Today’s chemistry readings help validate those from 4 days ago, and present a picture of rapidly ripening fruit. We have just endured the third intense heatwave of the growing season, and have been dealt a wonderful card of a coming string of days in the mid- to upper 80’s and even a little “humidity”…40%+! Our plants have never looked so good at this point in the season, so we are optimistic that we can use this respite from hot, dry weather to try to get ahead of the curve on watering and achieve ripe fruit with minimal dehydration. We plan to continue watering the vineyard (in blocks by necessity) around the clock until at least the primitivo is in, and likely beyond.
In terms of harvest predictions, we are feeling very confident in recommending that our primitivo clients consider taking their fruit in the next 2 weeks, depending on the level of ripeness that they are looking for. We see the optimal window for a dry wine likely to end by Labor Day. The acids are a little high right now, but they have already begun their typical precipitous fall. The juice in our chemistry samples is significantly red-tinted, also suggesting that we are close. We expect to sample again for chemistry on the 22nd or 23rd, and harvest for some by next weekend would not be out of the question.
There is clearly more time for the barbera, as usual, and early- to mid-September continues to look highly probable. We will continue to water these vines as aggressively as possible to try to win the annual battle against dehydration.