As of this writing, September 13, the wine grape harvest is under way. At this point, pickings have been mostly white grapes, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon for BDX whites, and some lower brix grapes for sparkling wines and rosés. Lynn is at LeAnn Hughes' Patina Vineyard this morning to help pick Syrah grapes for Ashley Trout's Vital Wines Rosé.
The weather ahead looks to be moderate with temperatures in the 70's over the next couple of weeks which will be good for the progression of ripening. The main concern right now is smoke from wildfires around the state. In the past few days, gentle breezes have blown smoke away, but this morning, we awoke to brown haze enveloping the Blue Mountains in the Walla Walla Valley. Smoke is particularly worrisome in the Columbia Gorge, where the Eagle Creek fire continues to smolder. James Mantone (Syncline) has shown some frightening pictures on Facebook.
The concern about smoke taint recalls the 2015 harvest. When we were in Lake Chelan last week, we visited Hard Row to Hoe with Judy Phelps while Manson was shrouded in smoke from fires north of the Lake. She worried that 2017 was going to be another 2015. She had me taste some of her 2015's, but I didn't find smoke taint to be noticeable (those wines will be reviewed in the November issue of the Review of Washington Wines - the 2014's will be in October).
Let's hope the smoke clears again soon, and that good weather will hold over the next few weeks. More later!