Friday, June 3, 2011

Spring Has Sprung in the Rattlesnake Hills

And yes, the grapes budded out just fine. The old saw that you need to be above 1200 feet was invented in frosty Prosser Flats where that is indeed the magic number. Unfortunately, it is also the summit of Sagebrush Ridge. It does not hold true for the Rattlesnake Hills.

We are expecting a full crop here at the Ch. Puryear Vineyard which sits at 900 feet elevation at the southern border of the Rattlesnake Hills AVA. (No the AVA does not extend down to the Yakima River, nor does it go over the summit of the Rattlesnake Hills into the frosty Moxee Valley.) Our Morrison Vineyard at 1200 feet is also doing well. Hyatt Vineyards, at about 1000 feet, seems to have a full crop even in the bottom of a large canyon.

The only damage we received was in the Touriga Nacional. It sits in the coldest part of the vineyard which isn't probably the ideal location for this variety. Fortunately, I have a cellar full of Touriga Port. We expect about half a crop from this little block. The Pinot Noir block right next to it is fine.

Yes, Patricia, the Rattlesnake Hills is a "real" AVA even though it uses a power line as a boundary just like Red Mountain. It also has some demonstrable advantages over other fine growing regions in Washington.

Now we need those superior growing degree days that the Rattlesnake Hills AVA is known for to ripen this crop.

1 comment:

  1. We spent this last week from Boise to Leavenworth. Walla Walla's growth was incredibly small. Red Mountain was certainly better, but less than expected.

    The "cut off at the ground" vines in Walla Walla was pretty scary.

    We got to Zillah, and the amount of growth was much better than further East, and little in the way of dead vines.

    The growth in Leavenworth was also way behind what one would expect.

    It certainly should be an interesting year. I'm not expecting a tan this year.