Everyone’s pre-harvest predictions seem to have been right on target: lighter crop overall but still high quality as the vines created deep, rich flavors due to ripening smaller amounts of fruit. Many vineyards are reporting 50% lower yields overall. So expect some delicious wines with depth and complexity, just don’t expect a lot of it.
And if you’re a fan of the extreme coast like we are, you’re going to want to pay attention to this next part. Like the inland vineyards, coastal vines also suffered from a cold spring and a high incidence of shatter (where berries fail to develop in fruit clusters). The coast just got hit twice as hard. Some vineyards yielded no crop whatsoever and our own Hillcrest Estate vineyard yielded the lowest crop we’ve yet seen.
Growing grapes on the extreme or “true” coast is always a risky endeavor. When we got into the business growers that had been in the area for decades tried to tell us how crazy we were. In some places it’s even said you can expect a bad year for every two good ones you have, and thus far we’ve had three amazing vintages from 2012 – 2014 so I suppose we were due for a tough vintage.
And yeah, all those growers that told us we were crazy were probably right, you have to be a bit crazy to grow pinot that far west, but they’re still here after many vintages, both good and bad, and so will we be. Look forward to some amazing wines from Senses for the 2015 vintage with unique complexity and concentration. Personally I’m thrilled to see how these wines are going to develop because this vintage has been so different from anything we’ve seen so far.