Many people have been wondering how the drought will affect the 2014 Vintage. The biggest effect the weather has had is that the hot, dry winter created a slightly early bud break. This means that vines woke up prematurely because the soil had dried out too soon. They need to send their roots deeper to find water, starting the growing season off about two weeks sooner than usual. Next we had a nice, warm, early spring something we haven’t had in years. There were concerns over the early bud break in case of a late spring frost, but we made it through the spring with out a bad frost event. The year was off to a good start and the vines looked stronger then they had in years.
Spring started with a few small storms, but only enough to keep the dust down. The vineyards went through flower production in early spring and had a nice fruit set despite the wicked windstorms that we had. Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon are perennially late bloomers, and flowered during the peak of the windstorms, but were not badly affected this year. Our Grenache at Paredon Vineyard suffered a bit of shatter (when a grape flowers fail to develop completely after fertilization) during those winds. This means that our yield will be a little lower this year for this varietal, but should not affect the quality.
May was really warm with no rain then we settled right into our typical June gloom but did not cool off much. The vines had good growth early in the season and remained about two or three weeks ahead of last year. A lot of vineyard managers and winemakers have been concerned over how quickly vineyards were progressing this year. It’s been trending the past few years that harvest starts earlier and earlier, and this year is no different. If the summer continues to stay warm we will have one of the earliest harvest Carr Winery has ever seen.
Despite some of the curves Mother Nature has thrown this year our vines look very healthy and have a very nice crop. Harvest will start a little early this year, but all and all we should have a great vintage 2014.