Tragedy Strikes at Harvest Time

It was already shaping up to be a very weird year. After drought-ending rains which lasted well into spring, the weather turned perfect, and the grapes were doing well in a very temperate summer. Then came the heat; for five days temperatures soared well over 100 degrees (it hit 112 three times at my house in Dry Creek Valley). Moreover, the heat stayed well into the evenings, as the natural air conditioning of the Pacific Ocean just stopped. As a result, the harvest was hastened along, and picking started by September 1st.

Then came the fire and destruction. In five days Sonoma County life changed. While no one at Taft Street lost their home, many were evacuated, and everyone has friends or family who lost everything. Things are just starting to get back to the new normal, but it will be years before the disruption will be over.

Fortunately, the heat in early September resulted in an early harvest and 90+ percent of the grapes had already been picked when the fire broke out. The grapes still on the vine – mainly Cabernet Sauvignon – are sturdy grapes and little smoke taint has been reported. There are some very good wines fermenting as I write this, and 2017 will certainly go down as a memorable year.

We just hosted the Wine Road’s annual Wine and Food Affair this weekend; and while the crowds were off a bit, we were still kept busy pouring wines to visitors from all over the country. It felt good doing what we do best – pouring great wine and sharing the Taft Street story.

So all the grapes are now in, fermentation is taking place, and we will soon do a bit of bottling. Autumn is in full swing, the colors are bright – the perfect time to spend a day wine tasting.

Come on by, we are definitely welcoming visitors.


Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

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