In the fourth installment of our weekly harvest updates from Spring Mountain Vineyard we get a general update on where things stand as of the last full week in September. In general, it seems as though 2008 is providing lower overall yields and high quality fruit, which makes those in the industry happy.
Here are the detail from winemaker Jac Cole:
As of the 22nd of September we have a bit less than 10% of the crop in; we’ve finished Pinot Noir [ed. note: see photos below], we only have a few acres, and about 80% of the SB is in and fermenting away, and today we brought in our first Merlot. But that leaves a lot of fruit yet to ripen and be harvested; over 72% of our plantings are Cabernet Sauvignon which we normally expect to be ripe in October and it looks like 2008 is no exception. Our other Bordeaux varietals like Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec are all still out on the vine as well as our Syrah, so you can see the lion’s share of this harvest is still in front of us.
So far it looks like it will be a smaller than average crop, no doubt due to the effects of the drought, but the quality is excellent with even a bit more concentrated flavors than normal. We really haven’t brought in enough fruit to be surprised by anything, but we have been delighted that the weather has returned to a classic Napa Valley autumn that makes ripening wine grapes so perfect here; crisp cool nights and warm mild days with temperatures in the low to mid 80′s, everything just right to bring flavors to there peak. This time of year is without a doubt my favorite on Spring Mountain.
Below are a two photos taken when the winery’s Pinot Noir was harvested a couple weeks ago. Notice the unique shape of the vines–Spring Mountain farms its crop in what is known as the ‘gobelet’ method, which typically involves no system of support, resulting in vines that are literally in the shape of a goblet. Full details on the method and how it is being utilized at Spring Mountain Vineyard can be found here.
For full Harvest 2008 coverage, go here.