Saturday, September 21, 2013
It began to rain in Santa Rosa at about 1:00AM this morning (September 21) and drizzled through most of the night. There was hard rain then in the early light of day. Looking at the rain gauge after the rain stopped (around 11:00AM), I see that we got a respectable 0.6 inches in total. This is the first real rain of the 2013-2014 rainy season, which began on July 1, 2013 and will end on June 30 2014. I believe the rain will have come and gone quickly enough that the grapes won't be adversely affected. Harvest is probably still about 10 days away.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
[Update: I took another Sangiovese berry sample today, September 29. The sugar is now at 21 Brix, so up a point from the sample I took ten days ago. The pH is higher, too, but not alarmingly so, at 3.45. pH squared times Brix is 249.9. I'd like to get one more degree of sugar, but can probably pick any time. Rain is in the forecast--which may have a bearing on things, depending on how much we get.
I also checked the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes for the first time today, taking a similar berry sample. The sugar is already at 25 Brix--right where I want it--and the pH is at 3.42, which is a good level) pH squared times Brix is 292), but I suspect the sugar is where it is in large part because the number of raisins on the vines is greater than usual at this time of year. It's normal for some raisins to form before harvest, but I suspect my attempt to dry farm the grapes this year (I've watered them only once or twice the whole summer) may have something to do with it. Normally I water three to four times. Some of the seeds look quite mature, others are still somewhat green. It's beginning to sprinkle just as the sun is starting to go down. If we get a heavy rain tonight (September 29) or a prolonged rain begins to look likely, it may be best to pick very soon.]