Mid-Month Musings

Harvest has finally arrived (sort of). We took in 5 tons of Pinot Gris on Monday (September 13th); but here we are on the 16th of September with nothing more to show for ourselves. That will change, as tomorrow we expect a significant amount of Pinot Noir. Things should change big time next week, especially if some rain arrives as predicted over the weekend. Another very untypical harvest season.

We had a great time at the 15th annual Tomato Fest, held last weekend at our Dry Creek Valley home. Over 90 friends of the tomato gathered with heirloom tomatoes from as far away as Delaware(!) to taste tomatoes, eat tomato based dishes, and enjoy Taft Street wines.

We lucked out on the weather, with perhaps the year’s most glorious day – temperature in the low 80’s, with a warm evening, and no yellow jackets (a rarity for this time of year).

With summer fading quickly and the days noticeably getting shorter, our focus alters with the season. The next month is semi organized chaos, as grapes come in when ripe – not necessarily when we can handle them most easily. Somehow it all gets done, and sometime late in October or early November it will all be over and we will breathe a collective and exhaustive sigh of relief.

It’s also pedal to the metal time in the kitchen, as preserving the season’s produce is the order of the day. With apple cider vinegar and verjus completed, the major tasks ahead include canning 100+ pounds of tomatoes, and drying figs from five fig trees. Somehow, our brains got obsessed with figs and we ended up with 5 trees – 4 too many. Fortunately we have some friends who make chutneys/jams with whatever we don’t dry.
The last remaining garden job is harvesting our own vineyard. Our Syrah came in at 21.9 brix yesterday. We like to pick at 22.5 – 23.0, so it looks like Sunday or Monday, depending on the weather. This year we will make a Rose for the first time. We are quite excited about the project, especially since my brother John will be helping in the winemaking. An added bonus is the wine should be ready for this holiday season!

Another chapter.

Mike Tierney
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