By Courtney Cochran
Looking at the weather forecast for Napa and Sonoma, one might think we’re approaching winter. In fact, with crisp, overcast days the norm in Wine Country these past weeks, industry pundits are speculating
as to whether 2010 will be the best
or the worst
harvest in years. Best because cool weather usually leads to slow, even ripening (which occurs in many “fringe” vineyards in Europe and Oregon
), and worst because of the potential for early autumn rains that could ruin a crop left on the vine longer than usual to achieve ripeness.
Harvest News On Demand – Or, Not
But what I’m wondering is: Why isn’t anyone talking about the potential for a simply average year? Why isn’t anyone saying, (quite accurately), “Who really knows?” Come to think of it, why is it that each year would-be wine soothsayers use words like “superlative quality” and “vintage of the decade” to describe yet another harvest, which by definition will more likely than not be…just average? In our era of mega-connectivity and instantaneous info, it seems that no one is willing to wait patiently to find out which vinous spoils the new year will bring.
Herein lies the beauty of wine: At a time when we don’t have to wait for much, the wine harvest makes us hold our breath, sit tight and do just that (and, in the case of current weather patterns, pull out our woolen hats and sweaters and go with the flow).
And this – I’m quite sure – is a very good thing.