a smooth 2021 harvest. The weather was steady and the lots arrived at the cellar at a nice, spread-out pace. Although the load was somewhat lighter, we are seeing some exciting and intense flavor profiles." - Hartford Family Vineyards Wine Club Team, 2/1/22
"We brought in our last fruit of the 2021 season on October 19, with our Devil's Gulch Chardonnay and last old block of Devil's Gulch Pinot Noir wrapping things up for us. The next day, Mother Nature officially ended harvest for everyone in the area with the first of a series of rains, culminating in our big downpour and crazy winds this weekend. Over the 24-hour period from Saturday night to Sunday night, most of Sonoma County clocked in over 7 inches — in many places, it was nearly as much as we received for the entire 2021 rain season! Today as we write this, the sky is a sparkly blue, and the small lakes created over the weekend are starting to dry in the sun." - The crew at Dutton-Goldfield Winery, Sebastopol, CA 10/26/21
“A bit about this growing year: we saw record heat in June, which set the stage for extremely low yields across the state. August and September cooled, giving us a beautiful hang time for the fruit to ripen. The combination of low yields and cool hang time provided exceptional concentration. We couldn’t be happier with the quality we are seeing and tasting so far. We can’t wait to share these wines with you in the future!" - Marty Clubb, Owner/Managing Winemaker and Marcus Rafanelli, Winemaker, L'Ecole, Walla Walla, 10/20/21
“We are on track for a normal ripening curve despite the current drought conditions. The environment and vineyard conditions are always top of mind for us to grow the best quality fruit possible. We’ve been stringent with water use and canopy management to ensure ideal ripening conditions. The resulting berries are small and intense, which bodes well for final wine quality. Harvest is here, which is always the busiest and most rewarding time of year for all the hard work we put into the vineyards.” - Kristi Melton, Winemaker, Freemark Abbey Winery, 9/16/2021
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