Warm weather last week spurred a jump in maturity levels of red wine grapes, with the Cabernet Sauvignon harvest now in rock and roll mode. Even Cabernet Franc, often late to the harvest game, is being brought in, along with what looks to be the picking finale over the next week or so of other reds, including Zinfandel, Merlot and Petite Syrah. As the season stretches on, yields that at first were being reported as average to a bit above average seem to be sizing up.
With mild, early autumn-like weather in the latter part of the week and predicted for the week ahead, ideal conditions for the ripening of the reds that remain continues the refrain of 2014 looking to be exceptional, and in many cases, an exceptionally early, vintage. A gentle sprinkle of (welcome) rain on September 18 rinsed dust from the grapes and hopefully portends a wet winter ahead.
The Cabernet is in near-perfect condition as we head into the second half of September and we are contemplating an early finish to what promises to be a spectacular vintage.
Kristin Belair, Honig Winery & Vineyard