2024 grapes looking better than 2023

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Conditions are looking excellent in 2024 for a nice crop of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. But, I may ruin my luck saying this because I have had shatter in the Cab clusters so often. Last year, so many fellow grape growers were proud of their amazing crop. My crop was lousy, full of shatter and mildew, and ended up over ripe trying to get the lagging grapes to ripen. Yuck. 2023 was the Port wine year and actually, the Port has potential to be good. The flavor is off the chart and blows out my palate so that my other wines taste like vinegar water afterwards.


Regarding last year’s growing season, while I was searching for information on rootstock selection I found a blog discussing the varying experiences between California vineyards and their crops. I had big hopes for 2023, having so much rain which we needed. But I ended up with mega-shatter and lots of mildew. And like I said, uneven ripeness never caught up…the Brix was widely varying all over the vineyard, days were getting shorter and colder into October and I finally harvested.

2023: It was the best of vintages, it was the worst of vintages…

And I should mention that if you are searching for information on rootstock selection, this blog has excellent details. The author elaborates far beyond what you might find in a rootstock selection table. I suggest people look around at his posts and bookmark the site.

Rootstock: the biggest mistake you can make in your vineyard

Bloom is in the vineyard, and also some berry set.

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2023: It was the best of vintages, it was the worst of vintages…
What an excellent read on the 2023 grape growing and harvesting summary. Thank you for posting, as it was chalk full of facts to help me understand better some of the options around harvesting for specific brix and shoot length and its impact on berry clusters (well maybe an impact).
 

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