2010 Harvest at Dyer
November 01, 2010
As you may have heard or noticed, the weather this year in Napa Valley was just plain weird. Here on Diamond Mountain we had a late, wet spring, then "the Summer That Never Happened"- more foggy mornings with a few hours of afternoon sun. Verasion was late and green thinning challenging and we dropped about 20% of the fruit in the hopes that ripening would beat winter. Just before Labor Day we were convinced that it would take a miracle (in the form of a nice stretch of late season heat) and we got it in spades! In the last week of September and into October we had a heat wave with temperatures spiking to 113 in parts of the valley. In our location, on the west side of the valley and off the valley floor, our temperatures stayed in the 90s- great for ripening with just a little sunburn on the western facing side of the vines. We still had a ways to go and it wasn't until Oct 21 that we had the flavors, squishy skins, and brown seeds that said "pick me" Timely, as the next day it started to rain and we had 5 inches in our rain gauge before it stopped.
A new wrinkle (and we use that word ironically because the hot days just before harvest did wrinkle some skins, both ours and the grapes) is that for the first time we benefited from a new piece of equipment with the grand name: Le Trier. This sits just after the destemmer and is basically a vibrating table with slots. The grape clusters have already been sorted for flawed clusters, but the LT takes sorting down to the berry level- if there are raisins they get a shake down and fall thru the slots and shot berries and pieces of stem called jacks are also removed. Expensive but worth it. As the berries fall off the table on their way to the fermentor, they look like a cascade of blueberries... no MOG, as we say.
Now that it's all safely in the tank and we taste the early results we're thinking this could be one of our best vintages- deeply colored, bright fruits and spice aromas. Something to be thankful for.