Harvest has come upon us fast! As soon as we were able to finish bottling and labeling the most current wines, we found ourselves needing to prepare for the ripening fruit. Luckily, we are used to the routine.
We are looking forward to a year of exceptional fruit and future wines. This is due to the weather this year. The rain fall was around nine inches below normal with a total of about only 10 and a half inches, which for us is about 50% of normal. Last year was also below normal causing the grapes to be extra stressed this year. As you may know our vines are dry-farmed and rely solely on the rain to sustain. This may sound like a catastrophe, but we know that the grapes will yield fruit that will be packed with flavor.
When the roots are not receiving ample water, the berries do not grow as fast, but the juice becomes concentrated. To assist the grape vines in their production of fruit Gino has maintained a manicured vineyard. No weeds! This saves the grapes from competing for the limited amount of water there is. Gino has also pruned and thinned the grapes more than any other year, dropping around 1/3 to 1/2 of the crop depending on the need...and a watchful eye is kept on the ripening fruit for when the vines and fruit tell us that they are ready to be harvested. The Merlot and Sangiovese were the first to be ready and come in from the field to start their voyage to become wine. We have also harvested a little Zinfandel so far.
The heat and drought has caused the grapes to get ripe fast; 2-3 weeks ahead of harvesting schedule. We are noticing the effect of the heat and deficiency of water by the appearance of the grapes. The vines’ leaves are changing color and we are seeing very small berries, (the Cabernet grapes are about the size of a small pee), great color, and an amazing acid to sugar balance, as well as good skin to juice ratio. With all of these variables we are expecting big flavorful age-able wines.
Amid harvest, we will also be preparing for the upcoming 2013 Fall Wine Club shipment. The shipment should be ready to be released in the next few weeks. We expect that you will enjoy this shipment as the much loved Sangiovese will be released as well as our Barbera and Cabernet Sauvignon Riserva. Carol is preparing the new recipes and compiling the technical notes as well as preparations for the pick-up party (October 19th) and Paso Robles’ annual Harvest Festival (October 18th-20th.) More information will be released on these events as we finalize our plans.
To help us prepare for the Wine Club shipment, if you think the information that we have on file for your Buon Amici membership if out of date or expired, please update it for us!
We look forward to another successful harvest!
The Perata Family