Over the last few days tension is running high at the winery. Although most of the harvest in the Judean Hills is done we are still waiting for the right time to start picking our Cabernet Sauvignon in the upper Galilee. If we thought that global temperature are rising and that there's no way back we have to think again. The 2011 vintage is here to prove that despite global warming, cold and moderate years are here to stay.
On the vineyard's side, everything seems rosy. Both the "Dishon" & the "Ben Zimra" vineyards look and feel healthy and beautiful. Add to it the mild day temperature (24) and the cool night (14) and get an almost European feel. But beneath the calm & beauty there is also great tension. With everyday that passes by we fear more of rainy days and temperatures that are to allow the grapes to fully ripens.
On Golan's shoulders lies the heavy task of finding the right moment in time where the grapes show perfect balance of sugar & acidity. But how to decide if the time is right or rather gamble, risk cold temperatures and rain and leave the Cabernet grapes and the vines just for a little bit longer? The tests that take place on our laboratory are only a partial answer and although we analyse sugar and acid levels in the grapes on a daily basis it is impossible to rely only on these results. Many wineries do but Golan insists to find the answer in the vineyards rather than in the lab. In his daily vineyard inspections he uses the oldest methods of all in order to nail the perfect moment to start harvesting; tasting the grapes. He also takes great care in looking at the vineyard's overall state. An experienced winemaker who knows his vineyards can almost "feel" the right moment to start.
We can't wait to start picking our precious Cabernet grapes but in the meantime all is left for us to do is to stare at the sky and hope that the rain will wait just a few more days and help us in our quest to make our best ever Flam Cabernet Reserve.