This week's posting is a follow-up to last week's where I wrote about the Heat Wave in the Walla Valley and about Marie-Eve Gilla's retirement from Forgeron Cellars.
More on the Heat Wave and a Correction
Last week, I got an email from Rick Johnson, owner of Johnson Ridge winery and vineyard:
"I always enjoy reading your blog. I know that accuracy is important to you as you always have me check your reviews of my wine. I thought I would let you know about an inaccuracy in your Heat Wave in the Valley paragraph. You mention that the vines shut down when the temperatures reach 105 degrees. Actually, the vines shut down when the temperatures reach 95 degrees. Over 95 degrees the vines are shut down, and there is no photosynthesis or evapotranspiration. In fact, when calculating growing degree days, only temperatures between 50 and 95 degrees are used in calculating the total number of growing degree days.
You are correct that this year is a warmer than normal year (although normal seems to be changing as our planet keeps heating up). At our location in Walla Walla Valley, we have accumulated 2,032 growing degree-days this year from April 1 to August 8. In 2014, we had 1,991 growing degree-days on August 8 and in 2015, we had 2,196 growing degree-days. This year we are next to only 2015 in terms of growing degree-days by this date. Last year, we started out fast like this year, but growing degree-days really slowed down in September and October with cooler weather. It will be interesting to see this season if the heat continues through September and October, or if it tails off like it did last year."
Thanks, Rick, for this highly informative commentary. It will, indeed, be interesting to see how the 2018 harvest turns out.
Marie-Eve Gilla's Future Plans Revealed
Last week, I reported that Marie-Eve Gilla has announced her retirement from Forgeron Callars. No reason other than more time with family was given until very recently. Her next job will be with Valdemar Estates, owned by Bogegas Valdemar in the Rioja district of Spain. No, Marie-Eve is not moving to Spain. She will be the winemaker for Valdemar Estates' new winery in the Walla Walla Valley, off Peppers Bridge Road, next to Waters and Flying Trout. The new winery is under construction and it looks like it will be an impressive facility. The best of luck to Marie-Eve!
Tomorrow, Lynn and I will be driving over to Red Mountain and Prosser to see what's new over there. I will be reporting on our visits in next week's Review Blog on Friday, August 24, along with the September issue of the Review of Washington Wines.