It's almost mid-September. The commercial vineyards, growing many varieties in many locations, are in the middle of a harvest that will last into early November in the higher elevations but mostly finish by mid-October. My Cabernet and Sangiovese vines will be ready soon, but the grapes aren't mature yet. They have been netted against critters. The electric fence is on. So far, no damage from animals, but a fair amount of the Sangiovese got hit by mildew earlier in the season and a lesser amount of the Cabernet. The removal of trees in the neighbor's yard right next to the grapes has helped to keep things healthy otherwise--more sun, more light. As long as the animals continue to leave the berries alone, we'll have a harvest at least as big as the very small harvest of last year. Now I simply wait for the grapes to mature while keeping an eye on their sugar levels. Quite a few raisins already, a result of the very high temperatures (well above 100 degrees) we had last week and the week before. I've watered only twice this year, once a deep watering of 7 hours and more recently, following the heat, about 4 hours. As always, we won't really know what's going on until the berries are picked and crushed. That's probably about two weeks away.