This week it's officially upon us: the start of the harvest of our 2020 vintage. This is Allegro's 40th commercial vintage and Carl's 20th at Allegro. While it hasn't been a stellar year in the vineyards (cold damage, lower-than-usual yields), there is still tons of promise and anticipation for the grapes coming in and those still on the vines.
This week included harvest of the sweet white native varietal Niagara from our vineyards at Stewartstown (the familiar grape in our Suite wine) and harvest of the Arandell grapes from our small Nouveau vineyard block here in The Brogue. (Here's a link to Paul Vigna's recent Penn Live article about this new grape variety at Allegro.)
This afternoon, the action was on the crush pad here behind the winery in The Brogue, where Carl and Dave were working to unload Niagara fruit brought over in the truck from Stewartstown and to run it through the crusher/destemmer and the press. (The distinctive scent of this grape nectar is a definite presence in the air.)
Harvest season is definitely a "marathon, not a sprint" situation, and it takes an enormous amount of effort to do the work and to meet all of the inevitable challenges--today it was an overheating forklift. But Carl has become quite seasoned in dealing with it all. I've heard him express several times over the years the sentiment that winegrowers and winemakers have a finite number of vintages in their lives, a finite number of opportunities to make great wine. We'll keep you posted about the vintage as harvest progresses, and will look forward to reporting about the estate-grown grapes which will (in the best growing seasons) become our flagship Cadenza wines.
Cheers to the 2020 harvest!