Harvest Updates

#WVHarvest2017


Harvest is in full swing in the Willamette Valley. Check out what’s happening at each winery via the updates.


 

Westmount

 

Westmount 2017 Harvest Update – 10/17/17

“The 2017 vintage is a return to normalcy.” Winemaker Brian Irvine states as he reflectively stares over the Pinot Noir sorting line. “We have had 3 vintages in a row of above-average heat, and don’t get me wrong, the wines produced were beautiful, but a year like 2017 is what makes Oregon unique.”

Click here for complete update from Westmount


 

Project M Wines

Project M Wines 2017 Harvest Update – 10/13/17

Bloom occurred during a “normal” period, between June 19 th and June 25 th for Pinot Noir, depending on the vineyard site. This set the stage for early October picks. The season progressed cool until August when we began to see heat spikes. These heat spikes were accompanied and possibly moderated by, a smoke induced haze from wild fires to the north, east and south. The heat continued into early September then things cooled, especially nighttime temperatures. Smoke was not severe enough to make “smoke taint” a concern (our fruit is sourced exclusively from the Willamette Valley).

The vintage is showing unusual grape chemistries. Earlier, warmer sites while showing phenolic maturation out pacing sugar accumulation did yield potential alcohols near of over 14%. Later sites showed a more dramatic dissociation of sugar and phenolic development with potential alcohols closer 13%. Acid profiles varied significantly with Titratable Acidities ranging from 4.8 to 6.6. The lower range occurred in both warmer, early sites and cooler later sights and was unrelated to potential alcohol. Despite the divergent TA’s, pH’s appeared normal or slightly lower than normal. Malic Acid levels are normal to lower than expected.

Hang times permitted sufficient seed maturation with excellent skin maturation; conditions for extraction should be ideal. At the same time, bunch closure occurred somewhat earlier than normal, which because of reduced berry exposure to the sun, may have limited tannin production. Higher yields may have further impacted tannin and anthocyanin levels. However, cold soaks show no shortage of color. It is, at this time, too early to assess the structural potential of the wines.

Project M picked the last of its Pinot Noir on October 9 th , ahead of the extended rain event that was forecasted (and is occurring) in the days that followed. Botrytis levels were normal but increasing.

Elements of the vintage are reminiscent of 2008; good phenolic maturities with moderate sugar accumulation. On the other hand, the range of TA’s, especially the lower end make comparisons to this vintage very difficult. At Project M we feel we have an opportunity to make classic Oregon Pinot Noir in 2017. Though we are very excited we are managing our optimism until we get more clarity on the structural potential of the wines, after pressing and barreling.

Jerry D. Murray Winemaker
Project M Wines


Elk Cove Vineyards

Elk Cove Vineyard 2017 Harvest Update – 10/12/17

We’ve brought in 50% so far with some record-breaking days. Wednesday October 9th was our biggest day ever, with 110 tons landing on the crush-pad in one day. That’s enough fruit to produce 6,600 cases cases of wine. At 800 grapes/bottle, that means over 63 million grapes!

Interestingly, this is the first year Elk Cove is going 100% Estate. So it’s an exciting vintage for us.

We are starting to post harvest info here for Elk Cove:

https://elkcove.com/news/


Anderson Family Vineyard

Anderson Family Vineyard 2017 Harvest Update – 10/11/17

Great tasting & smelling fruit and juice. Numbers are spot on (22.5 brix in Chardonnay, 23.5 in Pinot), surprising given all the summer heat spikes. It’s the first time in awhile we harvested Chardonnay before Pinot. I believe this vintage really benefitted from cooler, light rain September: grapes and vines recovered, sent carbs out to the fruit as the stomata opened and metabolic juices flowed.

Love these “normal” October harvests!

Bloom dates at our vineyard said October, but we wrung hands through the heat and smoke haze.
Now we’re getting nice rain to put the vines to bed happy with carbs for next season’s early growth.
Life in Oregon Wine Country is good. Our thoughts are with California Wine Country as they battle fires. Wonder if these fires would have been so intense before all the climate variation in the last two decades.


