July 2019

Another Great Grower

Brad Goehring has been elected by the California Winegrape Grower’s Association the 2019 Leader of the Year. Brad is a fourth generation grape grower. Last year we purchased some Petit Sirah and Old Vine Zinfandels from some of the Goehring Vineyards Inc. They were excellent grapes and we hope to continue this relation for years to come and with additional varieties. 

Timing Assesment 

 Throughout the month of July, we disciplined ourselves not to go out and look at the potential crop. We were convinced that the crop was much later than previous years and we could not come up with an accurate assessment as to maturity. Earlier this week we broke that discipline. Full blown anxiety took over. 

There is no question here in Northern California that we are at least two weeks behind “normal maturity”. Veraison in the early variety of Zinfandel is only about 15% to 50%. This puts us out at least 4 to 6 weeks.  Tempranillo color change is much higher. Many years ago a lot of Tempranillo was shipped in the beginning of the season by its old name of Valdepina when the Zinfandels were very late. We do not see any harvest before September 1st.

What confirms our assessment is, naturally, visual inspection and talking with growers, but the fact is that wineries and harvesters are delaying the hiring of sugar tester inspectors by at least two weeks.

Winery Activity

At this particular time there is NO winery activity. Part of the lack of activity can be a relation to the late timing of the harvest but most blogs are blaming the delay of government ruling on the E & J Gallo Winery’s purchase of a lot of the facilities and labels from Constellation Brands, Inc. No one knows if the deal will be approved, who is going to buy and/or crush the grapes. This needs to be resolved in the next few weeks for us to have a coherent season. We made reference to this issue in our April Newsletter.

Regardless of the result of the above issue we do expect a drop in price for some varieties especially Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandels. We may see a slight drop in other varieties including some Italian varieties.

Grape Crop Size

There is generally a good grape crop. There are some varieties and or locations that are showing a little lighter set but there is no generalization to expound at all. Almost all varieties are available, so please contact us with your needs for this upcoming season.