Got Grapes? Winemakers Sure Hope So

Seems to be a  frenzy out there surrounding the sourcing of  wine grapes for the 2012 vintage. Hopefully there will be enough for even the home winemakers come September and October 2012. Even before budbreak winemakers are calling to secure fruit, a lot of us are just meeting up post fruit-set to really know how much fruit will be out there this year. We are speculating a full amount because Mother Nature hasn’t diminished the crop load by any percentage.

Like other growers we are basking in the newly expressed popularity, grower luncheons, and VIP treatment. I could use a fresh Mani and Pedi for those looking to butter this extreme hillside grower, there could be a 1/2 ton allotment in your future.

From past clients to new clients , everyone is eagerly securing fruit for this hopefully epic 2012, the big turn around from the previous 2009-2011 vintages. With speculations of rainbows, glitter, and sunshine to adorn this year’s vintage.

As pruning begins , most vineyards are trying to increase the crop load within reasonable circumstances , either a 3rd or even 4th kicker cane for cane pruning and extra extensions on spur pruned cordon trained vines. Rumor even has it that highly sought after Cabernet vineyards are trying to increase production. We wish we could but we are still hanging with our 2 tons per acre mantra.

Some wineries have complained saying that grape prices have risen sharply and what would that mean for already $100 plus bottles of wine? Our reply is that grapes seem to be commanding their true market value and growers are finally being offered an adequate or fair price for grapes instead of being offered lower than usual prices.

It is an interesting market and industry where the cycles are so high and low , and sometimes devastating. Three years ago we could barely sell Merlot grapes and our neighbor had to drop over 10 tons of Chardonnay on the ground because of the lack of demand. Glad to see those nightmare days behind us and dollar signs in the future. Not that we are greedy, it takes quite a bit of dinero to farm a hillside vineyard correctly and in a high-end manner. The prices we ask are in direct reflection of the quality of farming we are committed to and to continue our long-term relationships with our clients.

Rutherford Grill lunches, bottles of wine, and promising new contracts are the perks that some growers are receiving to take on new clients  as well as continue with current clients. All in all we are eager to see how the 2012 growing season turns out and the crop.

As we say , no rain is okay it is the late rain that will affect the crop size . We have Merlot , Malbec,  and a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon available but not for long.

Cheers!

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