Both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were average-to-above-average in size this year. Syrah came in slightly below average. Weather was close to ideal until a big storm in late October brought 2″ of rain. This was followed by warm, humid temperatures. The small amount of fruit that remained held up for about a week before we began to see the onset of rain-induced diseases, mainly botrytis. Fortunately, we received the heat we needed to ripen the grapes sufficiently after the storm and got them off the vine. Good year.
Chris Hammell, Vineyard Manager of Bien Nacido Vineyards in Santa Maria Valley
Photo by Ragan Fife.