Summer in Paso Robles means hot days, cool nights, and fruit development in the vineyards! Closing out 2021, we were experiencing one of the wettest winters in recent memory. With this great start to our rainy season, hopes were high. But in the first quarter of 2022, if John Fogarty was asking “have you ever seen the rain,” the answer was “no.” Nevertheless, while we saw less rain this spring, our estate appears to be weathering these conditions and is hale and hearty.
Early bud break in both Maidie and Grace Vineyards was followed by early flowering and a good fruit set. The vineyard looks spectacular in almost every block. Healthy canopy! Here is a look at some Malbec in Maidie Vineyard:
Unless the weather shifts radically, we expect our earliest harvest ever. Sauvignon Blanc should come off in the first week of August (our earliest harvest of this block to date was Aug. 11th in 2016). So, it looks like we might set a new record for the first pick date of any harvest!
We also anticipate our first harvest of Semillon this year. It is one of the white wine grapes permitted to be grown in Bordeaux. It is loved for its full body and, in warmer climates like ours, it presents flavors of mango, yellow peach and papaya. In Bordeaux, it is often blended with Sauvignon Blanc. Fingers crossed for both a single varietal Semillon as well as a Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend in 2022!
Of course, it can’t go without saying that Semillon is the predominant grape of Sauternes, my favorite dessert wine. Unfortunately, I don’t think we will have the climatic conditions to foster Botrytis Cinerea or “noble rot”, the precursor to making Sauternes. But you never know…