I dropped a significant but not unrealistic amount of sauvignon blanc with bunch-rot this morning after walking our little stretch of Wilson Ranch with Salvador, the foreman for Oak Knoll Farming. I've worked with Salvador for three years now, and his crew during picking has been the most attentive and disciplined I've worked with every year. This year, because of the nature of rot and raisining affecting the alternating sides of the rows (rot on the west side, burning on the east) we decided to drop the rot today, and pick the raisins separately at first light. There was a place in the middle of the rows more towards the northern side where certain vines just failed to flower properly and the rot and raisining seemed to be more acute in these regions. Everywhere else, the occurrence was sporadic, even rare.
I used a pair of needle nose clippers to surgically remove the rot from the bunches that could be saved. Those that had entirely succumbed were let go. This labor intensive process took most of the day, which left me thinking, Why bother? I kept telling myself, We have no choice. We have no choice. But I wonder if that's true. It all comes down to the fact that I'm here to make the best freaking wine I can possibly from this little corner of the world. No exceptions. No excuses. Anything less and I should just pack up my shit and go home to New York. But that's just it. New York isn't home anymore. This is home. There is no going back. So here I am, dropping clusters, in 97 degree fucking heat. If that ain't love, I don't know what is.
What we're drinking ... Lagunitas Czech Style Pils. 6.2% alc. Bright amber in color, with medium grained carbonation, for those days you wish the sun would just GO AWAY.