The 2017 growing season started well with no frost or extreme weather. Then in June and July, the weather got very hot with temperatures above 105 degrees for about two weeks when we had never seen above 101 degrees in the previous eight years.
Late July was very wet with over 8 inches of rain in one week, then the rain basically stopped. Humidity disappeared, and 90-degree days and 50-degree nights set in, a perfect scenario for final ripening. Due to the heat, we thought harvesting would be early, but we ended up harvesting right on schedule or a little later than last year. LDV ended up bringing in over 55 tons of beautiful fruit which is amazing considering we dry harvested (dropped green fruit) quite a bit of fruit in July.
Our vineyard produces so much quality fruit per vine. Dry harvesting allows the fruit flavors to concentrate and assist in preserving the vine’s health and longevity in addition to cutting down on bunch rot and mildew. It breaks our hearts to see all the beautiful fruit on the ground, but it is an important task that must be done.
The monsoon rainfall was below average overall and ended very early. We prepare for rainfall up until and even during harvest, but a nice, dry harvest was a bonus. We’ll see in a couple of years how the extreme heat impacted the fruit but based on initial assessments, berry size was small and cluster weight was lower than average which should lead to intense wines.
Once harvest began on August 20th with the Viognier, the rest of the vineyard ripened on schedule with the Syrah coming in early September, followed by the Grenache in mid-September, the Road Block Petite Sirah and the Building Block Petite Sirah coming in last. We are ecstatic with the quality of the fruit. The winery smelled amazing during fermentation and we are now moving the wine from the settling tanks to the barrels. We typically let the raw wine settle out for a week or so before barreling to make sure clear juice is getting into the barrels.
All 59 fermentation vessels finished to zero sugar which is our goal but not easy to attain. Our fermentation protocols developed over the last few years are paying dividends! Incomplete fermentation results in the need to take measures that, in our opinion, compromise the quality of the wine. As you know, minimal intervention with the wine is our goal.
Here is the LDV 2017 Vintage Snapshot.
Total Tons Harvested: 57 tons Harvest Dates:
August 20 through September 26, 2017
Viognier at a Glance:
Harvested August 20-21
Brix: 23.9 average
pH: 3.44 average
Syrah at a Glance:
Harvested September 12
Brix: 26.3 average
pH: 3.80 average
Grenache at a Glance:
Harvested September 15-19
Brix: 25.5 average
pH: 3.91 average
Petite Sirah Road Block at a Glance:
Harvest September 21-23
Brix: 25.9 average
pH: 3.85 average
Petite Sirah Building Block at a Glance:
Harvest September 24-26
Brix: 27.6 average
pH: 3.76 average
Come help us celebrate a successful 2017 Vintage at the Harvest Festival October 28, 2017 at the Wine Gallery in Old Town Scottsdale; 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. Ticket prices includes: BBQ lunch, glass of wine, LDV logo wine glass, grape stomping & fun. For more information call 480-664-4822 or email at info@LDVWinery.com.