How does all this rain effect the wines? Well, the positives first...
When the soils are saturated in the spring we will have a overall bigger berry with a higher juice to skin ratio, heavier cluster and overall bigger crop. Only two things can change that outcome... frost and or rain at fruit set. Another big postive is with a higher water table we can defer irrigation and conserve water.
On the alternative, when the soils are saturated in the spring the cost of all our work goes up. First, erosion control. Many weeks of cleaning gullies & coverts to conserve the soils and not have the top horizon layers sheet off in the creeks. Second, the vines will have more vegetation, lateral growth, second crop and basal leaves which creates more hand work resulting in higher costs in canopy management and mildew/rot control. And weeds...double or triple in costs! Unless you have sheep like we do than we have a long season of grasses. We are organic as well so more sheep needed! Most concerning in this kind of weather is the delay in nutrients being released and available in the soils due to wet cold temperatures. Luckily, we are on the top of Spring Mountain and the soils drain very well.
Honestly, the vineyards love rain! It's the winemakers that worry.
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