Today we were given a glorious reprieve: a cool, overcast morning with even a little drizzle, courtesy of a cut-off low pressure system currently meandering down the California coast. Given how much fruit is ripe on the vines or nearly so, this cool day (and the similarly cool day forecast for tomorrow) give us a great chance to get caught up on our harvesting without the pressure of knowing that each hour of warmth and sunlight means that yet another block is ready to come in.
All this doesn't mean that we're pausing; we've harvested several blocks today (Roussanne, Grenache and Mourvedre) and have several more similar pickings on tap for tomorrow. It just means that we can pick what we know needs to come in and not worry too much that in the time it takes us to pick those blocks, several more are reaching critical ripeness.
All this is pretty standard for the peak of harvest, which I think, looking back, we'll say happened this week. We're done with all our whites except Roussanne, nearly done with Syrah, and have made a good start on Roussanne, Grenache and Mourvedre. Counoise is still mostly hanging, but we have to be around 50% done with our estate. And walking around the vineyard supports this: there are nearly as many vines picked clean as there are still heavy with fruit. And we've made at least one pass through many of the blocks that do still have fruit, taking what's ready and leaving the slower-ripening clusters to hang longer.
One grape that is nearly finished is Syrah. We have some left only in two places, both down near Tablas Creek and because of the tendency of cold air to sink among the coldest spots in our property. Walking past one of them, I saw a shot I loved, which just calls out about the bounty of the season. I was happy the photo came out as well as it did. Click on it for a larger version; it's worth it.
May your harvest seasons be going as well as ours.