Harvest is here! While we can’t generalize too much this early, here are 3 early observations:
1) September weather has blessed us. We had a hot summer, which could have meant high sugars that forced us to harvest before acids, flavors, or phenolics (predictors of tannin and structure) were ready. Then September put a brake on the heat. Temperatures suddenly cooled by 20 degrees, which slowed sugar ripening and allowed all else to catch up. That, combined with dry weather which minimized rot risk, absolutely blessed us.
2) Acids are fabulously lively and balanced. We have seen the best pH levels in our Yamhill-Carlton District vineyards, as an example, than we have in years.
3) Conditions at harvest are beautiful, keeping morning temperatures low enough for clusters to be harvested without getting warm and “mushy” and dry enough to minimize risk of “watering down” the fruit.