It's cold today here in early September. The heatwaves of summer seem forgotten as all eyes regard the weather pattern that, by now, usually shift over to sun all day, clear all night. In our location in the southern Napa Valley it's even more prevalent since we are so close to the San Francisco Bay. Check out this site for the latest wind pattern (wind patterns). You may note that things seem to really speed up, wind-wise, in the upper center of the image at the north end of the bay. That's where I am right now and brrrrr (today).
The oft-asked question right now is "when will harvest start?" For us, Sauvignon Blanc will probably come in the middle of next week and the red grapes in a few more weeks after that. I passed a truckload of grapes today when I was dropping Daisy off at school and it triggered that thing in my stomach that seems to tense up a bit. When we used metal "valley bins" in the past for picking, every year there was that first day when you could hear them getting shoved off a flatbed truck with a resounding BANG. I could never help but feel unprepared for harvest with that sound, even if we were totally prepared. It's a little like a runaway train, once harvest starts.
Foggy, cold, no sun in sight... I think everyone in Napa is hoping for the warmer alternative to get it all going. The other end of the spectrum is "offshore flow" which, in these parts is sometimes referred to as the Diablo winds (for Mt. Diablo) or the more common overall term, Santa Ana winds. We are a long way from Santa Ana but it's the same thing. In those cases, desert air from Nevada makes it's way westward over California picking up heat as it goes. On those days, Napa can be hotter than Sacramento and the humidity half a mile from the bay might be under 10%. This is a dangerous situation for wine grapes and a lot of things can go wrong in the vineyard and knee-jerk picking decisions are common.
But hey, it's only early September and there's still time for those perfect Fall days with light breezes, 85-degrees and the slow changes of color in the landscape. Right now I'm too chilled to go hose things down outside get the press ready for next week. Maybe tomorrow.