This year's Lodi harvest


Does anyone have any knowledge about this year's harvest? general quality, price, etc? The reefer trucks (not THAT kind!) will be pulling into the Boston Produce Center soon enough & a little heads up would be appreciated. TIA & regards, bobdrob.
Reply to
bobdrob

I don't know about our 'easterly neighbor' Lodi, per se, but I read in the news we are about two-three weeks away from beginning harvest in earnest in Sonoma County, California. The two week hot spike we recently had was reported in the local newspaper to have caused only small amount of crop damage (less than 10% of crop affected). The vines just 'shut down' in the heat and seem to be recovering OK.
Have yet to hear what the quality of grapes will be. I personally would be surprised if the quality is not at least GOOD. Maybe not quite as great as last year, an unusually good year 2005 was (the slow, steady ripening last year developed some fine flavors, just ended up needing some tartaric acid additions to achieve acid balance).
Gene
Reply to
gene

that's good to know & i thank you for the quick reply! the 4 major grape vendors here all seem to cut deals w/ the suppliers who favor those commercial growers, so we really don't get much of a choice. 6 whites, maybe 8-10 red varietals plus the dreaded "mixed black." thanx again for the update.
Reply to
bobdrob

I haven't talked to any Lodi growers (yet), but up here in the Sierra Foothills (a couple hours east of Lodi, and higher in altitude) we've had a peculiar season; a late spring, resulting in a late bud break. Veraison was within days of the same dates as last year. My vines are all vigorous this year, with a healthy crop. I can't yet speak to quality, but there aren't any obvious flaws with the season. My one concern is that heat wave - and whether it has affected the development of the grapes / flavor at all. We'll see! Harvest looks like it may be a little earlier this year than last.
Reply to
Ric

A lug of "mixed black" is a case of non-specified black grapes : factory 2nds, unidentified varietals, case fillers, etc. One never knows what exactly is in a "mixed black" grapes. That being said, they usually run a couple of bucks per case cheaper than a varietal and ain't real bad on the whole. A lot of the olde timers use them & make decent jug wine.
Reply to
bobdrob

Here's what the local Santa Rosa, California newspaper had to say about this year's area harvest.....
"It's waiting time for first harvest [in Sonoma County, California] Wet spring means grapes for champagne need up to two weeks more to ripen
By TIM TESCONI THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Tuesday, August 15, 2006
A year ago winemaker Craig Roemer of Calistoga's Schramsberg Vineyards was up to his elbows pressing grapes for champagne.
But Roemer said it could be another 10 days to two weeks before he squeezes the season's first grapes. The wet spring got grapevines off to a late start in their growth cycle, leaving anxious winemakers and growers waiting to launch the 2006 crush.
"The harvest is a bit later than normal and it's slow going as we wait," Roemer said Monday. "But there's nothing we can do until the grapes reach the right sugars so it's the old hurry-up-and-wait game."
The North Coast grape crush started on Aug. 9 last year. Grapes used for sparkling wine traditionally start the harvest because they are picked at lower sugar levels than grapes used to make still wines like chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon.
Growers said the prolonged heat wave in July actually slowed the maturity in wine grapes. When temperatures reach 100 degrees and higher, the grapevines shut down and stop the sugar-making process in the fruit.
While waiting for the grapes to ripen, winemaker Roemer uses the time to clean and re-clean the winery, scrubbing and sanitizing floors, tanks and equipment. Sanitation is the winemaker's mantra.
"We turn over every stone in the winery to make sure everything is clean," he said. "Once the grapes start coming and it all breaks loose, we will be going every day through the end of October."
The weeks leading to harvest are what Sonoma Valley grape grower Ned Hills describes as the "calm before the storm." The major work is done in the vineyards and crews kick-back a bit while waiting for the harvest frenzy.
Hill said grapes are behind in maturity compared to last year. He said grapes that he tested on Monday only had 15.5 degrees sugar. The same week last year grapes from the same vineyard tested at 21.5.
"We're looking at a later harvest, which is OK as long as the weather holds and we don't get any early rain storms," said Hill.
Duff Bevill, a Healdsburg grape grower and vineyard manager, expects to harvest his first grapes for still wine, sauvignon blanc from the Dry Creek Valley, the first week of September. He predicts it will be a faster, more compact crush than last year's prolonged harvest, which was slowed by cool weather and the bumper crop hanging on the vines. Grapes were still being picked in November last year.
Bevill said this year's crop, depending on the varietal, is average to below-average in tonnage. He said the smaller load on the vines will provide more even, consistent ripening during the final stages of maturity.
Sebastopol grower Kirk Lokka, who grows grapes for Goldridge Pinot, said his grapes are 10 days behind last year in terms of maturity. He estimates he will be picking pinot for still wine by Sept. 15.
"The grapes must be getting ripe because the birds are starting to take notice," said Lokka. "We'll start putting up netting next week to keep them from eating the crop.""
Gene
Reply to
gene

DrinksForum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.