Véraison usually starts a bit earlier in our Russian River/Green Valley vineyard, Don Miguel, than in the Sonoma Coast's Doña Margarita. That's because although this one is just five miles closer to the ocean than the former, that distance accounts for a 5-10º F difference in temperature! So we were delighted to see that at the Don Miguel Vineyard around the winery, véraison is at about 85% in the Pinot and 60-70% in the Chardonnay -- and also that the fruit looks fantastic. We have high hopes for a superb harvest this year!!
These clusters have already turned soft and translucent, a sign of véraison in the Chardonnay
In the Pinot Noir, véraison is practically completed. And the fruit look gorgeous!
This would actually be quite extraordinary -- 2 years in a row of an excellent harvest! It would be nice, indeed, and make up for the very difficult 2011, when the yields were so poor that we are barely breaking even now that we are starting to sell the wines. We hear Mom complain about it a lot!!
Besides the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the other varieties are far behind. The Albariño berries are still hard as rocks, and so are the Syrah. The Tempranillo is ahead of these; in fact, its name means "the little early one" in Spanish because it ripens earlier than the other Spanish varieties.
Worth mentioning is the fact that, in a year when the powdery mildew (oidium) pressure has been extremely high, both vineyards are absolutely healthy and without signs of either that hideous fungus or botrytis. The vineyard crew has been doing a fabulous job!!
The rootstock in our new planting of Albariño looks very healthy, as Bonita is showing you here