August 18, 2013 | Jeanette Trompeter
Summer Heat and Summer Cold
It's cooled off, but we had a nice little heat wave toward the end of July. It often gets hot in the inland areas (where a lot of our grapes are grown) but it was hot at the beach. It was awesome at the beach. I took advantage of every minute of it I could.
There were a couple of awesome days where friends or relatives came over and we soaked up the sunshine. We got so hot we floated a lot in the normally chilly Pacific and stayed until sunset. It was classic summertime beach fun.
When I got home, I showered quick and met up with the same friends and relatives for dinner on the beach, and it hit me...that sweet familiar feel of the ocean breeze and light fog hovering around us. My skin slightly sensitive from the slight sunburn (I did wear sunscreen) and the way it made the cool feel luxurious and more pronounced. It reminded me of carefree memories from years ago growing up around the beach.
For those of us with those kind of memories, evening fog is just part of the summertime picture. Then I got to thinking about how good it felt after a scorcher of a day, and I thought about the winemakers I know. They often talk about how the grapes love it too. Even in the inland areas, there is a marine influence. Less drastic maybe than right on the beach, but present for sure. Grapes like the heat but they seem to love the cool down "The daily temperature swings allow the fruit to cool at night, lengthening the ripening process to intensify the flavor and allowing the seeds to mature, providing proper tannin and flavors." says Paul Hoover, owner/winemaker at Still Waters Vineyards in Paso Robles.
As I sat there, feeling my body temperature cool and the perfect breeze blow-dry my hair, I smiled as I thought "I know how the grapes feel". It was heavenly. Then I took a sip of the lovely Cabernet in my glass and thought how blessed I was to be living at the beach in Central Coast Wine Country.