11 July 2013

Hot town, Summer in the city. . . .

Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty.  At least it felt that way last month when I was selling wine back east, complete with Lovin' Spoonful stuck in my head.  Nothing like NYC at the end of June to remind one what true humidity really feels like.  Of course those of you in DC and points south are probably thinking that NYC has nothing on you.  However compared to Oregon, I'm out of practice.  Sweating through my shirt three times before noon however quickly brought back the feelings of summer in the city.  That all was my round about way of saying that our wine is now available in NYC!  Not sure why that feels like such an accomplishment but it does.  We are even on the wine list at The Old Homestead Steak House on 9th in the Meatpacking District.  Of course pinot isn't probably most people's first choice when enjoying steak but seeing it in print was very cool.  Currently you can only get the Pinot noir in NYC but the Pinot gris will be on the next order and hopefully more wines will follow.  So support your Oregon winemaker and go seek out my wine my NYC fans.  If you want to know where drop me an e-mail or give the winery a call and I'll send you in the right direction.

So while I was off gallivanting around the north east, with stops in Ohio also to sell wine and Connecticut to see my brother and his family the grapes back home were busy growing.  Not sure how big of a difference our warm spring gave us I went looking for pictures and the difference between the past two years and this year is amazing.  The first set of pictures were taken after leaf pulling the in the Marechal Foch.  I didn't have pictures taken on the same day so the one from 2012 was actually 10 days later than the one from 2013.  The difference is development is best seen in the bunch closure.  The 2013 grapes have started bunch closure and will enter lag phase soon.  In the 2012 picture look at how loose the clusters are with the stems still very visible.  These clusters are a few weeks away from bunch closure.  Click on the picture for a bigger image.
18 July 2012 - Marechal Foch

8 July 2013 - Marechal Foch
The difference from 2011 is even more startling.  In 2011, July 6th, the Foch hadn't even bloomed yet and it isn't until August 3rd, 2011 that the cluster development compares to the July 8th picture from this year.  This implies that weather holding, we should harvest almost a month earlier than in 2011.  As some of you may remember 2011 was a difficult year for us to get fruit ripe because the season was so late.  Fingers crossed that won't be a problem this year.  Again, click on a image for a larger version.

6 July 2011
3 August 2011
8 July 2013

The trade off to an early harvest is that we have to bottle earlier so blending trials will soon start in the Pinot noir.  Tasting, arguing, convincing others I'm right, discussing, finding the best blends and stained teeth are in our near future here at Airlie.  I can't wait to get started.