Yup, 17 days of 100F or above in July, so in conjunction with a little water nervousness it has been toasty here in Kelseyville.We are running 10-14 days ahead of last year like most folks, canes are well lignified, and veraison is nearly complete for the Dolcetto which is usually our first pick. The heat has been helpful in pushing veraison along quickly which is a positive feature in creating a solid shift into the ripening phase. Since we don't believe in VSP we do not have any sunburn issues either.
As far as maturity goes the Aglianico is dead last and just barely starting as it always is with the Nebbiolo just behind. I took pictures that are on this blog of the Aglianico on September 5, 2011 without a hint of veraison starting, so it is a month ahead of that year!
Just finished fruit thinning and it was quite mixed. There were blocks of Barbera that were nearly untouched while some vines needed half their fruit dropped. Nebbiolo was fairly heavy as was Refosco. Sangiovese and Primitivo crop was fairly light with the Primi having extreme hens and chicks this year - always a good omen for the wine. Aglianico was heavy, Cab Franc crop quite light - a real mix. All bunches are open and nicely loose though, with the usual exceptions of Aglianico and our bit of Petite Sirah. And those Negroamaro bunches sure are tiny...
All in all things are looking quite good if this hot month is behind us, which it seems to be. Unfortunately it required a little more water than we would have liked and a little earlier than hoped but it still looks to be a very good vintage with the possibility of being excellent on the horizon.