Crush the Intern is back with his 2021 Post Harvest Vineyard Report.
Normally, Crush likes to file his reports as a video, but there is simply too much to cover in time for the November/December 2021 Crush Collection! So be on the look out for a “vlog” from Crush in the very near future.
But in the meantime, here’s his latest report:
Within days of picking the final grapes from the vines in Sonoma County and Napa Valley, a full week’s worth of rain poured down on the parched vineyards, instantly turning the ground into a muddy mess of activity. Depending on who Crush asked, in 2020, there were only a total of 11 inches of accrued rainfall in Sonoma, but during the first post-harvest rain, 13 inches came down, filling up the reservoirs and creating waterfalls and flowing creek beds the like of which Crush has never seen!
It was an amazing time of discovery for Crush during that week of rain because the vineyards he inspects on a daily basis were changing by the hour, and creek beds he used to hike up became a different kind of experience that Crush couldn’t get enough of! And overnight, the cover crop started sprouting up spreading a neon green blanket of clover and tiny blades of grass that were so much fun to roll around in!
But it’s the fall colors on the vines that really stopped Crush in his tracks.
Since he started working for Major Crush, our little intern has seen the vines go from bare, to full and leafy, to studded with plump berries, and then to a wash of yellow, orange, and red. And as the leaves turn inward on the vines, they flicker and flutter like playful friends that Crush loves to chase as they fall from the tops of the canopy.
Like any good cub reporter, Crush couldn’t just rely on what he was seeing in the vineyards on his morning inspection. He also did a little digging to see what we can expect from the best resources a farmer or a vineyard pup can find. First up, the Farmer’s Almanac.
From November 2021 - to October 2022, the reports are surprising. It is anticipated that it will be a warmer and drier than normal winter with our coldest temps occurring from the middle of December and warming up in early March. And as might be expected, the stormiest times will be in December — which is going to make hiking in the vineyards extra fun and sloppy!
And while all of this is super useful to know, Crush’s favorite source is Eduardo, the friendly vineyard manager Crush sees on most of his early morning hikes. Based on his own observations of how the water tables have started to fill up, this winter looks like a good one for his vines, but not one that will fully bring our part of the world out of the drought we’ve been experiencing for the past several years.
The heavy rains we had at the end of harvest were incredibly welcome and terrific for the vines, but getting the terraces reinforced for intermittent flash-like-floods made the end of harvest pretty stressful for Eduardo and his team, and so every time Crush ran into them, they were very tired and very, very muddy! But with Crush's help, Eduardo discovered a couple of mudslides he didn’t know about and so things are looking pretty solid now.
Predictions about the 2022 Vintage are still pretty speculative at best, but as Crush closes in on his first full year as a vineyard scout and reporter for Major Crush, so far every experience he’s had is beautiful! And that’s what makes the world of wine so unique — every season has something new to give the wine!