2011 started off dry and warm with temperatures in the 70s in January and early February. This pattern broke in late February when temperatures plummeted and March rains delivered 20 inches and put us back to normal rainfall levels. Consistent rain and colder temperatures pushed budbreak out to early April – the latest date in Flowers’ history. Flowering occurred as normal in early June with near perfect weather. The growing season was cool and fogs were prevalent below the ridge tops. Very low yields in 2011 led to uniform ripening that allowed us to achieve phenolic ripeness at lower Brix, high natural acidity, and intense flavor concentration. The 2011 harvest was fast and furious. We began picking early in anticipation of the notorious September heat spikes and all of the Chardonnay was harvested well before the early October rains.