The Interior-San Joaquin Valley
Global Warming, not here. According to NOAA, California was one of the few spots in the world reporting below average temps for April-June. So as we approach harvest, 2 weeks behind last year, the crop this year looks about average. But the cool growing season has created some challenges from shatter to powdery mildew. Then, add to the mix, a new pest, European Grapevine Moth causing some heartburn for growers and wineries. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Mother Nature will bless the grapes with even ripening without any extreme heat and take a rest during harvest…NO RAIN. I have been hearing some winemakers who believe this temperate weather will make great wine. But it could be a long Harvest, with Thanksgiving trimmings.
The grape market in the Interior was steady early with prices similar to last year. The Southern SJV is buttoned up except for Thompsons, which is in a world of its own, where a grower has a decision to make as to whether to lay down on trays for raisins or deliver green as grapes. In the Northern SJV, all reds and Pinot Grigio are tied up. But the North SJV still has some grapes that are looking for a home, particularly Chardonnay, Zinfandel and a spattering of Merlot. The Northern Interior Grower, who has either or both Chardonnay and Zinfandel, which currently that lack demand are faced with prices that are not sustainable and are facing the uncertainty of the future in hopes of a turnaround. What has done a turnaround is Muscat, any kind of Muscat! Who would have thought that this floral would bring more than Chardonnay and Zinfandel!
Each year brings its share of challenges. Depending how prepared we are to meet those challenges will determine our success. Having a good team that has experience and knowledge that you can trust, is important in business and in life. We put this to use with our clients to guide them through the ups and down of the wine road. And this year, I used more tools creatively to help me with clients and life challenges in 2010!
Best wishes to all for the upcoming harvest.