Foggiest Notion

 I have the foggiest notion that harvest is just around the  corner.  Except for those vineyards socked in by the fog that has draped much of Sonoma County this summer.  Below is a picture of a harvest morning (around 8:30 am) taken at Peay Vineyards in Annapolis, California, in September 2009.  As you can see, the fog is dissipating, and the grapes and grapevines are just then beginning to warm up from the exposure to sun.  These types of mornings in 2009 — where the cold nights transition into cool mornings and gradually warm up through the day — contributed to the slow accumulation of flavors in the grapes, resulting in the profound Peay Vineyards Pinot Noirs from that exceptional vintage.  By contrast, in 2011, some vineyards in the towns of Occidental, Forestville, and elsewhere along the western Sonoma Coast, have been covered by a dense fog that is leaving the grapes in a state of “suspended animation,” where grape ripening is slowing to a snail’s pace.  Coupled with the rains and other climatic events of this spring and early summer that had already contributed to a late start to the growing season, as well as delayed bloom and set, this might turn out to be a true Halloween harvest for varieties other than Syrah.  Stay tuned.

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