As we near harvest in Sonoma it reminds me of the Eddie in Hawaii.
Anyone who lives on the islands knows when the ocean waves hit 20 feet (or a 30 foot face), normal life on the islands stops. Businesses close, people do not go to work, flights are book from all over the World, everyone heads to the North Shore of Oahu for a surfing competition that can never be put on a calendar.
An event that has only happened 9 times in history.
Planned only by nature.
Here we are, in wine country waiting not on the Eddie, but the Brix.
Brix is the measurement of sugar in a grape. Somewhere in the upper 20’s is a good number. The longer the “hang time” the higher the Brix.
As the yeast in the fermentation process eats the sugars converting them into alcohol. The brix will drop sometimes below 0 and the alcohol will generally be about 1/2 what the brix was originally.
Example picking a grape at 28 Brix = approximately 14% alcohol.
Harvest can be weeks away one day, then the next day for some unknown reason, controlled by the moon, the sun, and whatever else the Grape Gods decide. It will be exactly where the winemaker wants it.
No more waiting, tasting, testing, looking for the perfect amount of acidity, ph, with the balance of the perfect number of Brix in a grape.
Winemakers this time of the year are testing the grapes daily for the perfect balance hoping for their best barrel of wine ever. Once they determine it is time to pick…
Everything stops, they bring in the pickers, turn on the big lights because picking is usually done at night or very early in the morning, to keep the grapes cool.
Get out of the way!
The pickers are serious, and get paid by the ton, do not be getting in their space.
Wine makers are just waiting at the crush pad rubbing their palms together and drooling at the thought of what they are going to create with what nature has delivered them this year.
I loved living in Hawaii when nature put a kink in your day. People ask me all the time if I miss it. My answer never changes, “I miss the warm beautiful ocean”. How it controls every one and every thing on the islands. Something man can not tame or figure out.I love living in Sonoma for the same reason, as smart as we humans are, we still have not figured out how to control nature.
Here, we are at the mercy of these magical vineyards. Standing like little soldiers all lined up. Majestic as they change colors, die, grow, produce, and dictate a persons day when they want to.
Sonoma living at its finest. Great wine paired with great food. What more could we ask for?
Vacation in Hawaii after harvest to watch the Eddie?