We're finally in a great winter weather pattern. We've seen measurable rain each of the last four days (totaling about 2.5 inches) and a couple of very cold nights in the mid-20s. It's a terrific time of year for this, as the cold weather forces the vines into dormancy early and the rainfall starts the critical process of replenishing the ground water depleted by the severe drought two winters ago.
What's better, we're forecast for more rain over the next week, with the long-term forecast using phrases like "a more significant storm Monday", "yet another storm system Christmas Eve" and "trough lingers near west coast".
A few photos give you a sense of what the morning was like. It was still below freezing when I got out here shortly after 9a.m., and the frost was lingering anywhere the sun hadn't yet penetrated. An end-post in the Syrah section below the winery shows the lingering frost:
The next two shots look at our wetlands wastewater treatement area which we installed back in 2006. The water plants are largely dormant at this time of year anyway, but the gravel-lined pools were cracking audibly in the sun as the ice covering them started to melt.
And finally one more shot looking east into the Syrah block with the half-melted dew lighting up the newly sprouted vineyard cover crop: