With the completion of the "Mount Mourvedre" block behind the winery, we're officially done with the 2007 harvest. Like each year, it's had its own challenges, this time at 65 days the longest extent between the beginning of harvest (August 27th) and the end of harvest (October 31st) that we've ever seen. (By contrast, in 2006, harvest lasted 50 days.)
Our yields were down; the 252 tons of fruit that we brought in is down 20% from the 315 tons we saw in 2006 (or the 319 tons we saw in 2005). At our normal conversion rates, we're looking at between 14,000 and 15,000 cases of wine in 2007. Our field crew, led by Vineyard Manager David Maduena (center, with dark jacket and tan baseball cap) poses behind the last bin of Mourvedre:
The quality of the fruit looks tremendous. Berry sizes are small, but skins are thick and we're seeing tremendous color extraction early in fermentation. I hope that the California wine press recognizes that this year may be excellent for Paso Robles even though the early rain has been problematic in Napa and Sonoma.
Finally, I leave you with a good example of why you should be cautious leaving the winery camera in the hands of the winemakers. Here's a shot they took of the last Mourvedre cluster of harvest, poised on the edge of the destemmer machine looking terrified. Winery sense of humor...