The 2009 harvest has finally begun in earnest for Charnu. Monday morning we harvested the grapes from our Lewelling Vineyard block, located South of St. Helena on the West side of the valley.
The morning was nice and cool, a welcome change from the hot spell we've been having lately. Luckily, the hot spells this year have not been as prolonged or as poorly-timed as last year.
This is the smaller of our two blocks, and we ended up with almost 3 tons. That's 35% more than last year (but that was a lower-than-average crop).
When we got the grapes down to the winery in Napa, we found that the temperature was about 10 degrees lower than in St. Helena. Good for the grapes, but a bit chilly for those of us used to the warmer summer weather.
Destemming and sorting went smoothly. The grapes were in good shape, so there was only the normal sorting-out of a few raisins and unwanted debris.
Now the grapes are sitting comfortably in the tank, getting ready for fermentation.
Harvest is always a bit of a relief, knowing that you've successfully gotten through the riskiest part of the process.