A famous quote from the movie Sideways has a character warning that his date better not order any $!&## Merlot. Funny. But misguided. Merlot when done well is a joy to drink and world class wine. Three of the ninety rows at Butterdragon Hill are Merlot. Every other vintage, we have blended in the small amount of Merlot fruit into the Cabernet Sauvignon. This vintage, though, we’re going to try and keep them separate and see how it turns out.
If it was easy, everyone would do it. Farming can be a real test of nerves. The fruit looks good at Baconbrook but the brix is still a tad low and the flavors are not there yet. The vines also look to be starting to shut down. What to do? The next 5-7 days promise unsettled weather with two storms coming through. However, long rang forecast shows clearing and warming. Good! We’ll need that weather to dry things out and finish ripening both of our vineyards.
My prediction right now is we’ll harvest Baconbrook the week of October 10th with Butterdragon following 5-7 days later.
Winemaker Cary Gott walked Baconbrook this morning:
“I took a small sample this am from the east vineyard blk.
Hard to believe but 21.4 brix. Grapes in great shape. With this heat they should get a bit of water.
The fruit tastes very immature.
Brix checked with two refractometers.”
We dodged a bullet today. I got a call from a neighbor that there was a fire at Baconbrook. Fortunately the temperature was only about 80, there was virtually no wind, and Cal Fire was able to hit it and hit it hard with a tanker, two helicopters, and numerous trucks and personnel. They got it out with less than an acre of wild land burned and no damage to the house, vineyard, or the neighbors (in whose direction it was headed).
The suspicion is the fire started after some teenagers snuck on the property and were partying.