This year is one that I am sure upon reflection will have some lessons for us. But standing here in the middle of the chaos, it really is hard to see what that might be.
The Mother’s Day frost ultimately did lead to a severely reduced crop load, so much so that we only harvested the Petit Manseng. Those vines gave us 200 pounds of fruit, fruit that won’t be in any Addison Farms Vineyard bottles because it just isn’t enough to make a commercial product. I took that fruit for personal production, and right now, there is about nine gallons of juice from the 2020 season. I have told folks on our Winemaker’s Tour over the last couple of weeks that the only way to get a bottle of that ‘…is to know somebody.’ [while I point at myself!] Even then, it is a bit of experimenting, because why not? We will learn something from the experiment I am doing. That wine will be about 45 fantastic bottles. Or it will get dumped and never spoken of again, depending on how the experiment goes. Either way, we learn a little something from it.
We ended the growing season with 3739 GDD, and that is number 8/12 for us for heat accumulation, but that really is misleading. The GDD this year, starting over at Mother’s Day, was 3454.5, making this number 9 of 12 in what I like to refer to as ‘practical GDD,’ or what is our effective growing season. It has been a relatively cool year, but the odd part is that we had 13 days of 90+F high temperature where our mean number of 90+ days is only 10. So it was hot… and cool.
It has also been really wet. Through 31 Oct 2020, we have 55.81” of rain compared to 55.86” for all of 2019, and only 45.57” in an ‘average’ year. Just based on that, 2020 could rival 2018 for wettest year ever, or certainly threaten to hit the 75” mark set in 2013, the previous wettest year on record.