Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cabernet Harvest at Quintessa 10-14 days Behind Normal

It's the first week in October and we have finally picked our early Cabernets - mostly from the estate's south and southwest facing hillsides - Dragon's Terrace, Riviera Sur, and South Terrace blocks. We started last week with the vineyard edges and have continued to pull in more this week. It's a bit of a late season, with Cabernet Sauvignon pick dates averaging a week or more later than last year and the gap between Merlot, which is always the first pick off of the property, and Cabernet 10-14 days later than normal. Merlot has been closer to two weeks later than last year, mainly the result of delayed budbreak this spring. Why the delayed budbreak on Merlot? Another one of nature's mysteries.

The quality of both the Merlot and Cabernet is excellent so far with small berries, even ripeness and minimal berry shrivel from the hot spells in September.

The moderate weather this week is a relief from the seesaw hot-cool-hot-cool weather we had a few weeks ago. Temperatures through the end of this week and weekend look mild and skies are clear.

Meanwhile, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon fementations for our Illumination Sauvignon Blanc are finishing as projected, with bright tropical and herb aromas coming out from behind the yeasty fermentation smells. We are beginning our second round of battonage on the early lots this week.

Come visit to see harvest in full swing, it's a sight to behold. If you can't make it to Quintessa, visit us on the web and check out our harvest video at


Charles Thomas, Quintessa

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