Stoller Family Estate

Stoller Family Estate 2017 Harvest Update – 10/11/17

There is a lot of fruit! The average clusters are much heavier than normal. At Stoller we have seen pinot noir clusters averaging 150 berries per cluster and this year they have average 250 berries. That combined with a great fruit set during bloom equals volume. We have had three “waves” of harvest. Started mid September with grapes for sparkling and then pinot rosé and worked into pinot noir. Then we had some rain which slowed down the sugar accumulation, fortunately without damaging the grapes, and picked up again with another big harvest of pinot noir and all of our chardonnay from last week of September to early October. At that point the weather was looking uncooperative and we were considering picking more of our fruit to avoid the rain. Fortunately the weather shifted to a perfect condition of a week plus of dry sunny days and cold nights allowing for us to leave things to develop the flavors we were looking for plus make room in tanks and finish the first harvest wave of fermentations. We had a small amount of rain again this last weekend and then dry conditions that allowed us to bring in the final pinot noir and chardonnay we were waiting on.

The sugar levels are averaging 23 brix and the flavors are there. We have much to be thankful for with our bumper crop and cooperative weather. The biggest challenge I have seen this year with harvest is finding room for all the fruit. There is a lot of really good fruit still out there at many vineyards simply due to lack of space to fit it all.


Winderlea

 

Winderlea 2017 Harvest Update – 10/10/17

Harvest combines the best features of physical exhaustion (deep sleep) and elation (we see a lot of beautiful sunrises), planning (expected harvest dates, yields, and which fermenters to assign, for multiple vineyards) and opportunism (what do you mean it’s going to rain on Wednesday?). It’s a time when you don’t notice that your hands are discolored until you are with people who don’t work in the industry and you feel like your hair and your clothes will always be sticky. But when you walk in to the winery each day and are greeted with the smells of fermenting grapes you think, “This is why we do this.” Happy Harvest everyone. -Bill Sweat, Proprietor

Winderlea 2017 Harvest Update – 09/21/17

Wine writers love rain. It gives them a story. Usually, they want to write that rain causes dilution, but that’s not typically the issue. It’s raining as I write this on Monday. Meteorologists were about to declare that we were in a drought based on the number of days we’ve had without rain. Sugars are running ahead of flavors and acids are dropping. The rain, and the cooler temperatures, will give us a bit of a respite and allow the flavors to catch up. Stems are lignified so the grapes are not going to be much affected by new moisture in the soil. The current forecast is for an inch or so of rain through Thursday and then sunny and cool through October 6th. The rain is a good thing. Our biggest short term challenge will be finding harvest crews this weekend because we are all going to want to pick. More later… -Bill Sweat, Proprietor

Winderlea 2017 Harvest Update – 09/15/17

With the 2016 harvest we began the process of making our first sparkling wine. Everyone at Winderlea agrees that you should drink bubbles every day and in a few years we’ll have one of our own to add to the mix. Harvest decisions for sparkling seem almost counter-intuitive if your experience is with making still wines. We pick early to minimize phenolic development and to capture fruit with low sugar (18 – 19 brix vs. 22 – 23 brix for still wine), low pH, and high Total Acidity. We’ve been picking fruit for our still wines earlier, especially in these warm vintages, to preserve natural acidity. Sparkling has us picking a week or so earlier than that. We picked Chardonnay from Carabella Vineyard last Saturday and will pick Crawford Beck Pinot noir at the end of the week. We’re also going to pick some high elevation Chardonnay from Hyland Vineyard this year. Since we’re all such sparkling lovers, the hardest part is waiting the 3 years or so until our first release. We are really looking forward to 2019. -Bill Sweat, Proprietor

Follow Winderlea’s Harvest Updates


Chehalem Wines

Chehalem Wines 2017 Harvest Update – 10/09/17

We’ve entered the tough part of harvest and crush. Almost three weeks in, nothing is new now, and while we know the end is near its still a grind and wearying. Coffee is the life’s blood that gets the winery crew from bleary, eye-rubbing, early morning dragging to energetically grabbing a punchdown tool or hose at the beginning of the day…

Complete update on Chehalem’s website.


