2022 Harvest Update with Jessica
We brought the last of our fruit in Tuesday, October 25. As we sorted the handpicked Malbec from Conner Lee and Cabernet franc from Solaksen, my fingers grew numb and my legs were stiff from the cold, despite all of us being bundled up. Tuesday was the first time I felt really chilled this harvest. Less than a week ago we were still experiencing 70 F days and lots of sunshine. It has been a remarkable vintage in more ways than just the weather.
We experienced one of the wettest, coldest, and longest Springs this year that most of can remember. We began the season tracking colder than 2011- our coldest year on record. Warm weather didn’t really arrive until late June. Mother nature made up for the long, cold s
pring and delayed summer by giving us an intense amount of heat in August followed by the most perfect ripening conditions through all of September and most of October. I think we were all walking around pinching ourselves over the beautiful weather this October. And then it all came abruptly to an end last weekend. But boy, it was lovely while it lasted.
The combination of the cold, wet spring and delayed summer resulted in harvest being 2-3 weeks later than normal for most varieties. This had plenty of people stressed out with the potential for frost any time in October. However, we have yet to see any of that “F” word, allowing a lot of growers to get their grapes harvested before you-know-what happens. The combination of a later harvest and gorgeous weather has resulted in some of the best tasting grapes in years. Normally, sugar accumulates in the grapes quickly during our hot, late summer months. Then we wait for flavor to catch up with the sugar, which might mean acid levels decrease or dehydration starts to occur. This year was the opposite! The flavors have been outstanding well before sugar levels were close to readiness for harvest. Amazing flavors that pop out at you as soon as you taste a grape. And the acid! So much acid. I am so excited about the potential quality for the wines this year. Great flavors, plenty of acid and a big crop. The whites are going to be bright and lively, and the reds are going to age beautifully.
Now that we have all our fruit in the cellar at Wautoma Springs, I’ll be closely watching each fermentation and tasting daily and relishing the fact that we don’t have any more grapes to sort out in the cold, windy weather.