What can I say about the year 2017. The rainfall was fantastic, the growing year has developed well except for our record heat in early September, and the yields are looking promising for the area. Unfortunately the year hasn’t been as positive for the Pianettas!
As my dad gets over Valley Fever I will be braving harvest on my own. As much as I feel prepared, the final decisions on picking dates, processing methods, yeast strains etc. leave me questioning my abilities. All the years that I have given my dad a hard time about looking over my shoulder as I work around the winery are starting to feel a little deserved! It always would drive me crazy to have him questioning my every move, but this year, the voice over my shoulder might have been welcomed. I feel as if there is some sort of wisdom to learn here about being thrown into the deep end, but I sure don’t know what that is yet. So… we forge onward. Stay tuned.
However, the good news is that I am very happy with how the fruit is developing. I have been visiting the vineyards 2-3 times a week over the last few weeks to watch the cluster development and sample the sugars and taste the berries. We are working with a new Zinfandel Vineyard this year as well as a new Syrah Vineyard due to the replanting of our Estate Vineyard. Most of the time I am apprehensive with new vineyards, but so far, I am cautiously excited about what we are bringing in.
After giggling a little bit about the name of our new Zinfandel source, (Wine-Bush), I cannot wait to see how this mature, head pruned east side vineyard is going to turn out. The flavor is great, the clusters are beautifully developed and I am very nervous as this is the first grape we will be harvesting this year.
Another aspect of harvest this year has been the outpouring of support from fellow winemakers, friends, and customers. Everyone’s encouragement has helped me realize that we will have a fantastic harvest this year, despite the bumps in the road.