The beginning of May brought with it the first heat-wave of the year, with temperatures on the vineyard climbing above 90 degrees. The warmth and sunshine turbocharged the vines, with Sangiovese and Grenache both beginning to bloom.
Potentially disastrous, the heatwave was followed by a storm. High winds were forecasted in front of the weather system. Because we are situated on Point Conception west of the coastal range – unsheltered from the Pacific Ocean – May winds reduce crop yield just as often as the March and April frost threat. We experienced high winds during the 2015 bloom, and yields were reduced by over 33%.
Winter 2017 Rain
When I met with Ruben as the weather began to cool, he appeared oddly calm about the seemingly ominous situation. Ruben explained that the healthy rain fall we experienced this year allowed for an evenly full, robust canopy. The leaves would protect the tiny flowers from blowing off, causing shatter, or missing grapes within each cluster.
In an unexpected twist, the rainiest season in well over a decade has aided in a healthy harvest, but not because of moisture for the roots!