Wild Weather Roller Coaster Ride

Like an amusement park ride, recent temperatures have gone up, hovering at 100 degrees on the 18th; back down, to the low 50s overnight midweek; and now they’re headed back up with another 100 degree day predicted on the 25th. The result? Picking of white wine grapes is essentially done. Most of the medium-bodied reds, like Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Syrah are gently fermenting in tanks across the valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is knocking at and crossing over cellar doors. At night, the valley is nearly as bright as day with portable floodlights filling the sky as pickers work feverishly below. Grape trucks loaded with white, yellow and blue bins line the highway each morning as the valley comes to life, ready for another frenzied day. Photos courtesy of Bob McClenahan.