Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Back again....and there.

I knew it. I knew it. I knew it.

There was always going to be a time when I stumbled on the blog, when I spent more time doing what I love rather than reflecting on it. So, maybe it's obvious--based on the summer we're having--but we're sitting on one of the most unique, remarkable, quintessentially different vintage that I can remember. The one that comes closest to this would be 2002.

2002 also had a warm spell in January, had a warm time in April that caused an early budbreak, and was borderline drought conditions with heat waves and cool waves. OK, so it has lots in common with 2002, just more so. It's all been amplified. Where 2002 was hot, this is hotter. Where 2002 was dry, this is drier. This is the "-er" year if there ever was one.

Now, I hate to actually put this in writing--for fear that my boys may someday read this and think that I was going nuts at an early age or perhaps taking in too much of the vinous vintage--but I actually think we maybe could use a little of the wet stuff. Now they say, be careful what you wish for. And I'm sure in this climate of overdoneness that if I asked for a shower I'd meet a deluge. But the leaves are starting to curl, they're starting to lose their gloss, and the grass crunches beneath my feet. It's hot and dry. If it wasn't so damn humid I'd think I was back in Kansas. (Not a bad thing, but you're not me.)

This phenomenal year had had me back on my heels since day one (April 7), reeling to keep up with its twists and turns. Now, after fruit set, I wonder if the vines will make it. Will we somehow be able to pull off the vintage of the century with adequate rainfall and protection from hurricanes? Or will we finally succumb to the power that was 2009 and sink into the depths of a debilitatingly tough and rough vintage due to the carnage of drought-like conditions and lose half of our venerable vines in our vineyard to the stresses of extreme climate change?

Again, for all of you who don't know me, you can now see why I don't play the lottery. This is a poker of the soul. Can we or can we not stare down the deck for an inside straight, run the table on the vines? Or will we pull up short, fold, throw in the junk and give up?

It's too soon to tell. Here we are in July. We still need to get through veraison, get nets on, build sugars, soften skins, ripen tannins. I'll see you in October, or maybe in September. I'll be the one with the grape goo on my hands.

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