Monday, September 20, 2010

An ill bit of rain

0.4" inches of rain fell here yesterday - which really isn't that much - but nothing good can come of it. It isn't uncommon to get a few showers starting in August and September (maybe one per month), and generally those are very weak with perhaps a half inch of rain total for the period Aug~Oct.

This year has been very cool and the threat of molds & botrytis have been on the horizon for months now with all the fog and dampness we've had in the Russian river basin. One of my neighbors was out last night spraying Stylet oil or Serenade on the vines with the hope of halting any further development of the rot. And at least it is clear this morning, though the forecast is predicting more fog midweek as the system which was here moves eastward. Otherwise the weather is supposed to be fairly sunny, which is good. But unfortunately what we really need is a bit of wind during the days following a rain with sunny days in the mid 80's to dry things out...and the breezes in the valleys probably won't be above 5~8 mph this week.

I'd estimate our pinot & chardonnay at roughly 4% rot going into the rain, and our zin a little bit less for the blocks which are nearest creeks or the river, but it is still present in the blocks with the tightest clusters even away from the river. The syrah is very loose, as is the cab and merlot, and there shouldn't be too much loss to botrytis in those, but the zin and syrah got hit a bit harder by sunburn and raisining during the hot dry weather we had a few weeks back, so they won't come through this unscathed either. There is a good probability that our loses due to sunburn and raisins will be 10% in the zin and 5% in the syrah. (most of that was self inflicted when we pulled more leaves and repositioned branches trying to get more sunlight on the fruit to speed ripening and help combat mold by allowing more air to circulate thru the canopy - just in time to get slammed with the 100+ degree heat!)

All in all it's going to continue to be a weird year as far as growing conditions are concerned, and now the biggest decisions to make are when to spray to keep the rot down, and which product will be most effective with the least application....

Pray for some dry wind to start blowing through the region for a few days!


Anonymous Josh said...

We only have a couple acres going into still this year so I'm saying screw it and going out with a leaf blower this afternoon.

September 20, 2010 10:23 AM  
Blogger Wilf G.K said...

You are lucky! I have talked to a good number of vintners here on Vancouver Island and on the mainland and unless we see a miracle, the rain and cool weather has pretty much assured very little crop will be picked this year. Complete write of on the Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.
PS Love your credo!

September 21, 2010 9:20 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home