There was alot of talk about the weather last year at the Symposium and challenges with the mold, Botrytis. Optimum temps for mold growth on grapes are 75-82 degrees F. I don't blame the mold. Those are my optimum temps also. Above 95 degress, the mold dies. Last year was optimum for growth. Usually it is warm enough that Botrytis is not an issue.
The mold can be controlled if you start spraying early enough and about 4X during the growing season. However, if you are not expecting the issue and don't spray early, it rapidly takes hold and can't be stopped. Apparently the mold starts on the decaying flowers from the grapes and then gets into the clusters, especially if the berries are close together. It works from inside to out and within a relatively short period of time, the berry cluster turns to mush.
Oh, the joys of farming. We were told to spin last year as exciting not challenging. Marketers can do a lot with words to create images. Actually last cursh was exciting. I had to use different methods during the fermentation process and the wines have been lovely flavors so far. Time will tell and we will watch the wine develop.
I will interview growers from both Calaveras and Amador County and get their take on last year and what they did in the vineyard. I'll let you know.