HARVEST NOTES 2013
My 26th harvest at Homewood Winery is unlike any other I have seen. The growing season was mild temperatures with fewer heat spikes than usual, but the crop appeared to be a few weeks ahead of average with an early harvest. Indeed, it started out that way with the albarino from Lodi coming in August 20th and some chardonnay on the 26th. They both came in with good numbers and full flavors.
Mercifully, the reds did not start until two days after we finished bottling the 2012 reds on September 10th and then it began to look like everything was racing for the barn at once. The tempranillo and pinot noir came in the same week with the petite sirah right behind. Normally these varietals should have spaced out over a few weeks or more.
So far it looked like it would be a short and hectic harvest and I would be twiddling my thumbs in October with the work already done. The October surprise was a stretch of weather featuring very cool nights and very mild days with highs 35 degrees or more above the lows. The sugars slowed down in their rise, the acids dropped more slowly and we got great ?hang time? for the later ripening varietals. The flavors kept getting better and better. I had three ?whim wines? come in during this period. The roussanne and riesling, white varietals, and the dolcetto, all benefitted, as did the zin, merlot and cab sauv, which harvested October 24th. October also looks like it could be the driest on record since they started keeping records in 1850.
It was almost like having two separate and distinct harvests. Both look very good, but October really made some grapes pop!