The pinot noir harvest is getting close here in the northern Willamette Valley. Already, other varieties are coming in from southern Oregon and eastern Washington. The pinot typically waits until the last week of September and the first few weeks of October, depending on the site and vine age.
Reports from vineyards where I'm getting fruit suggest that grapes are one to two weeks away, perhaps a bit more. We had unseasonably warm and windy weather today with an even hotter day tomorrow before a nice cool down for the rest of the week. Too much heat right now puts lots of pressure on the fruit because of sugar accumulation and fruit dehydration. Despite the intense summer heat, sugars are generally still low to moderate with flavors still developing. Weather in the 70s and low 80s with cool nights would be great, and that's what's apparently on tap after tomorrow.
I spent last night at the winery working a couple of press loads of a friend's sauvignon blanc from the Rogue Valley. Great looking fruit, lovely smells in the press, and nicely ripe but tart juice. It felt great to get a little dirty and sweaty filling the press, washing bins and generally pushing things around to get the work done. I even got some time on the fork lift, on which I'm a total novice. It was lots of fun, though I didn't stay past midnight. Wimped out; needed to get to my "real" job this morning.
More soon including the latest on vineyard conditions and the evolving weather forecast.