Harvest 2015 Update #5

August 26, 2015

“This week we are in something of a lull. We are finishing up our sauvignon blanc harvest in Oakville, but nothing else is ready for picking just yet. This seasonable, not too hot, not too cool, weather is great for slow ripening, and slow ripening is great for quality and balance, but not great when you want to get going already. … Soon enough we’ll be busy harvesting again. Both our Oakville merlot and chardonnay are hovering near ripeness. Until then we are prepping the blocks we already picked for dormancy and the 2016 season: spreading compost and cover crop seed.”

— Molly Hodgins, Flora Springs Viticulturist

Read the full article here.

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Harvest 2015 Update #4

August 20, 2015

“Our Oakville harvest begins this week with sauvignon blanc, which is always the first grape to be picked for still wine. With most blocks and varieties we are slightly ahead of last year, another early year, in some we are way ahead, and in others we are slightly behind. Overall, this harvest is two to four weeks ahead of average. For example on Aug. 18 we picked a block of sauvignon blanc that we picked last year on Aug. 28. In an ‘average’ harvest’ we pick the same block on Sept. 8. Yields are light, which is speeding up ripening. Other varieties are starting to sweeten up as well!”

— Molly Hodgins, Flora Springs Viticulturist

Read the full article here.

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Harvest 2015 Update #2

August 5, 2015

“We are seeing much lower yields overall in the vineyards this year. This may be attributed to the sporadic spring weather we experienced, but may have more to do with the fact that the vines have produced above average yields for three years in a row now. Our newly planted vineyard blocks on the Winery Estate – Komes Ranch in Rutherford, as well as new plantings at our Crossroads Vineyard in Oakville are experiencing a normal size crop given their age, which may support the latter scenario for the lower crop on our established vineyards. Other than making less wine, a low yielding crop can be a good thing from a quality perspective. Smaller berries, less competition to ripen can lead to more concentrated fruit and more color in the reds. Time will tell, but 2015 should prove to be another stellar harvest!”

— Winemaker Paul Steinauer

Cabernet Sauvignon grape clusters Flora Springs Harvest Update 2015
A cluster of cabernet sauvignon. Some of the berries are lagging behind completing veraison within the same cluster (the smaller green berries).

 

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Harvest 2015 Update #1

June 9, 2015

“During flowering it is not unusual to have some clusters on the same vine more advanced than others. However, the less mature clusters typically catch up to a point where the vine is relatively homogenous. Due to the cooling trend we experienced in May, it created a situation where the clusters that were set, have advanced even during the cooling trend, but the clusters that have not set, have been much more delayed creating a greater separation in maturity. Below is a photo I took in our Hillside Reserve Cabernet vineyard – You will see the cluster on the left side is set w/ a fair amount of growth, while the clusters on the right are still flowering and have not yet completed set. We are now in a warming trend as it hit the mid 90’s yesterday, so that should get things moving to complete set, and allow those clusters that were behind to catch up. We will monitor random vines to ensure that maturity is consistent as the growing season progresses.”

— Winemaker Paul Steinauer

Hillside Reserve Cabernet vineyard Harvest Update 1 2015 Flowering

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Harvest 2014 Update #13

September 25, 2014

“Harvest continues at a furious pace. We are trying to pick all of our more thin-skinned varieties like chardonnay and malbec before more rain falls on them. That said, light showers like what we had last week (and maybe this week too) don’t cause much trouble. Miner Family Winery is starting to pick cabernet sauvignon in Oakville this week. Miner’s winemaker, Stacy Vogel, says that this week is their busiest yet, probably the case in much of Oakville.”

— Molly Hodgins, Flora Springs Viticulturist

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Harvest 2014 Update #11

September 16, 2014

“Harvest is in full swing up and down the valley. This week we are picking chardonnay and pinot grigio in our Oakville vineyard. This is probably the only pinot grigio/gris in Oakville. Red varieties are also getting picked in Oakville. Natalie Jure Buckland from Opus One says they are harvesting both merlot and cabernet sauvignon this week. However, the biggest weeks for Oakville cabernet sauvignon are yet to come.”

— Molly Hodgins, Flora Springs Viticulturist

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Harvest 2014 Update #10

September 10, 2014

“A return to mild weather after last week’s heat spike has given wineries a chance to harvest mature grapes before overly ripe sugar levels get out of hand. In Oakville, we are harvesting chardonnay and merlot while cabs and other red varieties continue to mature. Most blocks of fruit are coming in one or two weeks ahead of normal schedule, setting up a very busy time in the next few weeks.”

— Molly Hodgins, Flora Springs Viticulturist

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Harvest 2014 Update #8

September 3, 2014

“This week most wineries, Flora Springs included, are back in a more normal harvest mode, although many farther down valley have had to get creative to compensate for damaged barrels and equipment. Our thoughts are with you! In Oakville we will finish up our sauvignon blanc harvest this week, except for a little bit we’re saving for a late-harvest wine. Our current heat spike means ripening should get a little boost. Harvest for the other early varieties like merlot, chardonnay and pinot grigio is just around the corner.”

— Molly Hodgins, Flora Springs Viticulturist

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Harvest Update #7: Earthquake Edition

August 27, 2014

“This past weekend’s events ensured that the 2014 vintage will be especially memorable. I hope that in five years when I open a bottle of 2014 Oakville wine, I appreciate the wine for its merits and not dwell on the images of broken glass that jump to mind. All in all, the earthquake was more damaging to the 2013 vintage, whether in barrel or recently bottled. The vast majority of 2014 fruit is safe on the vine. That said, we continue to pick some really beautiful sauvignon blanc in Oakville. The mild weather is giving flavors and tannins (for red varieties) time to mature without sugars getting out of balance.”

— Molly Hodgins, Flora Springs Viticulturist

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