The 1994 vine cycle began with a late March/early April budbreak. Winter was cold and, more importantly, dry, resulting in a water deficit at the beginning of the season which challenged us through to harvest. Spring was comparatively cool, leading to a slightly delayed bloom. Rain and thundershowers during flowering extended the bloom-set period and caused slight trepidation among growers regarding resulting yield.
Our crop was slightly less than our twelve-year average due to smaller berries and slightly smaller clusters. Even with a few heat spikes, summer was relatively cool (gratefully so—with the water table rapidly decreasing, this dry season was nicely balanced with mild weather), and a delayed harvest was the inevitable result.
Our ‘94 harvest began August 30th with Sauvignon Blanc. The Spottswoode Estate harvest began September 19th and proceeded in an orderly fashion; it protracted over the month of September and into October, when the last of the Cabernet Sauvignon was picked.
—Pam Starr, Winemaker