Anyone who knows even the slightest thing about me, knows that I am the coldest person I know. I’m a total wuss, and I own it.
For the past 4 years I have been so very fortunate that Rob has let me take off to the northern hemisphere for vintage in the slower months here at home. And while this may sound wonderful and romantic and like I am chasing the warm weather around the globe, the truth is, I chase autumn followed very closely by winter to Oregon, so it’s torture for this poor frozen winemaker.
All joking aside, Oregon has been an incredible learning experience for me year after year and I am extremely thankful to have been given the time to head over there.
Each year seems to have presented a very different area in which to increase my knowledge and 2019 was no different. We were faced with what was originally thought would be an exceptional year quality-wise, that very quickly turned in to a case of late in harvest vineyard management, more fruit sampling than I have ever experienced and some very tough harvest decisions.
After a mild winter and cool spring, the onset of Autumn was early and fast. The weather turned un-seasonally cold just days after my arrival and we experienced three significant rain events during the picking window. It was a roller coaster ride of racing to get fruit off vines that wouldn’t survive the next big downpour and patience when the fruit was capable of quite literally weathering the storm.
I believe it will be a polarizing vintage. One where the winemakers who didn’t panic about the rain, those who made informed and educated picking decisions based on both analysis and taste and gut feel, will have some killer wines on their hands come bottling. Fingers crossed we are some of those winemakers.