The olive harvest this year is nice and heavy. Three half-ton bins of Tuscan mix on the flatbed went off to the olive mill today, and probably another one or two of Arbequinas in two weeks. The last grapes are in and the leaves are falling. Muscat Canelli is at 4.5 Brix, the Rose nearing three. Aglianico will be barreled tomorrow and a few other odds and ends are finishing up. The growing season was very erratic, lots of whites picked in October while some reds were ready abnormally early. Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon is finishing up right now, and literally tons of grapes are being left hanging for the birds. Growers faced a horrible season in this economy with many lucky to get half the price they did last year. Seeing so much rotting fruit is not a great feeling.
Most of our 2008s are bottled now, with exception of a long term project or two. I can say with confidence that the Barbera is a monster, the Dolcetto is great and meaty 2005-style and the Primitivo is very high strung and developing more mineral depth with every passing vintage. We have sown a good amount of cover crop this year, but the rain brought the volunteer weed crop out strong, and the drippers on our new plantings look like they are hiding a riverbank. Hard to believe this was barren red earth in June. With the exception of the Sangiovese, it looks like we had almost 100% success. Lets hope next Spring's Negro Amaro and Nebbiolo fare as well.