The vines entered winter dormancy with good sugar content and healthy buds. Winter was characterized by periods of extreme cold, as low as –16C (2F), punctuated by warm spells that disrupted the primary buds in some blocks. Bud break was very late and followed by cold, wet weather that slowed early shoot development and interrupted fruit set, resulting in fewer, smaller berries in each cluster but higher concentration of flavors in the fruit. To reduce soil moisture and hasten veraison, we allowed grass and weeds to grow in the rows and row middles, and left extra leaves and shoots late into the season. As wet weather continued, we opened the canopy to allow sun exposure and air circulation. Post-veraison ripening started quickly and then slowed so that early ripening varieties were harvested sooner than usual while late season varieties much later than usual.
Winemaker: Tom Croghan