Overall, 2022 was a good to great growing year. Rain was below average again, but there’d been a real soaker in December – enough to saturate the vineyards, which made all the difference. It keeps the vines out of panic mode, which was the story in ’21, when the fruit was lovely, but there was about 50% less of it. In ’22, the weather was moderate and relatively even – basically smoke free with ideal temperatures. Harvest began very early on the morning of August 27 with the Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot Rosé. On September 1, the red Merlot arrived in a field blend with 357 pounds of Grenache, the tiny first crop from the Grenache in our new test block of Rhône varietals. On the 7th, the Cabernet Sauvignon came in from the Los Ricos and Pool vineyards (the Pool Block is part of the Ranch Cabernet) along with the Cabernet Franc. But by this time, forecasts were predicting alarmingly high temperatures from September 11 through 15. Based on our experience with a similar “heat event” in 2017, Diana knew the only outcome from the temperatures we were looking at would be dehydration, with little true ripening continuing after they came down. Fortunately, Block C, which gives us The Brothers Vineyard Cabernet, had entered the window, so it came in the overnight of the 9th-10th. Two nights later, we finished up with the Cabernet Sauvignon from the Lost Orchard (also a part of the Ranch Cabernet), along with the Petit Verdot and the test block of Mourvèdre. By the grace of God, these final blocks were also ready, like runners just over the line, and everything was in the cellar by the time the heatwave went into warp mode on September 12 (the high was on the 13th when it hit 116F). For our fruit, not only was the quality what we were looking for, but the quantity as well – we harvested a total of 38 tons, up from the 30 tons we managed in 2021. While less than our rolling average of 45 tons, we were delighted and relieved, given the minefield that global warming is laying for farmers everywhere.