A steady pitter-patter of rain fell on the hatches above the cellar in late November, and it was impossible not to feel an instant calm – a heartbeat returning to a steady pace after a series of sprints. I have always looked forward to the first rains. They signify the end of the growing season and a chance to catch one’s breath. By this time, farming decisions are done for the year and the nascent wines are freshly put to barrel. Our job now is just to patiently wait for them to finish their secondary fermentation, fully completing their journey from grape to wine.
The stormy weather is also a chance to reflect on the joys and successes of the past year. Those vineyard blocks that proved difficult to farm have produced tremendous wines. And the blocks that took the season in stride yielded wines that are a reflection of the year.
As we wait, the cover crop is springing forth in green growth as the old leaves dry and fall. As one season ends, a new one begins. And the wines begin their journey, with so much more to unfold with time.