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Dawnine Dyer
October 7, 2011 | Dawnine Dyer

Blue Skies Above!

Just look at these lovely, unadorned clusters! 

The rain finally went away. We had about 2.5 inches over the last four days. But, it’s bright and sunny today, and the long-range forecast shows lots of warm weather, which is a very good thing.

As I mentioned before, it’s fortunate that we grow varieties that are resilient when faced with rain: Relatively tough-skinned Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. And, the fruit was very healthy going into the rain. 

But, we don’t want to take anything for granted so job one, today, was to get out there and remove the leaves around the fruit zone to maximize the air flow around the clusters. You can see all the leaves on the ground around the vines. This helps the bunches to dry out more quickly. The downside is the birds have a really great view of their potential supper. We've already seen a few robins indulging...

We also used a very special, high-tech method to dry things out: A leaf blower! It works pretty well! The trick is to try to get the moisture inside the cluster dried out to avoid bunch rot. 

Obviously, this would be an overwhelming job if we were big-time growers but for our small patch of Diamond Mountain it’s manageable and probably is a good calorie burner, too.

They're reading 23% sugar and we'll probably see a little bounce once they dry out. The acid, pH and tannins are coming along nicely. If the forecast is right we're set up for excellent flavor maturity at relatively low brix - the very thing we hope for. 

Reports from around the valley indicate that most growers got their white varieties and most of the Pinot Noir in before the rain, so it may be that the dreaded rainfall won’t actually have a lot of impact. Let’s hope so!


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