Hace buen tiempo

Our cellarmaster, Pancho, calls out to me, “Hey Pablo, ¿hace buen tiempo hoy, no?” I look up and answer, “Senor, you are right. Today is perfect. Just like yesterday.” We smile, rub our sore backs and push on with our crush duties, in this beautiful setting and with this wonderful, amazing weather.

Summer 2013 on the North Coast has been wonderful. Never too hot – nor too cool. Since July 1 there were 14 days when the temperature exceeded 100 degrees. Some of us were a bit nervous during the second week of September when temps spiked to 100+ on back to back days. Then promptly fell back to the 80’s with night temps that were 30 to 40 degrees less than daytime (preserving flavors and acidity.)

2013 has been a nearly perfect year to ripen winegrapes (and homegrown tomatoes.)

Early in the 2013 growing season, the consensus was that harvest would be at least two or perhaps three weeks early. The spring was early, warm and with less than 7” of rain after the New Year. There has been no Indian Summer (no need for an Indian Summer.) There have been no cloudy and cold days. The entire summer and early fall has been perfect for farmers and people who make their living outdoors.

While the winery I work at is focused on Pinot, it is blessed with the opportunity to produce Sauvignon blanc from vineyards in Lake and Sonoma Counties. I am tasked with duties for these wines – yeasting, stirring, racking and tasting. I take my duties seriously and make sure that I bring home samples daily for additional after-hours gustatory evaluations. I can confidently pass along my views of these wines: This is a great year for SB.

Paul Zellman

About Paul Zellman

Paul pursues interests in wine, water and wilderness. Working closely with winegrowers and organizations on the North Coast, Paul promotes positive outcomes for issues relating to winegrape quality and water use. Paul currently serves on the Russian River Flood Control District as President and as Education Director for the Lake County Winegrape Commission, coordinating their Sustainable Winegrowing Programs and Master Vigneron Academy. Paul is blessed to live with his wife Mary Agnes in Ukiah, CA.
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