Bud break: 1st week of April.
Bloom: 1st week of June (2 - 3 weeks early).
Verasion: 1st week of August (2 - 3 weeks early).
Harvest: September 20th.
Conditions in the Willamette Valley were more like the Umpqua Valley with the Growing Degree Days (GDD) hitting ~ 2575 at harvest on September 27th. Typically, for most of the previous years we would not reach 2100 GDD by this time.
Harvest was very smooth this year with great weather up to the day we planned on harvesting. We could have hung longer but the grapes were at the optimum brix and the acid was still bright. We learned that in a lot of vineyards the acid levels dropped very rapidly this year – probably due to the hotter summer. Acid is such a critical balancing component in Pinot noir that we did not want to lose that bright component that has become a fixture in our wines. Fortunately, our grapes maintained a good acid level and we could tell in the wine later. Ripening was enhanced by dropping a normal amount of fruit – but we had to harvest early so that the brix (and eventual alcohol content) also did not get out of balance. Thanks to the fact that we did not face the challenge of rain, 2014 was a great harvest and has the promise of a fantastic vintage!