The warm July is helping to create what may shape up to be an outstanding fruit quality year. I mentioned in an earlier update that due to 2016’s heavier crop, I expected this year’s crop to be smaller. Well, in general there are fewer clusters per vine, but since we adjust our crop load that factor is a mere indicator. What I feel is relevant to this year is smaller than normal clusters and looser clusters due to some shatter during the rainy bloom time. Now the high heat of July is helping to keep berry size down. Smaller clusters, less compacted clusters, and possibly smaller berry size, if the weather stays as excellent as it is now, could add up to a very high quality fruit year. Let’s keep our fingers crosses that the fine weather holds up.
In the vineyard, we are continuing to adjust our canopy for the proper light management and I am very pleased by the crew’s work. Every year our crew gets better at these quality operations. Following canopy management operations, we will begin to adjust crop loads. The cluster counts we are now making will help us to determine the best blocks to begin this process.
So, not to jinx things, but I am feeling much more at peace at this point in the growing season than I have in many seasons past. Again, I am hopeful for continued good weather. We shall see.