Bud break – April 25th. Only about 2 days earlier than last vintage. Bloom – second week of June. Verasion – third week of August.
Harvests: Potter’s Vineyard Estate Rosé of Pinot noir – September 16th
– Potter’s Vineyard Estate Pinot noir – September 28th
– Konowac Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon – October 10th
– Bonair Vineyard Chardonnay September 3rd.
Winter was relatively mild for the 2018 vintage. There were a couple of snowfalls and ice storms but there were enough dry days in February for us to get into the field early to mulch the pruning’s and add new organic matter into the soil.
March and April brought lots of moisture and grass growth to the vine rows. We spent a lot of time hand weeding under the vines but did not till like most vineyards do this time of year. Keeping the grass in the vine rows does three things that are helpful during these warmer and drier years. 1) it provide organic matter for the vines and a home for the beneficial soil microbes, 2) it makes the vines push their roots deeper into the soils, and 3) soaks up some of the fall rains to ensure that the berries do not swell and burst right before harvest.
May was much warmer than typical and ended up being one of the driest May’s on record. We had a nice rain right before our critical bloom period that happened the second week of June.
June through August was warmer than average which made another seasonally dry summer in the PNW. Our vineyard farming allowed us to weather another summer of steady heat which was combined with cool nights that led to another vintage of rich flavors and complex wine from this special place!
The wine profile looks a lot like the amazing 2016 vintage which led to robust flavors. Fortunately, the heat stalled out in September leaving us with a cooler month of great flavor development, stable acidity and a perfect amount of cool nights and drying winds from our high elevation that led to moderate sugars and balanced acidity.
We passed our second LIVE (Low Input Viticulture Enology) Certification inspection last year with flying colors. This year we were able to establish more flowers to attract beneficial insects and are once again focus our efforts on nutrition and health of the vines versus disease control. A consultant from France visited the vineyard in the spring and examined our soils and raved how alive they are with rich microflora and diverse grasses and clovers. This is exactly our goal with LIVE certification.
BILL SANCHEZ | WINEMAKER & WINEGROWER