Wine Country has taken a hit with the recent rains and Saturday may bring another bout of rain.
With the grape crop a victim of bunch rot called botrytis, how are people holding up?
While Patrick Campbell, owner of Tierra Divina, has most of his grapes picked, he knows what it’s like to take a hit. He lost 20 percent of his 200 ton grape crop in Mendoza from hail in December and frost in September.
“You’ve got to be something of an optimist,” he said with a laugh. “When you start thinking of these things too closely, well then you might as well give up. Ultimately farming is out of your control … so is life.”
The good news is that this year is not a lost vintage like 1989, Campbell said. “That was a disastrous year.”
What’s a winemaker to when the sun is a no show?
1) Make wines with lower alcohol levels.
2) Add 5 percent of a different vintage in varietal wines. (Perfectly legal.)
3) Add 25 percent of different varietals into a varietal wine. (Perfectly legal.)
4) Make more blends.
But Campbell, ever the optimist, is upbeat
“If there’s lower alcohol in terms of cabernet in this part of the world, I think that’s frankly not a bad thing,” Campbell said. “It will forced winemakers out of necessity to make more supple wines.”
Fewer sun-kissed wines … do you agree that’s a good thing?