2015 Star Harvest Report-Diamond Mountain District

Diamond Mountain District

8/25/15 “Vineyards on Diamond Mountain can be divided into two camps- those that finished bloom before the cool weather in May and those that didn’t finish bloom until early June.  Those on the earlier track, north-facing slopes and young vineyards, are rapidly approaching full maturity while those on the later track are still 2-3 weeks away.  Overall crops look smaller than normal, not unexpected given the drought and 3 years of fairly large crops, but those who endured the extended bloom during May are seeing an additional reduction in crop size from shatter and pour set.  Small crops are prone to faster ripening so growers all over the mountain are starting to pay attention.”

 

8/31/15 “The Sori Briquot Vineyard on Diamond Mountain picked a little Merlot on 9/2 and Cab will come off of the upper, south facing slopes at Von Strasser later in the week.  Further up the mountain, Seaver says they are getting sugars in the 24s on their first samples and Constant and Andrew Geoffrey all report that they will be taking a closer look this week.  Everything looks good; small berry size, concentrated fruit… and a week of perfect weather- what more can we ask for?”

 

9/7/15 “The last couple weeks provided us with perfect conditions for ripening and we’re beginning to see some activity at the higher elevations on Diamond Mountain.  Hard Six Cellars picked last week and confirm that low yields continue to characterize the vintage.  Armstrong Ranch on Kortum Canyon will pick later this week.  Sterling’s Diamond Mountain Ranch, Seaver, Constant and The Vineyardist as well as Dyer Vyd and Diamond Creek are all looking at another 2-3 weeks.”

 

9/14/15 “Last weeks killer heat spell has been all but eclipsed by the Valley Fire and I’ve seen quite a few Diamond Mountain vintners helping out at the evacuation center at the fairgrounds.

But harvest doesn’t stop for a natural disaster and, as picking begins in earnest Diamond Mountain joins the ranks of other AVAs reporting low crops.  J. Davies, Mueller Family and Armstrong Ranch all report as much as 50% off on their first Cabs, with a few bright spots in Malbec and Merlot.   At Dyer, we’re picking on Thursday- but if we thought a light crop was a disaster, we’ve changed our tune.”

 

9/21/15 “Two weeks that saw a record heat wave, a fire, and rain have been followed by ideal late fall weather and the list of Diamond Mountain vineyards with fruit still hanging is starting to dwindle to those at higher elevations.  J Davies took a break in the middle of harvest to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the family winery- congratulations to the Davies Family! Seaver will pick this week.  While yields continue to be the biggest concern with 30-50% off last year being the norm the talk is beginning to turn to quality- all reports are of small berries and concentrated flavors.  Small can be beautiful.”

 

9/28/15 “Lovely fall weather, more typical of Diamond Mountain harvests than that of the first half of September, has brought favorable conditions for harvest to both The Vineyardist and Constant Diamond Mountain, two of the highest elevation vineyards in the AVA.  Both will be picking small lots or “micro picks” as Dirk Fulton calls them, over the next 2 weeks.  Diamond Creek is working there way thru their diverse blocks and anticipates finishing the second week of October.  Phil Steinshriber is comparing the quality (alas, not the quantity!) to 2013- Yum.”