My 2017 summary:

Similar to last year we picked an above average crop. Not quite as big as 2016's 640 tons, we had 585 this year.

The client list was down to 17 this year (my choice) and we picked 58 different wine lots. 66% of my crop stayed in Mendocino county, which is up the last couple of years.

In 2016 day one was 8/17, this year 8/28 which is more along the lines of a normal start. As usual we started with sparkling Pinot and then Chard, and sprinkled in a little Gewurtz and Pinot Gris just for fun.

2017 will be known in our area as the one with the heat wave after the first week of September. It'll be more infamously known for the firestorm in October after we were done picking.

Reviewing my notes it was much like many other harvests. It started off somewhat calm and orderly, then with the heat it quickly became a logistics battle to keep up with fruit and customers needs and wants. We picked 13 days straight in one stretch, which burned the candle from both ends. My crew pretty much never complained as they know the drill.

We had one period the third week of September where rain was forecast. Weather folks were calling for .35 to .50 in our area but it fizzled out (thankfully) to .05. That meant we got a couple of days rest and were ready to sprint to the finish line. We then picked 15 of the next 17 days to wrap on October 7.

For some reason most of harvest 2017 was less hectic for me than others and I can't explain why. Maybe I'm now finding a comfort level with my crew and customers that took a while to develop? I'm not really sure. We had no major breakdowns or personnel problems which cut back on the stress level. Near the end I had some typical issues with some customers jacking me around trying to fuss over dumb issues when the rest of us knew it was just time to finish. Still I had fewer pissed off phone calls than other years.

I'm still numb from all of the loss that so many people endured from the fires. We know many people who personally lost homes and businesses in the Potter Valley and Redwood Valley areas. One of my dearest friends lost his home in Kenwood and left with just the clothes on their backs. My heart goes out to all effected.
"Behind every bottle of wine there's someone driving a tractor"