Yep it’s Autumn, which means hot in Southern California. It hit 115 degrees today in Santa Ynez, making me worry about our little crop of Roussanne out in Happy Canyon. Fortunately the clusters are well shaded and we can give them a little drink of water when the temperatures are extreme. The Roussanne is only about 18-19 brix, it is always one of the last varieties to ripen, so it should actually enjoy some heat (though this is a bit much).
We picked our Pinot Noir from Carneros on Friday of last week before it really warmed up. Amy and I processed the grapes and got them nice and cold (dry ice) and into the stainless steel fermentors. The numbers look good (as much as numbers can tell you), 23 brix (estimated alcohol 13.8%) and pH of 3.50. The Pinot will cold soak now until it starts fermenting on its own (what the natural wine movement calls a natural fermentation.
Still a few weeks away on the Syrah vineyards, but this heat definitely kick-starts things!