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Wine, a work in progress
"So far 2023 has been another fun year full of successes mixed in with some challenges. The extremely wet and cool winter conditions were welcomed and couldn’t have come at a better time for our baby vines.
The younger vines soaked up all that rain and pushed their roots deeper into the rocky mountain. I’m a firm believer that everything should start with a strong, solid foundation and that’s exactly what the youngsters were able to accomplish this year with the help from the timely rains.
The mature “fireproof” vines with their deep roots tapped into those water reserves and grew some of the most beautiful clusters full of plump and juicy grapes (similar to 2010?). Spring weather continued with heavy rains promoting growth; but then in May as if someone flipped a switch, a very hot and dry summer quickly followed for a long hangtime, a prelude to depth and complexity of flavors with harvest coming 2-3 weeks later this year. Time to sharpen those harvest knives!"
- Alan Viader, Winemaker, Viader Vineyards 9/6/23
"Our first grapes are just beginning veraison. The green grapes are beginning to swell, soften, sweeten, and change color. Our Pinot Noir vineyards are the first to begin the color change, and Chardonnay will soon follow. The white wine grapes will develop a deep golden hue, while the red wine varietals will change from green to deep purple. Generally, coloring up and ripening takes about 40 days, so the countdown to harvest has begun!"
- AVV, August 2023 Newsletter
"With red varietals just starting to show pops of color, our minds and work begin turning toward the nearing harvest. The warm summer months have given us a steady supply of clear sunny days with just a couple (so far) topping the 100F mark. Thus far, 2023 has a 'steady as she goes' feel to it.
That being said, we are trending a few days ahead of the long-term average. Each summer it is always fun to see who can correctly guess the date, vineyard, & varietal of our first grapes to be picked. Marcus' current best guess is Sauvignon Blanc from Rosebud Vineyard (Wahluke Slope) on August 25. Over at our Estate Seven Hills Vineyard, Viticulturist Sadie, expects to start picking around September 5."
- L'Ecole Wine Club Team, 7/27/23
"Following an unusually cool and rainy spring, the 2023 growing season is finally off and running. Although we're about a month behind a typical year at Monte Bello, the recent warmer weather has pushed us rapidly through bloom and we're beginning to see the first grape clusters forming. Once we're through berry set, we'll look carefully at which blocks require early fruit thinning, which will help with ripening in this thus-far cooI growing season. The variance in vintages is one the the things that makes winemaking so interesting year after year.
With each vintage, you have a chance to make the finest wine you've ever made. And, you have a chance to use what you learned the previous years to really understand your vineyards; understand how the weather varies, how you vary your traditional techniques to deal with those grapes to make the finest wine."
- Paul Draper, Ridge Vineyards, 7/7/23