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2010 Harvest Report - October 13th Edition

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The 2010 harvest is underway in Washington State. Over the coming weeks, I will provide weekly updates on what is picked, where, and when. See previous reports here.

10/13 Update: The past week was a bit nerve wracking for some, featuring rain in areas across the state and near freezing temperatures in a few spots. In terms of the rain, many areas saw precipitation at some point Thursday through Sunday. Red Mountain reported 0.15 inches of precipitation, Pasco 0.41 inches, Yakima 0.21 inches, and Walla Walla 0.99 inches. Mainly this appears to have delayed picking in some places and led to wet harvest workers in others. No one I spoke with indicated significant concern regarding any effect on the grapes.

In terms of the cold, temperatures at the Washington State University weather station near Red Mountain dropped to 33 degrees on the 11th. Pepper Bridge Vineyard in Walla Walla also reported being close to freezing levels on the 12th. With clear skies forecast for the next few days, nighttime temperatures could dip down a bit lower than forecast (about 40 degrees give or take). Look for the wind machines to start getting some use. Still, no one I have spoken with has expressed alarm about the cooling temperatures yet. Many wineries do still have quite a ways to go with several people I spoke with estimating that they are somewhere between 30% and 45% through harvest at present.

As previously noted, many are reporting rot issues in the vineyard, in some cases insignificant and in some cases quite significant. While much of it is noble rot, some of it is not. The recent rain added to these concerns. One winemaker I spoke with reported dropping his entire crop of white grapes due to rot saying, “A tough call, but the quality just wasn’t going to be there.”

Vineyard manager Ryan Johnson, who manages multiple sites on Red Mountain, says, “We do need to keep an eye out for mold and rot, especially in the tighter-clustered, thinner-skinned varieties. Fruit is already soft from an extended season, so it's always nice if a stiff breeze blows away any residual moisture… Cab Sauv and Cab Franc are mostly weather-resistant and are looking great. No worries at this time...I hope!”

Hugh Shiels of DuBrul Vineyard says, “We were running about twelve days behind average picking dates, but the quality is right on the mark for our site. Our vineyard manager, Larry Dolan, sprays the whites to block fall problems, and this year it worked out great for us. So the Chardonnay came out clean, thanks to the spray and to our ladies good work. The Riesling has an added element of honey due to the ‘noble rot’ Botrytis in some of the berries, golden brown raisins, so it should be a beautiful Riesling year from our vineyard.”

Nicholas Quille of Pacific Rim reports, “Rieslings are trickling in and we are mainly picking based on rot levels. At this point we have brought in the most affected vineyards located in the Yakima Valley requiring rot thinning in the vineyard before harvesting. The rot has dried out and is therefore of good quality (noble rot, not sour). We are seeing very high acids in our Rieslings and good sugars. I imagine we will be done with the Yakima Valley within ten days. We have not started picking at Wallula, Brix around 20 and TA around 1.4 (ouch). I imagine Wallula is at least two weeks off which is consistent with our estimate that we are four weeks behind a normal season. No excessive risk of freeze in the next 10 days – we might just make it.”

Today's pictures courtesy of Gorman Winery (fermenting Syrah grapes), Kaella Winery (freshly picked Syrah with Viognier), and Robert Karl Cellars (Malbec after press).

See information on the Washington State Growing Degree Days here.

Monthly forecast for Yakima, Walla Walla, and Mattawa.

* * *

The information in the table below is aggregated from personal correspondence with growers and winemakers, as well as information posted on Twitter and Facebook. It is not intended to be comprehensive but rather is intended as a snapshot of what is going on around the state. If you wish to send data for your grapes or vineyards (or correct any of the information below), please email me at wawinereport@gmail.com, leave a comment here, or leave a comment on the WWR Facebook page.

Winery

Grape

Vineyard

Date

Notes

Yakima Valley

Covey Run

Gewürztraminer

Phil Church

10/4


Covey Run

Merlot

Oasis

10/7


Cavatappi

Sangiovese

Red Willow

10/10


Isenhower

Marsanne

Desert Hills

10/11

Had two throw away 500 pounds of clusters with botrytis

Hestia

Merlot

Boushey

10/13


Red Mountain

Quilceda Creek

Cabernet

Galitzine

10/5


Seven Hills

Merlot

Artz

10/7

Fan trained vines

Mark Ryan

Viognier

Ciel du Cheval

10/8


CZ Cellars

Syrah

Ciel du Cheval

10/9

Brix of 24.1, TA of 0.63 and pH of 3.42

CZ Cellars

Malbec

Hedges

10/9

Brix of 22.3, TA of 0.47 and pH of 3.49

Florentino Wine

Grenache

Unknown

10/10


Ward Johnson

Syrah

Ranch at the End of the Road

10/11


Obelisco Estate

Cabernet

Estate

10/15

Weather permitting

Walla Walla Valley

Waters/Substance

Cabernet

Mars Hill

10/11


Waters/Substance

Cabernet

Windrow

10/12


NA

Merlot

Windrow

10/12


Waters/Substance

Syrah

Loess

10/13


Amavi

Cabernet Franc

Waliser

10/13

For Cabernet Franc

SuLei Cellars

Cabernet Franc

Nostra Terra

10/13


NA

Merlot

Dwelley

10/13


Waters/Substance

Syrah

Old Stones

10/14


Waters/Substance

Grenache

Old Stones

10/15


Waters/Substance

Cabernet Franc

Waliser

10/15


Wahluke Slope

Kyra

Merlot

Pheasant

10/8


Desert Wind

Syrah

Sacagawea

10/10


Forgeron Cellars

Primitivo

Unknown

10/13


Icicle Ridge

Merlot

Unknown

10/14


Hestia

Syrah

Stone Tree

10/14

Clone 7

Columbia Valley

SYZYGY

Merlot

Conner Lee

10/8

Unless rain delays

Kyra

Pinot Noir

Evergreen

10/8


Waiwai Canyon

Syrah

Estate

10/9

Last of Syrah

Cave B

Merlot

Estate

10/11

From oldest Merlot block

Trust

Cab Franc

Bacchus

10/11

For rose.

SYZYGY

Cabernet

Sagemoor

TBD

Anticipate before weekend

Horse Heaven Hills

Covey Run

Merlot

Alder Ridge

10/5

Block 2, 7

Covey Run

Gewürztraminer

Den Hoed

10/6


Covey Run

Merlot

Alder Ridge

10/6

Block 2, 6

Canon del Sol

Syrah

Champoux

10/7


Robert Karl

Cabernet

McKinley Springs

10/8


Domanico Cellars

Merlot

Alder Ridge

10/8


Woodward Canyon

Cabernet

Champoux

10/11

Block 1

Robert Karl

Cabernet

Phinny Hill

10/11


Rattlesnake Hills

Cedar River Cellars

Cabernet

Portteus

10/9

Grapes are a bit larger than last year. About two weeks later than last year. 22 Brix (23-23.5 last year) Ph 3.65 (last year 3.56); TA 0.66 g/L (last year 0.75 g/L)

Snipes Mountain

Rolling Bay

Chardonnay

Snipes

10/7


Lake Chelan

Tildio

Tempranillo

Estate

10/7


Four Lakes

Merlot

Estate

10/14


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