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Whereas winemakers of dry wines want nothing to do with Botrytis and shriveled berries, those conditions are exactly what Dolce winemaker Greg Allen looks for in fruit that’s ready to pick. We checked in with him to see how the Dolce fruit is progressing towards harvest. Here’s the lowdown:
The recent rains have unleashed the unrestrained growth of Botrytis throughout the Dolce vineyards. Pictured here is a cluster of Semillon of which about half of its berries are presenting the tell-tale signs of early-stage Botrytis: fully-sized pink to purple berries.
Right now, about 30% of the fruit looks like this. At this stage, benevolent mold is growing throughout the berry. With the warm weather we’re currently enjoying, we expect the berries to shrivel and soon, not-so-appealing grey fuzz will cover each berry. Over the next week or so we’ll keep a close eye on the shriveling. When most of the fruit is dimpled (which indicates beautiful concentration), we will begin the first harvest pass. We will harvest the remaining 70% when it also reaches the wonderful, shriveled state.
Keep an eye on the Dolce Facebook page for harvest updates!