Fall. My favorite season and rightly so. The days are crisp and cool, the oak trees and vineyards begin their journey to winter and after our early November rainfall the air is acrid, damp and full of promise.
Fall color in the vineyard means bright bands of yellow or brown as the leaves age and begin to fall. While white wine varietal vines go from green to yellow (and curiously our Sangiovese does the same) the red wine varietals sometimes exhibit bright red or purple if it is virused, more red-brown if not. The bright red color is due to leafroll virus that is prevalent in many vines old or new. While driving through Napa yesterday I came upon the most scarlet colored vineyard I had ever seen. While striking it is a result of this disease and cannot be stopped unless the vineyard is replaced.
The photo below is a view of our home ranch vineyard and includes a few varietals as you can see by the different bands of color. At the top are two of our Portuguese varietals and as you come down the hill you'll see a red (virused) strip of Petite Sirah followed by the yellow-green of Sangiovese. In the foreground are some of our Zinfandel vines showing a bit of virus.
A toast to all the colors of fall with a splash of Zinfandel in my Dino.