Vintage Update – November 2022
The rush of October’s harvest has concluded, the grapes have been processed, and primary fermentations are coming to a close. The vineyards have undergone their quick transformation following harvest: The leaves quickly yellowed and fell as the vines began their descent into winter dormancy to prepare for the next growing season.
In wineries around the Dundee Hills, many of our winemakers are pressing the Pinot Noir, which is initially fermented with skins, and transitioning the wine into barrels where it will undergo a secondary fermentation, also called malolactic fermentation. Some winemakers will keep their cellar warm enough to enable this second fermentation to begin immediately, and some will allow their wines to “hibernate” until spring when the cellar warms naturally with the season. Once the malolactic fermentation has concluded, sulfur is added to the wine to prevent oxidation. Our winemakers are also beginning to taste through their wines to grade them and begin making some early plans for blending options.
The rainfall began just as harvest ended and has been plentiful since then. “Having this rain right now is great because it gives the vines a big drink before they go dormant,” says Terry Culton, Director of Winemaking & Vineyards at Domaine Willamette.
While the pace has slowed from the frenzy of bringing fruit in from the vineyards, our winemaking teams are still doing critical work every day to capture the magic of this vintage. All indicators point to fabulous wines that will age beautifully.