2009 Don Carlo Merlot Columbia Valley 750 mL

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2009 Don Carlo Merlot Columbia Valley 750 mL

2009 Don Carlo Merlot Columbia Valley 750 mL
Our very first 100% Estate wines were from Don Carlo Vineyard in 2009. This growing season started out about normal. It proved to be not too cold or warm, just beautiful spring weather. Pruning began in March and plenty of spring rains along with normal temperatures gave the vines a great boost. Since these vines are still considered young, a heavy fruit thinning in July resulted in a slightly lower than normal crop load of about 1 3/4 tons/acre. June and July started out normal but towards August the high temps came and were followed by a lot of rain. Not only birds, but mildew was on the mind of every grape grower in the Walla Walla valley about then. The dreaded amount of heat and rain we were experiencing could make for the perfect storm of mildew growth. Luckily our vineyard was never compromised due to the diligence of our vineyard management. But the birds! In early August bird curtains were draped over the ripening crop for the first time to protect us from the migrating flocks of hungry birds. They would have otherwise wiped out the crop. Just after Labor Day weekend the Chardonnay was picked and October saw the return of optimal sunshine and temperature and at last, the Merlot, Cabernet and Franc grapes were picked.

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