Decade of Harvests
Will the 2005 harvest be the greatest of years or the worst of years? Each year at this time we ponder about this. Answers usually come from the vineyards, and the vineyards are listening to the climate.
For the last 10 years we have kept climate data on all our vineyards to understand the effect of climate on our wine. To start with, we recorded maximum temperature day and night for each day of the last 10 years, plus each rainfall. We also recorded the dates of key vineyard events, such as bud break and veraison. Veraison is the color change from green grapes to blue grapes due to ripening.
It is interesting to look at this data for the previous exceptional years 1997, 2000, 2001, compared to the worst year on record, 1998. (We didn't market 1998's Cabernet Sauvignon, but sold it off in bulk).
At the left on this page is a moving average of the high temperatures for both bad & good years. Note the green line for 1998; the excessively warm August may have cooked the grapes. Look at the more moderate temperatures for the three exceptional years 1997, 2000, and 2001. Now look at the orange curve for this year 2005. Does it more nearly match the winning years, or the loser 1998?
Also look at the next page of graphs inside. For those of you who don't care to look at detailed graphs we could conclude that this year 2005 is off to a good start. The daily temperature has been on the low side. Whether that is good or bad we shall see!