Vinetalk Harvest Updates from Lorna Kreutz
Lincourt and Foley Estates
Harvest started on Tuesday, August 18th, one day earlier than last year’s harvest, making it the earliest vintage on record. Lorna and her team started off with a few Pinot Noir clones from the Rancho Santa Rosa vineyard. So far the fruit looks fantastic – yields are a lower than previous years but the flavors are much more concentrated.
The growing season during this vintage was uncharacteristically warm compared to years past - preventing the vines from entering into deep dormancy and leading into an early bud break. A cool spell that occurred post-flowering slowed physiological development and lengthened the fruit set process. The month prior to harvest, Lorna and her team experienced another surprise as the Central Coast region caught the tail end of hurricane Dolores which brought excess humidity. At the late stage, humidity can wreak havoc on the fruit as it increases the risk for disease and for botrytis to form. To prevent this, the team went back through the rows and pulled leaves from the canopy to increase airflow which helped dry out any moisture within the clusters and fruiting zone to prevent disease bloom.
Although this year has brought some unexpected challenges, Lorna sees great potential in what she refers to as a ‘winemaker’s harvest’– lower fruit yields with higher concentration of flavor and fruit quality. This also translates to higher skin to juice ratio for the red fermentations which has Lorna eager start on the 2015 vintage.