EAGLE, Idaho — Cool fall weather is finally arriving this week in the Treasure Valley, and grape growers at Rolling Hills Vineyard in Eagle are grateful it didn't get here sooner.
Just six weeks ago, Mark Pasculli wasn't so sure they'd see a harvest this year, but warmer-than-average October temperatures got them to the finish line.
"October was really a blessing," Pasculli said. "The weather was beautiful. It was perfect for the vineyard to help the fruit continue to ripen; so we got the October we needed without a doubt!"
Much to Pasculli's relief, that means this year there will be red wine after all.
When we first met in early September, Pasculli's grapes were still bright green and far from ripe. So they started pruning by picking off literally tons of grapes, hoping the plants would prioritize energy into ripening the fruit left behind.
Turns out, it paid off. They ended up with fewer grapes, but they matured enough to be harvested for both rosé and red wine.
"It's a calculated risk," Pasculli said. "But basically the weather scared me off enough that we thinned quite a bit of it to make sure the crop we got was going to be a good one, and fortunately it's turning out to be very good."
The grapes destined for rosé will make it to the shelves of their Garden City tasting room sometime next spring or summer. The fruit picked for red wine will take longer and should be ready to enjoy after 2024.
You can learn more about their tasting room here.