In the spring newsletter, I discussed my friendly departure from Dehlinger after 10 vintages there, and it rained. We held an open house at our ‘new’ location and were pleasantly surprised how many people showed up to visit, offer encouragement and pick up futures…between rains. Although it was not advertised, we sampled those who came on a few experimental wines we made in 1997: a Chardonnay, a dry Zinfandel rosé, and a Cabernet Sauvignon…then it rained. These wines will be the subject of a future newsletter and those of you on our mailing list will be the first to hear about any offerings on these limited wines…rain or shine.
Rain and shine is what we had for the 1997 growing season. You might say it was a vintage of excess in the North Coast. Excess heat and excess moisture, with both sometimes very pronounced and potentially damaging depending on the state of the vines at the moment either occurred. In cases where there was excess crop, any of the following problems were compounded. Some vineyards ran out of soil moisture during heat spells before the grapes could accumulate truly ripe flavors and had to be harvested so as not to make raisin wine. Other vineyards were affected by the untimely August and September rains only to have botrytis gain a foothold, forcing the issue of harvesting before true ripeness was achieved. Some growers were prescribed ulcer medication and were told to delay harvesting their grapes until wineries, swamped with a large and rapid harvest, had room in fermentation tanks. What initially looked like a very early, plentiful and dry vintage, became the cause of many uneasy nights for grape growers and winemakers. All is not doom & gloom, however. Many growers and winemakers had wonderful luck and wines to match. I feel we were one of the
Long-term futures: We plan to continue to offer futures on our usual bottlings of Zinfandel for as many vintages in the future as we can. There are two major reasons for us to do this: 1) We have expanded our Zinfandel production about 2-fold and we still need to collect necessary winery equipment, so there is still a financial reason for us to offer futures. 2) When we started this project in 1991, it was those people who supported us by buying futures that got us here in the first place. These people are, in a sense, partners. Even though many of you have only recently joined us, we like to see good people get a good price on good wine.
Download the complete newsletter: Futures Offering