Well, it took 5 years and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get here but our first harvest season is now in full swing!
From a weather perspective, September was an extremely challenging month for Oregon wineries. We saw significant rain several times during the month which was a highly unusual occurrence for this area. This put pressure on our growers to keep disease and mold away from the grapes, and pressure on us to find just the right time to get them off the vines and into the fermenter.
Dave visited our source vineyards several times in the rain [uphill, both ways, with 30 pounds of lead weight in each booth (Marketing Director’s Note)] to keep a close eye on those precious clusters.
Finally, the rain gave us some reprieve during the first few days of October, and after giving the grapes some time to dry out, we decided to pick both of our source vineyards on Friday, October 4. The picking crews were very impressed by the quality of the grapes, especially given the amount of rain in September. Frankly, not every vineyard in the area fared as well as ours. Full credit for that goes to our growers Fred Robinson of Robinson Family Vineyard and Mike Slater of Tonnelier Vineyards. Thanks to their vigilance with both spray programs and vine maintenance, our first vintage should be truly special.
Additional thanks must be paid to our harvest crews. At Robinson Family Vineyards, for example, these amazingly fast professionals picked 2,500 pounds of grapes in about 2 hours, and did a great job of keeping the fruit clean and intact. The picking crews are the unsung heroes of the wine industry, and we are deeply grateful for their efforts on our behalf.