I have to admit that when I saw the headline, “Wine grape harvest under way in Sonoma,” in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat last Friday, an excited chill ran down my spine into my stomach, like I’d forgotten to pay my credit card bill.
Even though the first harvest of grapes we’re contracted for couldn’t possibly be until September this year, I couldn’t help thinking what all other winemakers are thinking right now, “Whoa. I’m not quite ready yet.”
I immediately got about ordering a couple of radiator-like, stainless-steel Macrobin heaters, that will allow us to use hot water to heat up any sluggish fermentations, rather than having to move them outside into the sun every day.
One grower grabbed his electronic sugar-reader (refractometer) to check if the battery was still good before beginning the months-long drill of grape sampling.
Everyone is getting the black widow webs and hornet’s nests out of their stemmer-crushers and presses, and then turning them on to see how they sound. There’s still just enough time to rush-ship those odd-ball replacement parts from Italy and France.
So when you visit your favorite winery this weekend, ask them what we are all asking each other, “Are you all ready for crush?"