A week ago Thursday I sat on the tasting room deck and watched it pour for a good 20 minutes. Normally I try to take it as it comes with the weather. Lets face it, there really isn’t much you can to change things. In a vineyard you have to deal with what mother nature gives you the best you can.
But that down pour had me a little concerned. There are two times of year I do get nervous, around harvest and in June. Typically the vines flower at some point in June. This is a critical time of year. What we want in June is moderate, sunny weather. What we usually get is June gloom. We just hope that we don’t see heavy rain and wind and more often than not we don’t. June is generally just overcast with a few showers rolling through. The strength of the showers can dictate the outcome of the vintage.
With a heavy shower accompanied with wind, the flowers can be knocked off and don’t pollinate and form berries. The result is what we call shatter. Shatter results in lower yields and uneven cluster formation. We would rather have a good fruit set and go back and selectively drop fruit than have mother nature do it for us. That way we get more uniform clusters and we can drop the weakest clusters.
So after the weather last week and some more ensuing showers I couldn’t imagine that we wouldn’t see some shatter. I hadn’t been up at the vineyard since Saturday and on Thursday I had a pretty good idea of what I would find. While it is a little early to access the overall percentage of shatter, I can see we have some and that we will see reduced yields this year.
June gloom spreads it’s doom once again.