The SOMM Journal

October / November 2015

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Page 58 of 132

58 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2015 CAMP [ ] "Hens and chicks"—uneven- sized berries in the same cluster—on a Pinot Noir vine at Garys' Vineyard. Shangri-La COLD CLIMATE Hens and chicks! This was one of the most repeated phrases (prompting many a toast) heard during our SOMM Camp in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA this past July. "Hens and chicks," of course, refers to millerandage or "shot berry" clusters—the phenom- enon of uneven-sized berries in grape bunches, which we saw in virtually all of our vineyard stops. First, because the 2015 vintage in Santa Lucia Highlands was marked by three weeks of cooler than normal weather, affecting bloom in late April and early May. As a result, everywhere we went we saw loose, small-berried, sometimes scrawny looking Pinot Noir clusters, indicative of the preceeding spring's extended or stunted pollination. OUR SOMM CAMPERS DISCOVER WINE AND WIND IN THE SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS AVA story and photos by Randy Caparoso

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