Lots to report on the approaching harvest, my first producing wine commercially. Number one, I signed the custom crush contract just this evening, toasted with some delicious Heater-Allen Pils from Rick Allen down in McMinnville. And I wrote a check for the first payment toward my custom crush fee, based on the 3.5 tons of pinot noir I expect to harvest in a couple of weeks.
Number two, despite the light rain this evening and the humid conditions that worry me just a bit, we're looking at a return to warm and dry weather for at least the coming week. We still need it, with a large but healthy crop hanging out there. Typically the pinot havest locally starts in the last week in September. I expect that will be true this year for the earliest sites. I'm not expecting fruit until the first week in October, and I can't wait.
So, number three, tomorrow night a friend and fellow client Anne is bringing in her first fruit of the season - the first for the whole Portland Wine Project - tomorrow night. I want to swing by just to get my hands dirty, or see others get their hands and the sorting line dirty. Only that will make the impending harvest so real. No rest for the wicked - Sunday night should see the first white grapes from southern Oregon for Grochau Cellars. Then harvest will really be on.
Meanwhile, I'm finalizing the last business details before harvest and looking to make a run down to Davison's in McMinnville for harvest supplies. I don't need much, but it must be done.
With the cooler temps and mist today, we ordered in Thai food and finished a nice little Vouvray, the 2004 Champalou Cuvee des Fondraux. Nothing super special, but it's a perfect match for spicy food and just lovely Vouvray. Lightly sweet and honied, minerally and salty with nice fruit to balance, I have a special fondness for this producer though more out of the great value it provides when you find the wines on special. There's no more of the 2004, but I look forward to a couple bottles of 2005 waiting in the cellar for similar evenings.