Thursday, November 08, 2007

Crush 2007: A Brief Look at the Harvest

The rain is falling and the temperatures are cool.
All the mountain passes are experiencing some snow.
Except for some Late Harvest and Ice Wine crops, all the grapes have been in for a week now for most Okanagan producers.

We started picking grapes for Township 7 in mid-September. Mostly white varieties at that time but a few Merlot growers started to sneak in right at the beginning of October. Then the weather started to crash.

Wine makers, growers and owners tried to make the weather better using various mental powers but to no avail. As the vines shut down, it became a waiting game for breaks in the weather that would allow harvesting to occur.

Indicators numbers like Brix, pH and TA (total acid) went into suspended animation. The benefits of hangtime, like more intense flavours and such, didn't really materialize, in my opinion. I think the intermittent rains (rain, two days dry, rain. one day dry etc.) negated any hang premium.

What to look for: Okanagan whites will probably be great. The earlier varietals definetly will shine. The reds will be a toss-up. T7 growers are smart growers with good cultural practices so we believe our red vintage will be excellent. Growers who over-cropped or took other short cuts through the season found themselves with unripe fruit this year; when these reds of 07 start appearing late next year (at the earliest) taste before you buy! There will be some vintage variations in your favourite brands.

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