When we added up all of the tons already picked, processed, and in the fermenters, we couldn’t believe it–we’re already halfway through the harvest! It’s been an easy pace, thus far, with the picks coming in well-spaced, several tons a day, with off-days every third or fourth day in between. That is not normal, but we’re not going to argue. The grapes have continued to look clean and beautiful, with tight clusters of small-to-medium sized berries and bright, delicious flavors, and the skins are full of luscious tannins and spice.
This week also brought in the first bins from our rows and blocks in several of Andy Beckstoffer’s Heritage vineyards, Missouri Hopper, To Kalon, Georges III, Dr. Crane, and Bourn. We get to work with fruit from some of the best sites in Napa, and every vintage, Andy’s fruit stands out and defends its claim to greatness, from the bin to the bottle.
There is a special energy during harvest, but this year it has been more poignant than usual. Two weeks ago, the weather was brutal, hot, windy, and dry. Yet the vines looked great afterward. Their deep roots feed healthy plants which can adapt and respond to so many varied circumstances. Throughout the challenges of our lives (and we all know this has been a challenging year) working with the vines and observing how they work in concert and in balance with their environment inspires a quiet courage.