80% of the Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards I work with are coming in heavy. Most Pinot Noir Vineyards, especially in the Corralitos area are at a minimum of 25% over yield of last year and 2012 was a big year! A select few vineyards are showing even more production, some as much as 50% or more over normal. Quality is very high. There have been some issues with even ripening in younger vineyards and wine quality may have been affected if allowed to overproduce. Older vineyards are showing the best fruit I have seen in years even with a big set.
I attribute this to the perfect spring weather and excellent set. Disease pressure was very low during summer months. There were no heat spikes after verasion. We have enjoyed a slow steady maturation period that has produced perfect numbers. pH is coming in 3.2 to 3.5 depending on harvest date. Sugars are 23 to 25, less for those choosing to pick at the first hint of ripeness. TA is hitting 7 to 8. This is what I call a winemaker’s year. With environmental pressure low (no significant rain or heat) winemakers can pick their harvest date based on individual vision and style preference. Each vineyard I work with is in full expression of it’s terroir showing fruit flavors unique and fully developed across the board. In general cluster size and density is up, phenolics are strong, color is good even at first crush. Pinot Noir clusters that normally average 2 oz are showing easily 3 oz per cluster. Bins are regularly topping out at a pure half ton. 2013 promises to be a phenomenal year in every sense.
Santa Cruz Mountains