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(Another) Year in the Vineyard Wine Blog, Week 25 by Wes Hagen, Clos Pepe

(Another) Year in the Vineyard with Wes Hagen, Clos Pepe Week #25: August 27th – September 2nd, 2010 “September Morn: We Picked Until the Night Became a Brand New Day” Damn!  September crept up on us on cat feet!  Suddenly, all in one week, we have bottled our entire 2009 production (last Friday), and picked our first pinot noir for sparkling wine (yesterday, Wednesday, September 1st).  The vineyard has enjoyed a few days (2 to be specific) of summer weather…not neatrly as hot as the last small heat spike, but just enough to get the vines pumping out some sugar in a balanced and methodical fashion.  When the temperatures rise above 90 degrees, the pinot noir fruit rapidly loses water and the sugars rise quickly without a development of flavor.  But at 85 degrees, the vines are working at maximum photosynthetic potential and ripening both the phenols and increasing sugar.  So this last two days of mid to high 80 degree temperatures has been a perfect ‘ripeness bump’ here at Clos Pepe. But, as usual, I’m getting ahead of myself.