The Heat Is On
Yes, the heat is on…literally and figuratively. We’ve had a number of hot spells this summer, which on the whole, has been pretty average from a temperature standpoint. Right now, we are in the midst of a mini-heatwave with temperatures over 100F. With the rising temps also comes the figurative “heat is on”. With the fruit rapidly ripening, the countdown to harvest is on!
In the vineyards, we are mid-veraison in most varietals. This means about half the berries have turned from a light green color to either a purple (reds) or golden (whites) color. The berries have started to expand in size a little, the acids are dropping, and eventually the sugars will start to increase. Right now, we give the vines a little water to help with the transition from performing photosynthesis to starting to work on accumulating carbs (not to brag, but I’m rather good at accumulating carbs myself).
As with any fruit bearing tree, vine, bush, etc., the vines do all of this- color up berries and increase sugars- to attract birds and other animals to consume the fruit and spread the seeds via… well, you know. I’m sure you’ve seen their efforts on your car windshield from time to time. However, since we got the vines’ backs by ensuring the continuity of the species without the need of birds and other wildlife, we take the tasty sugar bombs and make alcohol with them. Unfortunately, the birds didn’t get the memo so the requisite hawk-call bird alarms will be in use closer to picking…which will start in a little over a month!
In the cellar, the heat is on as we are putting our bottling blends back in the tank in preparation for our final bottling (our popular red blends Don Giovanni, Zio Luciano, and Mistero) of the year in two weeks. Putting it to tank now allows us to do any last minute tweaks needed for the wines as well as a more leisurely pace for filtering and stabilizing. And also, a little Christmas in July…22 new barrels all the way from Down Under!
Yes, the heat is on, but more of the “in the frying pan kind of heat”. And we know how that saying goes…