Napa Valley Harvest Begins…
Harvest begins in the wine country already! Seems like spring just a few days back and now we are in the throws of the lazy days of August but for Napa and Sonoma Vintners it is far from lazy days but actually their busiest days as harvest has begun.
According to the Napa Valley Vintners Association; Valley Grapegrowers are reporting the first picks. Sparkling wine house, Domaine Chandon picked 8 acres of pinot noir from its Yountville estate vineyard starting at 4:30 am on August 8th.
“Everything coming in today looks great – color-wise, cluster size, and overall uniformity,” commented Patrick Riggs, viticulturist at Domaine Chandon and NVG member per the NVVA.
Napa County typically starts harvest before Sonoma County and other regions of California because its’more inland climate is warmer. Grapes for sparkling wine are picked early in the season because the fermentation process that creates its bubbles require a lower sugar level than still wines. The longer the grapes hang on the vines, the higher the sugar.
According to economic forecasts this years crop is expected to generate at least an average yield, growers said, with the 10-year average being 461,648 tons. Per state reporting records last year, 503,965 tons of wine grapes were harvested in the North Coast, which was a 25 percent increase over the dismal 2015 season. That 2016 fruit generated a cash value of almost $1.5 billion, including a record of $717 million in Napa County and another $581 million in Sonoma County.
Napa Valley’s king of grapes The Cabernet Grape is still about 2 to 4 weeks till harvest. Reat assured times are getting busy, the fields are abuzz and it is a beautiful time to visit the valley and enjoy the bounty of our harvest.
Put on your dancing shoes or loafers, your cocktail dresses and/or manly duds as harvest party season is also about to start. The Harvest Party season is the real bounty of memories that make Napa Valley special.
Cheers, from Napa Valley!
Chris Edwards Napa August 11, 2017