As we begin to release some 2013 vintage wines, we look back on the growing season that allowed us to produce some seriously crisp whites and well-balanced reds.
The winter of 2013 was relatively mild with elevated temperatures and normal snowfall. Spring was warm with sufficient rainfall allowing for healthy vine and bud development. Moderate and somewhat dry conditions prevailed throughout summer, providing warm ripening days and cooler evenings, very typical for northern Michigan.
The most notable thing about the 2013 vintage is how quickly it cooled down in September and stayed cool all the way through the final days of harvest in November. Intermittent showers throughout harvest required us to pick heavily on dry days and wait patiently during rainfall. Near the end of harvest, we literally picked on snow covered grounds under very cold conditions. Despite the imperfect harvesting conditions, the 2013 growing season yielded ripe, quality fruit allowing us to produce beautifully crisp, classic-style white wines as well as very flavorful reds.
Needless to say, harvest was nerve-racking and required perseverance and patience. Through trepidation and selective picking, we’re happy with our lighter bodied and well-balanced reds. The reds were allowed some extra hang time, because we didn’t pick until mid-November. Winemaker Sean O’Keefe compares this harvest to a “curveball” similar to that of 2012, and is reminded of what we specialize in what we do. “We make Rieslings and distinct reds, because that’s what wants to grow here,” he says.
Another great year for Riesling, as we to get Michigan wines on the map!