Harvest 2010 in the Willamette Valley

Harvest is finally on in a big way here in the northern Willamette Valley of Oregon. We were among the first to bring in fruit a week ago from the Armstrong Vineyard, a young site on Ribbon Ridge. Young vines typically ripen fruit early, and Armstrong was early all year from flowering to verasion (when red grapes start to gain color) all the way to harvest. Flavors were great, sugars were healthy in the 23 to 24 brix range and acids in the 3.3 to 3.4 pH range. Essentially perfect conditions, exceptional for this cool year where many sites are looking at higher acids and lower sugars.

The 4.4 tons of Pinot Noir that we brought in last Friday are quietly beginning to ferment without any fussing from the winemaker. Meanwhile, the final lot of our fruit comes in tomorrow from Zenith Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills. While most people are just getting started, we’re going to be all in. I think that’s a nice place to be.

All together, we’re bringing in 5.5 tons of fruit for about 300 to 325 cases of red wine that will be ready next fall. Already the juice from Armstrong smells and tastes interesting, though we obviously have a long way to go until we have finished wine. It’s just so exciting to see the new wines begin to develop and to think of where they will end up. Stay tuned.