Posted by: Thomson Vineyards | August 9, 2010

5 Ws Related to Weather

August 2010 Merlot Vineyard

Who: Thomson Vineyards Merlot Vineyard. The Farmer & Millennial Daughter & 2 acres of Merlot

What: Fog, mist, moisture, precipitation so heavy water droplets form on the deer fence

When: 8 a.m., August 8, 2010

Where: 1,500 ft above sea level on Highway 121 en route to Lake Berryessa in Napa County

Why: Vineyard site has a track record of being above the fog line, 365 days a year for 15 years. Every year, except for this year. A picture speaks a thousand words. In The Farmer’s own words, “THIS is what Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast growers deal with EVERY year. This year, we just happen to be dealing with it too.”

So, will the weather be cause for an epic vintage like Jeff Miller of Artisan Family Wines suggests? Or will it simply force winemakers to diversify their skill set and pick earlier resulting in lower alcohol wines; more refined and elegant than the brawny wines of yesteryear (Like Tom Wark of Fermentation: The Daily Wine Blog suggests)? We are hoping for both.

As the Old Farmer says: there’s a difference between what you NEED and what you WANT. This is one of those growing seasons. Dig out your Principles and Practices of Winemaking textbook fellas and study up. You’re gonna NEED it.


  1. This is EXACTLY what I’m thinking. Foggy here too, 1,600′ above sea level, in San Diego County. (You know, Southern California, where the sun always shines. Not.) Is this going to be the wine of the century? Foggy mornings, but mid-morning clearing now, finally, in mid-August … boy are our grapes getting purple; boy are they still sour. How will they ripen? We shall see. How does the Winemaker Journal guy spray? He doesn’t. We’re done.

    • The Farmer is putting calls in to all of our winemakers tonight to schedule them to spray. One shift or spray a piece until we break 75 degrees in Carneros. Thanks for the note Craig. You’re right. We’re done.

  2. Does “the farmer” get the “winemakers” to do the spraying? LOL. Do tell me your secrets!

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