I have had a lot of people asking me recently if this year is going to be a good one for grapes. The general consensus from people asking the question is that summer has been terrible, and therefore, so will be the wine. As a winemaker I have never experienced ‘a bad year’, just challenging ones.
Admittedly summer did get off to a slow start. But with a lot of vineyard canopy work and diligent pest management, The Good Earth vines made it through to August in good health. Credit there goes to Chris Andrewes, Beamsville uber-farmer. August is when the serious berry ripening begins around here, and coincidently, that is when summer decided to show up this year. So for the past 6 weeks, our healthy grapevines have enjoyed sunny, dry days to pump loads of flavours and sugars into the berries, and cool nights to keep the aromatics, colours and fresh acidity in place.
So is it going to be a good year? The Pinot Noir looks as if it spent the early part of summer on holiday in the tropics, and may even be ripening earlier than usual. All our berries are accumulating sugar faster than Chef Isa could pour it into one of her world beating deserts. The new season’s barrels are arriving. The sun is still shining. The harvest staff are smiling. Yeah, it’s going to be a good year.