The vineyard is standing bright green, tall and healthy as we begin crop thinning today. The evolutionary survival strategy of the vitis species is to produce as many seeded berries as possible so that a sufficient number will be spread around by birds and other critters (coyotes and raccoons here). Not surprisingly, this is much more than will properly ripen to the standards of a modern winemaker before the plant quits for the season.  Unless the grapes are growing on a nearly sterile rocky pile, there will be some crop thinning here in the Willamette Valley. I found the first well colored Pinot Noir cluster last Sunday; we had generalized color change in blocks 6 & 9 on August 11th last year. Bud break occurred about two days later in April this year than last, and the marked cool down with showers the last three weeks means we will likely have a normal harvest beginning about October 1 contrasted with the early September 20th harvests of the past thre! e years.  Our new Chardonnay blocks grew slowly after top grafting in late April, but now they sport a vigorous, thriving canopy that we had to hedge back last week.  We expect a very good crop of Chardonnay next year.

-Peter Gladhart, Owner & Vineyard Manager