Looking Ahead to September

Now that the August issue of the Review of Washington Wines is now on line, here's what we're working on for September. There will be some summer and early fall releases from the Walla Walla Valley, including ones from The Walls, Golden Ridge, Reininger/Helix and Va Piano. Next week, we will drive over to the Tri Cities to visit Convergence Zone (recently moved from North Bend) Batholomew, and Longship. Also featured will be the Mark Ryan Family wines and others from Downtown Walla Walla including Guardian Cellars and Gard Vintners. In the Highly Recommended section there will be outstanding new releases from Force Majeure. 

The Heat Wave

Last month was the hottest July on record, with highs on the nineties and occasionally above 100 degrees. The highs for August are forecasted to be in the 90s for at least the next ten days. So far, this is a repetition of last years' growing season - a cold spring followed by a hot summer and an early harvest. Is this going to become the "New Normal?" We shall see.

One consequence of this heat wave is the suspension of wine shipments because of the hot weather. High temperatures are the enemy of wine which in some cases can result in "cooked" wines. Shippers are waiting for highs to ease into the 'eighties before shipping again. This can mean lost sales for wineries. One solution would be chill pack shipping, using packs that have chill packs inserted into the boxes to keep the wines at safe temperatures during transit. But few wineries are doing this. If they want to generate sales, I would recommend they use chill packs.