Vino In My Dino
December 27, 2017 16:54
Buttoning up as the year draws to a close I came across a harvest report, rainfall totals and some other information pertinent to some updates and review. Now my desk is another story-well many stories. Here are some of the interesting snippets I came across.
I get my rainfall numbers from the Sonoma County Water Agency who kindly sends an update each month. We have received 6.27” of rain (average is 7.78”) and this finds us at 80.59% of average for rainfall so far. They also include the numbers for Lake Sonoma, the man-made earth dam at the north end of Dry Creek Valley which releases water throughout the year and part of our vineyard is located along the banks of Dry Creek. At 203.848 acre-feet the water supply there is at 83% thanks to the rainfall received in the 2016/2017 rain year. It remains to be seen if we are indeed headed for a drought year. My hope, like many others in the Sonoma County agricultural scene, is we will be blessed with enough rain. We’ll know soon enough.
The official harvest report for the state of California was issued mid-November by the Wine Institute. I always double check our county to see if anything has changed from what we experienced. They reiterated the record-breaking winter rainfall that kicked off the growing season. No early budbreak due to drought or a summer-like February like the previous years so we were back to normal conditions. Things were looking very good as summer began-crop levels up, even growth. We had a nice warm July and August providing the grapes with even ripening. The kicker was the huge heat spike we had over Labor Day weekend, reminiscent of the one we had in 2010, and it sped up harvest to the tune of 7-10 days and we lost some weight in the berries due to the excessive heat. This translated into a lighter crop literally. One side effect of lighter crop at this time is we see more concentration of fruit in the wines. We were finished picking by September 28-which now in retrospect was fortunate due to the firestorms that would overtake parts of Sonoma County on October 8. All in all a good if not great vintage at Pedroncelli.
I came across a few items in my blog file about the firestorm, specifically the money raised for the firestorm damage to wine country by people across the globe and it was, in a word, amazing. From London, where the proceeds for the Master Class Ed and I did for Amathus Drinks was donated; In Japan our wholesaler Nakagawa Wine Company raised $60,000 for the Sonoma County Resilience Fund & Redwood Credit Union Fund, Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund & The Community Foundation of Mendocino County Disaster Fund; Oregon Cares Disaster Relief fundraiser held at The Allison Inn raised $35,000 (I read about this in a post by wine writer Karen Macneil who wrote “I got pretty choked up when the Oregon producers called to say they wanted to do this, and I offered to come up here to help. The wine industry is after all, ONE industry...and it feels good to know that people are remembering that.”) to Paso Robles wineries donating $1 per bottle for wines sold in October. There are so many more and you can visit here for the list. Local columnist Heather Irwin began Sonoma Family Meal to help feed those who lost everything-which is still serving the families in need! I met a visitor today who said “it’s not as devastating as I had seen on TV-she is from Kalamazoo MI-and I agreed there are pockets of our counties destroyed but there is plenty of beauty too.
We need the rain, we have had a good harvest year and people help people-what more could I ask for in the coming New Year. A toast to you and yours with a splash of Zinfandel in my Dino!