Our Winemaker Patrick Mahaney recently released his 2012 Napa Valley Vintage update and we thought you might like to take a peek into our Napa vineyards too!
Hope you enjoy...
Greetings from Napa Valley!
As the summer stretches on, I am very happy to report that our vineyards are developing beautifully along the same lines as the outstanding 2008 and 2009 vintages. Based on this consistency - we expect harvest to be late September through mid-October.
For those who are interested in numbers - here is a stat breakdown as of August 12th:
- 2008 and 2012 are virtually identical with 1,950 growing-degree days (GDDs)
- 2009 had 1,865 GDDs at the same point, about 4% less
- 2010 and 2011 had about 1,700 GDDs at the same point, about 13% less. I note that we were able to obtain full maturity in 2010 and 2011 due to beautiful weather in October and early November in both years.
Growing-degree days (GDD): A way of determining if a prospective area has sufficient “ripening power” for the establishment of an orchard or vineyard. The grouping of geographic areas into discreet growing zones to guide the selection of landscape plants employs GDDs as a component. The annual measurement of GDDs is useful for guiding certain viticultural decisions as well as providing a way to quantify differences among growing seasons.
- Rainfall: Generally normal winter rainfall, but a dry February was of concern. Fortunately, March brought several inches of rain, so we started the season with bud-break at the end of March with soil moisture in perfect condition. We have had no significant rainfall since late March with consistently dry, warm weather to date.
- Crop size: Slightly larger than average but berry size is typically small – small berries are the most important yield factor determining concentration of the wine.
- Veraison (berry coloring and softening): is occurring right now. This is the time when we hand-thin clusters and berries that are lagging in development to ensure consistently ripe fruit at harvest.
As more develops I will send out additional updates. It's a pleasure sharing TETRA's journey from vineyard to glass with you and I look forward to keeping you in-the-know as harvest nears.
Thank you for being a part of the TETRA (and Expression) family!
Winemaker, TETRA Napa Valley & Expression Wines