October 5, 2013 | Harvest 2013 | Neil Bernardi
The picture below is striking. Look at all that fruit on the ground! It represents an implicit (and explicit) agreement between the winery and the grower that quality is of paramount importance to both parties. In fruitful years, fruit is often dropped to ensure that the remaining clusters will get ripe - the vine's ripening machinery can focus on accumulating sugar and maturing tannins on less fruit. Not so long ago this approach to growing grapes was uncommon, and quantity was king. Over time, as winemakers have requested higher quality farming practices and began paying prices that reflect the extra work and diminished yields, farming for wine quality has become the norm.