There have been some seriously incredible skies around these parts lately! The sunsets have been turning our entire vineyard and homestead PINK. Forest fires in British Columbia have been burning for about a week, and drifting smoke has crept into large parts of the Willamette Valley, giving our views a slightly 'end of the world' feel. Fortunately, it's not quite heavy enough at this point for us to worry about smoke taint in the grapes.
We've also had our minds on, ahem, 'Weather Extremes' as the big Pacific Northwest heat wave also passed through last week. Despite the heat during the day, our evenings cooled, allowing the grapes to continue their growth. Now that the heat has subsided a bit, we're beginning to de-leaf more aggressively, exposing the fruit to more light and air flow. This will promote ripening through sugar accumulation, skin tannin development and a reduction in acid further on during veraison. Besides some mowing and hedging of the shoots, this should conclude our hand work in the vineyard until picking time!
We're predicting beginning harvest around the third week of September and it's time to start prepping ourselves (anybody have any great freezer meal recipes to share?) and the winery (new crush pad lights and talk of a basketball hoop) for harvest. Last year's vintages are being bottled to make room for even more tanks this year. The plan is to increase our production by 28 tons this harvest! We're holding on to a lot more of our own fruit this season, bringing in 22 tons from southern Oregon and for the first time, Merlot and Cab Sauv from Eastern Washington.
It's hard to believe harvest is just around the corner again when we are still in our summer stride of zucchini and wild blackberries. We hope you'll stop in this month to soak up the last bit of summer with a glass of wine in the garden! We have a couple of live music events coming up as well as our regular vineyard tours this month. As always, thanks for supporting Alexeli and happy sipping!