Here’s what Michael Weis, winemaker for Groth Vineyards & Winery, had to say about the 2010 harvest:
“This year we went from winter directly to fall with very little time for normal summer vineyard activities. 2010 was a cool year with several heat spikes that not only helped accelerate the maturation of slowly ripening clusters, but also desiccated unshaded fruit. It was a year for a great deal of work in the vineyard before, during and after veraison to be sure that only the best fruit reached the crush pad.
“The level of raisining in the Bordeaux varieties required extensive thinning just prior to picking. Fortunately, most fruit in our area had been picked before the big rain event in late October.”
Comments from Julie Pedroncelli St. John, vice president of marketing for Pedroncelli Winery:
“Our vineyard manager was very happy with how the Cabernet Sauvignon blocks looked – great hang time, lots of juice. Everything came in perfectly ripened with great hang time achieved in the month of October.
“However, this year will also go down in the Pedroncelli vineyard book with Zinfandel being the hardest hit by the 1-2 punch of the weather in August – very cool, and then up to 108 degrees of heat almost overnight. Overall, we saw a loss of around 10-15 percent in most varieties, and lost 50 percent or a bit more from our Zinfandel production – our flagship wine.
“In order to bring in the best fruit possible, we employed the grape picking crew by the hour, rather than by the bucket, to comb through the Zinfandel on each vine to make sure that the best fruit was hand picked, and the bunches were screened a second time as they were brought to the gondola.
“The silver lining was the very good weather experienced during September and October brought us outstanding fruit. We’ll have the best wine we could make because of our diligence at harvest.”
Tomorrow: Reports from Mendocino, the Santa Cruz Mountains and Livermore Valley.