Although 1998 was challenging, overall we achieved excellent results. We had a long rainy winter but when the rains retreated, they gave way to a splendid spring crowned by a symphony of color that turned everything alive. During that very delicate period of bloom, the vines were blessed with mild weather conditions. Because of the winter rains, the vines tended toward vigorous growth, but we managed to control the vegetation so that light could permeate to each leaf. The fruit was well positioned and the clusters were open and healthy. The summer was warm with some occasional heat spells. Any fear of damage by the heat was overcome by a very mild and long fall. Tannins were able to mature slowly and sugars gracefully waited for them to get soft and supple. Harvest was very late, but the wait was worthwhile. The flavors of the fruit were fully developed and the quality was quite outstanding.