The 2018 harvest has arrived! We picked our first block of Sauvignon Blanc last Friday, and the grapes are coming on fast. I expect more picking later this week and anticipate harvest will be in full swing next week.
This has been another interesting year for grape growing here in Washington. May was warm and the grapes grew quickly, shortening time between bud break and bloom. June cooled down a little but was not cold. July and August were hot. I am still gathering final heat unit numbers, but as of today, it appears 2018 has been hotter than 2016 and 2017 but not as hot as 2015.
Currently, we are dropping fruit throughout the vineyard for the second time this season. We dropped clusters on the first pass to achieve targeted yields but left a little extra fruit in anticipation of hot temperatures in July and August. The second pass is made to remove unwanted clusters showing signs of heat stress, resulting in better quality grapes when it comes time to pick.