Monday, October 19, 2009

A week of rain and high humidity

Last week's storm has brought much needed rain at the expense of the remainder of the 2009 grape crop. Mind you the rain itself -all 5 1/2" of it- was not the worst part of the storm that moved through...

...the worst part has been a week of high humidity, and bunch rot compounding the problem.

Most growers and wineries pushed hard through the previous weekend to get as much of the crop in as possible, and maybe only 15~20% remained out on the vine through the storm, most of them reds which would fare better than whites. I would've given the fields a few days to dry out after getting 5.5" of rain, but the rush was on, and I saw people harvesting Chardonnay on Friday mud or not, hoping to get their fruit out before mold set in. Now it wouldn't have been preferable to leave a white grape out there for the storm in the first place, but I imagine it was due to their having too many blocks to harvest before the storm came in. They probably picked what they absolutely had to first, and put a few blocks off until after the storm hoping it wouldn't be as bad as predicted. Sadly, it was, and even if they avoided any rot issues they still have to contend with lower Brix due to the weather and water.

It started with the rain on Monday night a week ago, with rain falling continuously through Wed night. Thursday was supposed to be a day of drying out after the storm passed...instead we got another 1/4" of rain. When it finally got sunny on Thursday, it was 4 PM, and the humidity jacked up through the roof.

This takes us to Friday of last week....and sun, Finally!
However there was no wind and it remained near 50% humidity with highs in the mid 80's. NOT GOOD for the remaining grape crop out there, but a perfect environ for molds.

As we see in the satellite picture from Saturday, a large bank of clouds remained overhead and denied us the full sun we wanted. It was humid again, with broken clouds at the middle of the day and highs in the mid 80's. No help for the remaining grapes there...

Yesterday was better in a way as the temps remained lower, but no sun again as a marine layer sat over most of the area all day. The breeze was light, when there was one, and at least it wasn't as warm as Fri or Sat.

Today's water vapor map shows us smack-dab in a bunch of moisture, but hopefully this will give way to sunnier drier weather for the remainder of the week.
But it's raining now, and we're forecast to get 1/4"....hopefully that's all until the remaining grapes which are still viable are brought in.
Again, if you're into challenging fermentations, there is a lot of fruit which won't be harvested commercially this year, and you can probably still get a ton or two for a song.

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Blogger Deena said...

Hey Vini,

Saw this article and thought of you - science doesn't support the notion of tasting soil minerals in wine.


October 24, 2009 8:18 PM  
Blogger Vinogirl said...

Rain caused a little mould on some raisined fruit, but otherwise my 2009 CS (which we harvested last saturday), looks fab! 2009 may be a slepper vintage.

October 27, 2009 10:04 AM  
Blogger Vinogirl said...

That's 'sleeper' vintage!!!!

October 27, 2009 10:05 AM  

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