Clusters’ last stand

From John, September 2nd, 2011
Dave drops crop

Dave drops crop

Last year (2010) nature combined with global climate change and brought us the latest vintage ever recorded in Oregon. The saving grace of the vintage in some respects was that the weather also sullied the flowering in the spring so that there wasn’t much to try and ripen. This year nature has again combined with global climate change and the predicted vintage will be even later than last year. But this time there is also a bountiful crop hanging out there. Since the ultimate object of this enterprise is to properly ripen the fruit before picking it, dropping many of those beautiful grape clusters on the ground now is necessary in order to have a chance at ripening what is left. After spending the winter pruning the vines, the spring coaxing the young vines along thinning shoots, suckering and spraying to prevent mildew, the summer pulling leaves, hedging, weed-eating underneath the vines and spraying to prevent mildew, it is a bit disheartening to be faced with dropping on the ground the fruit of our labor. But there it is.

One must keep one’s eye on the prize: massive profits and winter homes in the Caribbean… whoops, that must have been pasted in here from my Wall Street rant. One must keep one’s eyes on the prize: aromas of  dark bing cherries merging into cloves and cardamon with a silky texture flowing across the tongue. Honestly that’s what this is about: if it’s not in the fruit to begin with, it can’t be created in the cellar no matter how much is invested in expensive new barrels and fancy technology (see the Wall Street quote above!). If you look closely on the vineyard floor, you will notice a Trail of Tears closely following Clusters’ Last Stand.

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