To write about harvest we really need to review the entire year in the vineyard, as harvest is a culmination of a year’s worth of growing events.

Bud break on the vine at start of 2013 growing seasonWe noted bud break on April 10th, which is one of the earliest we’ve experienced. May brought record-breaking rain to the Northern Willamette Valley, but it was appreciated after a dry start to the year.

The summer was dry and warmer than normal, which set the grapes on a furious pace to ripen early. Thankfully, August arrived and brought cool nights and mornings with dry sunny afternoons.  These daily temperature fluctuations allowed the grapes to slowly finish ripening and develop delicious flavors.

Pinot noir grapes hang in the sun

As harvest approached, we spent hours walking the vineyard with the seven winemakers who purchase our Chardonnay and Pinot noir. They tasted fruit, analyzed chemistries and discussed the weather reports.

We started harvest on September 19th, our earliest harvest ever, and then paused for a rainstorm. We continued harvesting intermittently, taking direction from the winemakers for the next 28 days and finished harvest on October 15th.

A bounty of harvested grapes at Fairsing Vineyard loaded and ready for the wineryIt was an unusual weather year, but the perfect summer with rains both early and late. The wines reflect that perfection and taste wonderful!

– Mary Ann McNally / October 2013