Usually at this time of year, the roads are sticky with grape juice and grape harvesters are a familiar sight in the vineyards. 10 minutes are added onto every journey as you get stuck behind a tractor pulling a trailer load of grapes. But this year it is different – I have yet to see a single tractor with grapes and the vineyards are eerily silent.
This is the latest harvest for 30 years and is a good 2 to 3 weeks later than 2012. The reason is an unusually cold spring. Temperatures in May and June were way below the norm and this delayed flowering which has had a knock on effect on the date of harvest. This year more than ever, the weather in September is crucial as it will determine whether the grapes will ripen fully. So far, it has been warm and sunny – perfect grape-ripening weather in fact.
Last year we harvested our Syrah on the 15th September. The date of the 2013 Syrah harvest will not be before the end of the month. All we can do is wait.