Harvest continues its full-press pace, having really kicked in with last week’s hot temperatures. Everyone is grateful for cooler temperatures this week, to give both people and grapes a breather. Rain on Wednesday was most welcome as it lightly hydrated and rinsed the grapes still hanging, which continue to develop and concentrate flavors. Almost all of the white grapes have been pressed and are starting fermentation, with most Pinot Noir having been brought in. Waves of Merlot and Malbec continue to make their way from vineyard to crush pad and we’re well into the Cabernet Sauvignon harvest, especially hillside fruit, in some areas of Napa Valley.
With the cooler temperatures and a bit of moisture, our Merlot grapes are developing the way we want with concentrated, deep flavors. How do we tell when they’re ready? Although we take samples and use those numbers as a baseline, we walk the vineyards every day. We taste. And then one day the flavors we are looking for develop and we schedule picking. In our vineyards, we’ve tried to match up clones and rootstock to different soil types for a palette of different flavor profiles to work with.”
Bruce Regalia, winemaker, Materra, Cunat Family Vineyards