We answered. Read the latest update from Josh on the 2013 grape harvest . . .
“As far as harvest is concerned, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We should be nearly wrapped up with picking by the 20th, which will be a record. In years past, we’ve been 50% done, at best, at this point. In cool years (2010, 2011) we were just starting by the middle of October.
Weather: This summer was hot, hot and hot, mixed in with showers. No hail this year, so we will take everything else Mother Nature has thrown at us. That being said, the fall has cooled off significantly giving us some extra hang time on the vines that we weren’t expecting during the middle of September. If you’d asked me on the first of September when we would finish harvest, I would have said the first week of October. The extra hang time has added some nice complexities to the fruit and made crush a little less condensed, which was needed. The nights have been very cool this October, but we’ve been lucky enough to avoid any frost events. The weather has been very consistent in our three vineyard locations, with heat units ranging from 3,000 to 3,100. All in all this has been a very nice growing season with a few bumps in the road but nothing major and that is always to be expected.
Vineyard: We are thrilled with the fruit we have brought into the winery thus far. I’m particularly excited about the Malbec, Viognier and Roussanne this year. The Cab is yet to be picked, but we are also very happy with its quality on the vine. The warm weather seemed to be very conducive to high quality Rhone whites. We are happy overall with each variety, with more effort being put into the cooler varieties like Riesling and Pinot Gris to maximize the quality during a warm year. All of the reds appreciated the warm weather and were relatively easy to grow this year. In fact, the yields were naturally higher than many years in the past. This will give us a nice opportunity to grow our Cabernet program slightly ahead of schedule.
Orchard: This has also been a good growing season for our apples. The crop was lighter due to the heavy crop last year, but the quality was very nice. Our Honey Crisp program continues to be a learning experience, but the end product definitely outweighs the stresses involved. The Galas were great this year, as well as the Fujis. Most of our red delicious apples will be going overseas due to their high quality.
On the Horizon: All in all we are very happy with the start of our 8th vintage, and the years have gone fast. We will continue to plant our newest vineyard, Section 23, as well as adding to the Laura Lee vineyard for Ste. Michelle-contracted grapes. We continue to see a bright future for wine grapes on the Royal Slope. In fact, we have plans with other local vineyards to work on a Royal Slope AVA this winter.” – Josh Lawrence, Co-Owner