Anam Cara

Anam Cara 2017 Harvest Update – 09/21/17

Pre-Harvest update #1: Four days of measurable rainfall has helped us on several fronts. First of all (and possibly most important at this point) is the welcome hydration of the dry-farmed young vines. With no irrigation in place, we have painstaikingly handwatered these 2-year-olds to get them through the hottest, dryest summer in the vineyard’s history, and support their immature root systems. Our objective has always been to encourage the roots to seek the water table. The longer/deeper the roots, the more exchange they have with the soil and geologic profile which is ultimately transported to the grapes and beyond. The established Wadenswil, Chardonnay and Riesling are proving that deep roots help weather the heat well. Look closely and you’ll see the cover crop legumes beginning to sprout. Missy too.

Follow Anam Cara’s updates here.


Trevor Chlanda (Duck Pond Cellars)

Duck Pond 2017 Harvest Update – 10/06/17



Follow Trevor’s updates here.


King Estate

 

King Estate Harvest Update – Harvest Kick Off Video


WillaKenzie Estate

 

WillaKenzie 2017 Harvest Update – 10/04/17

The grapes started rolling in on September 22nd, beginning with Chardonnay and the first blocks of Terres Basses and Triple Black Slopes. Our Winery crew, including this year’s batch of Harvest interns have been busy preparing bins and tanks. Winemaker Erik Kramer is in the vineyards daily, tasting grapes off the vines and making decisions on which blocks are ripe for picking.

“While it’s been a very dry summer, the combination of our soils with high water holding capacity and very wet dormant season provided plenty of moisture for the plants to deal with the lack of moisture over the summer. This recurring, annual shift between maritime and Mediterranean conditions is one of many things that makes the Willamette Valley unique amongst growing regions and an ideal place for viticulture,” says Kramer.


Winderlea

 

Winderlea 2017 Harvest Update – 10/10/17

Harvest combines the best features of physical exhaustion (deep sleep) and elation (we see a lot of beautiful sunrises), planning (expected harvest dates, yields, and which fermenters to assign, for multiple vineyards) and opportunism (what do you mean it’s going to rain on Wednesday?). It’s a time when you don’t notice that your hands are discolored until you are with people who don’t work in the industry and you feel like your hair and your clothes will always be sticky. But when you walk in to the winery each day and are greeted with the smells of fermenting grapes you think, “This is why we do this.” Happy Harvest everyone. -Bill Sweat, Proprietor

Winderlea 2017 Harvest Update – 09/21/17

Wine writers love rain. It gives them a story. Usually, they want to write that rain causes dilution, but that’s not typically the issue. It’s raining as I write this on Monday. Meteorologists were about to declare that we were in a drought based on the number of days we’ve had without rain. Sugars are running ahead of flavors and acids are dropping. The rain, and the cooler temperatures, will give us a bit of a respite and allow the flavors to catch up. Stems are lignified so the grapes are not going to be much affected by new moisture in the soil. The current forecast is for an inch or so of rain through Thursday and then sunny and cool through October 6th. The rain is a good thing. Our biggest short term challenge will be finding harvest crews this weekend because we are all going to want to pick. More later… -Bill Sweat, Proprietor

Winderlea 2017 Harvest Update – 09/15/17

With the 2016 harvest we began the process of making our first sparkling wine. Everyone at Winderlea agrees that you should drink bubbles every day and in a few years we’ll have one of our own to add to the mix. Harvest decisions for sparkling seem almost counter-intuitive if your experience is with making still wines. We pick early to minimize phenolic development and to capture fruit with low sugar (18 – 19 brix vs. 22 – 23 brix for still wine), low pH, and high Total Acidity. We’ve been picking fruit for our still wines earlier, especially in these warm vintages, to preserve natural acidity. Sparkling has us picking a week or so earlier than that. We picked Chardonnay from Carabella Vineyard last Saturday and will pick Crawford Beck Pinot noir at the end of the week. We’re also going to pick some high elevation Chardonnay from Hyland Vineyard this year. Since we’re all such sparkling lovers, the hardest part is waiting the 3 years or so until our first release. We are really looking forward to 2019. -Bill Sweat, Proprietor

Follow Winderlea’s Harvest Updates


Additional Blogs

 


 

TECHINFO

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