2002 GROWING YEAR
Elegance, good ageing prospects, and eloquent expression of terroir are the hallmarks of the 2002 vintage wines.
The weather in 2002 presented a terrific challenge to grapegrowers and underlined the advantages inherent in the best vineyard sites.
After a late budbreak, high temperatures in May accelerated vegetative growth and brought early flowering; this stage was slowed, however, by a stretch of rainy weather. The result was a less-than-optimal berry set, with fewer grapes per cluster.
Apart from an intense heat spike in June, summer was notably cooler than normal, with above-average rain, in particular from July though mid-August.
This situation led us to expect increased berry size, so we carried out cluster thinning on all varieties, in order to reduce the ratio of crop load to canopy and to bring it into line with the developing weather pattern for the year.
Mid-August ushered in a hot spell, with sunny days and significant day-night temperature ranges, contradicting weather predictions for that period. Harvesting begin slightly earlier than usual. Yield was down about 30%, in contrast to predictions in the summer that mistakenly induced us to cluster thin as a precautionary measure.