Heat. Drought. As you are surely aware, those are the keywords for 2015 so far. The heat was so intense at times that 2015 has already been labelled the warmest year in a decade, and possibly the year with the highest average temperatures since we began recording them. However the heat itself was eclipsed by a drought that was comparable to 1976’s, and which intensified after the flowering. The drought was actually so extreme in June and July, windy months that barely saw any rainfall, that the humidity levels in the soils were even lower than in 1976.
These two factors influenced each vineyard in a different way, depending on their terroir, soil, and vigor, combining to create a specific level of resistance. As a consequence, we expect widely different picking times based on these characteristics and the reaction of each vineyard to the rainfalls of late August.
The positive side is clearly that the sanitary conditions are excellent and that they put no pressure on the harvest schedule. We are therefore at a liberty to pick exactly when we see fit. Right now we observe that the alcohol potential is somewhat high relative to the aromatic and phenolic maturity. Our aim is to wait until all indicators are more in line with each other.
We started picking last week. Most of our efforts are focused on developing the perfect planning which will account for the vast heterogeneity in maturities that we currently witness, and allow us to harvest each vineyard at precisely the right time.