2011 started so beautifully and we were getting such great early ripening. Just check out the color on the riesling starting to develop on these grapes in late August early September. Then the rains came. This is what made the vintage tricky – as our Vineyard Liason Phil Davis said “we had to do the weather dance.” In other words everything was about when to pick and if you could gain an extra day or two of hang time until the next weather front came through. We chose to hand pick everything and sort again in the winery. Expensive as hell, but for us, it was the right thing to do in 2011.
This was my first vintage managing, with Phil’s help, the growers we chose to work with. Looking back it was best to start with a tough vintage. It really ramps up the learning curve – 0 to 60 in no time flat.