Every vintage has three seasons -- start, middle and finish. Our 2017 had a mediocre start and middle, but what a fabulous finish it brought us.
Bud break in late May put us behind. Fruit set was average to good, similar to 2011 and 2013, with no threat of early frost. Middle season came at us with little heat, and we considered cluster thinning to allow remaining fruit to ripen if weather continued on the light side. We decided not to thin, and our strategy paid off with the driest and warmest finish on record.
September and October were sunny and dry and set the fruit into a nice ripening pattern. Noble rot was not going to happen, so our program was filled with dry and off-dry wines. The tanks got full before all fruit was harvested, so we planned to keep the remaining Riesling on the vine for Ice Wine. Last harvest was Dec 12 for Ice Wine just as a tank was ready. Overall, if the winemaker has to pick only one of the three seasons, finish is the best. We feel fortunate to have this season be so stellar.
Vintage 2017 is a great one for your cellar!