Vintage Notes 2007

The 2007 vintage constitutes another new experience for this Finger Lakes vintner. Sun and solar radiation are the hallmarks of the year – lots of both – reminiscent of 1998 and 2001 and perhaps 1999. In terms of degree-days we are about even with 2005 at 2807 as of October 22 and 15% more than 2006.

And as in 2001, some got the rain and some didn’t. We at Sheldrake Point Vineyard were fortunate. With a little help from irrigation in young blocks and a helping hand from Mother Nature we had almost all of what we needed. Canopies were full and healthy with little disease pressure until late in the season. Vines were fruitful to the point that we dropped fruit a couple of times to ensure balanced vines capable of fully ripening the fruit.

Initially with the heat and slight moisture deprivation so we thought that we would be harvesting everything very early. That was not the case with some Pinot Gris and Muscat coming in on September 29 more than a week late. Overall sugar accumulation was slow and steady varying from 20.2 for young Pinot Gris to 23.6 for an older block of Pinot Gris. Most varieties fell into the range of 21 to 22.5 brix. And flavors are good. The educational aspect of the vintage involves lower sugars (with so much sun?), good flavors and lower acids. It may be that the very warm nights late in the vintage with little diurnal variation had the effect of reducing acids where in other years cold nights left the acids intact. Yields have been generous – we did have the moisture needed.

Our take so far? A good vintage with balanced, good flavored wines at decent alcohol levels and that just may have exceptional mouth feel with lighter, riper tannins and appropriate acids to provide structure. Sounds like a recipe for elegance. Reds are full of color and flavor, with Gamay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet looking particularly strong. The Gamay may just be the best that we have ever produced and the Pinot just might rank up there with 2001. In whites, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Riesling have the flavors, richness and freshness that we look for.

We have a total harvest of about 130 tons of fruit or about 20,000 gallons, a little over 8,000 cases. This does not include 9 tons each of Riesling and Cabernet Franc that are being left for Ice Wine that usually harvest in late December or sometime in January.

Bob Madill,

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