Roll with the Punches- Harvest 2022
San Diego winery faces challenges from Mother Nature for the 2022 harvest. Two hard frosts during the spring resulted in a total loss of this season’s grape yield.
In my last Winemakers Report I explained how the two spring frost events impacted my grape contracts in California. All the Charbono, Nebbiolo, and Petite Sirah were lost this year. The only remaining hope was the Barbera.
The evening before harvest was scheduled I received a call from the vineyard manager explaining that yield was down 70% and he didn’t have enough to fulfill my contract.
After the devastating wildfires cut my yield in half last year, I played my hunches and doubled down on grapes from the Sierra Foothills. Unfortunately, we got no grapes from California this year. The spring frost wiped out the crop.
On the positive side, although I contracted for a smaller amount of grapes this year, I maintained my Washington contracts.
Reports out of Washington are that this is a vintage for the ages. A very long, slow growing season makes for intense flavor development, but also for a very late harvest.
My early ripening grapes were brought to San Diego back on October 7. I’ve already fermented, pressed and put all of it in barrels. As crazy as it seems, I still have 10.5 tons of grapes hanging on the vines in Washington. I’ve scheduled them to be picked on Monday, October 31 and delivered to the winery early in the morning on Friday, November 4. This is the latest in the year that I have ever made wine.
In the end, it will all work out and it will be a spectacular 2022 vintage.
You gotta roll with the punches.