The recent weather, interspersed as it has been with some of the hottest days on record and most days hovering around the 21-22° mark, has a lot of similarity to the start of the 2016 harvest. In terms of the progress of my vines, it couldn’t be more different.
A good portion of the reason I keep these short weather and growth diaries is to cross-check their performance year on year, and this month versus last July is a good case in point.
The 2016 vintage, although beginning with early warm weather, failed to produce a yield of any substantial size. The temperatures pulled back somewhat in July and August and the potential crop never filled out, leaving slim pickings come October.
Back to 2017, and now that any risk of frost has been mitigated against, I’m blessed with numerous healthy and blooming bunches on both my Chardonnay and Ortega vines.
My MVN3, which is usually quite a large producer (having been established slightly longer than the other vines) is actually the poorest performer at this point.
There’s been a good deal of cropping this month in the naturally extending length in all vine varieties, as well as significant leaf cropping in the Ortega due to the recurring issue with mite blistering to the leaves (Colomerus Vitis). Although these mites are not harmful to the overall crop, I’m attempting to keep the soils and vines as uncompromised as possible.
The last few days have brought significant rain, including one serious overnight storm, and damp conditions are forecasted for the next couple of weeks. Hopefully this will serve to feed and swell the grapes just enough, without them being overpowered or diluted.