By the time you read this, there's probably already been some white stuff on the ground. That is, as long as the weather forecasters get it right. (Don't get me started there. As someone who obsesses about the weather for a good part of the year, I have noticed some painful inaccuracies lately. I've got to think that recent climate change is affecting the computer models that are based on decades of older weather data......)
The vines have probably already shut down for the winter. That's the viticultural version of hibernation. Basically, we can't go out and start pruning them back into shape for next year until all the sap--for lack of a better word--has been pulled back down out of the canopy and into the roots. I know of at least a couple vineyards who have taken advantage of this warmer December weather to get out and get a jump on 2010. We're not one of them.
For the first time, we waited until after harvest to pull some of our reds from barrels. The 2008s were great wines, and could handle the extra month or two in wood. It's crazy to be doing red blends when it's cold out, but that's the fact this year. And I think the wines are better for it. Luckily, we have the space now--with ou new addition--to be able to do this.
The last tank of Vidal is almost finished fermenting. Racking that would officially close the formal 2009 Harvest, although we have been in non-harvest mode for a week. Although, if you ask Ray, he still feels the pressure of being behind. In my mind, that's just normal for a winery. But he decided he was going to move into his new house during harvest. Anyone who knew me back in 2002 knows what a zombie I was when I did that to myself.
I'll post in a while on the 2009s. Suffice it to say right now that they are a whole lot better than I could have imagined them being. They'll be really nice wines.