(Another) Year in the Vineyard Wine Blog, Week 22 by Wes Hagen, Clos Pepe

(Another) Year in the Vineyard, Week #22 August 6-12, 2010 With Wes Hagen, VM/WM Clos Pepe Welcome back to a Year in the Vineyard, Week #22.  Even though the weather has continued to be unseasonably cool, the fruit is ripening slowly, perfectly, like it only could in the Santa Rita Hills.  Temperatures over the last week have been in the high 60’s and low 70’s—fog in the mornings and warm sunshine and cool winds in the afternoon.  The vines are soaking up all the afternoon sunshine and progressing the vintage admirably.  Color in some sections has reached close to 80% veraison, and we will likely finish netting early next week and go through the vineyard to drop a bit of crop that is lagging behind. This process of dropping crop, sometimes called ‘green thinning’ is meant to increase consistency of ripening from cluster to cluster.  Usually the entire vineyard colors up, section by section, fairly uniformly, but there’s always 2%-8% of the clusters that lag behind.  By cutting them off while they are still obviously greener and harder, we make