This spectacular harvest was initiated the third week of August: when we began to cool down, the diurnal range widened and phenolics were allowed time to fully develop in the Syrah. The season was cooking along, even hotter than the record breaking 2015, prior to the latter half of August when temperatures cooled down. We ended up between 2013-14 in respect to GDD’s at SJR.
We even saw .25” of rain on September 6…pushing our Delmas pick off until 9/10. Thank-you, Mother Nature…perfection!
We began our pick on Saturday at 6 AM. It was 47 degrees under a cloudless blue sky. By 9 AM, 4.9 tons were resting comfortably in 10 bins. The Syrah blocks came in at 2.23 tons/acre for Delmas this year. The Viognier will make up 8.3% of our co-ferment (identical to the 2014 Delmas percent). We will work with 33% whole cluster at the bottom of each bin, as we did in 2015. We destemmed the remaining Viognier and Syrah berries; no crush…layering each on top of the Syrah whole clusters, and into each bin. This represents the largest harvest for Delmas yet. Hurrah…more invitations to extend to those on our Waiting List in 2018!!
This harvest further deserves a special shout-out to Gramercy Cellars. We have had the great privilege to supply Gramercy fruit for the last seven years. This was our last harvest for first-rate producer Gramercy Cellars. Thank-you Greg and Brandon! Necessarily, our fruit contracts will continue to sunset as Delmas takes back more fruit.