Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
08.01.2013  
 

California Wine Grape Harvest Begins

Napa Valley growers pick fruit for sparkling, rosé wine programs

 
by Andrew Adams
 
 
mumm napa harvest
 
Winemaker Ludovic Dervin of Mumm Napa celebrates the start of harvest by blessing grapes picked today at Game Farm vineyard.
San Rafael, Calif.—The first reports of the 2013 vintage in Northern California indicate grapes are ripening a bit early, yields will be average to high, and the quality looks good.

As is typical, the Napa Valley harvest began with grapes destined for sparkling wine. Mumm Napa picked about 18.1 tons of grapes from the winery’s Game Farm vineyard between Yountville and Oakville, Calif., this morning.

Steve Matthiasson, owner and winemaker of Matthiasson Family Vineyards, beat the sparkling harvest by a few days, picking 4.5 tons of Syrah for his rosé in the Dunnigan Hills AVA in Yolo County, Calif., on July 29.

Matthiasson said he plans to come through the same vineyard next week to pick Mourvedre, Grenache and Cinsault for the remainder of his rosé, which he is aiming to see at 19.5° Brix in the tank. He said the first lot of Syrah came in at 18.5° Brix after pressing.

Overall, Matthiasson is impressed by the quality of what he’s seen. He said everything is tasting exceptional and is quite balanced. “I think it’s going to be an epic year,” he said.

The challenge this year may be for winemakers to resist the urge to give grapes a bit too much hang time. Matthiasson said the early conditions of 2013 remind him of 1997, a vintage of great promise but one that he felt produced quite a few flabby wines that didn’t reach their potential.

The recent spell of mild weather slowed grape development a bit, but Matthiasson said he’s noticed ripening can occur quite quickly after véraison is completed. Acidity also seems to be dropping more quickly than sugar is accumulating.

June rain of some concern
Bob Iantosca, executive winemaker at Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards on the Sonoma side of the Carneros AVA, said he expects to harvest his first lot of Pinot Noir in the middle or end of next week.

He said the only concern was the 1.25 inches of rain that came through the area in June, but he said crews were able to open up the vines and just had to deal with a bit of mildew. “Other than that it’s been gorgeous,” he said.

Harvest is on track to be about one week ahead of average. “We’re seeing a lot of clusters; cluster counts are quite high, but it seems like they’re not sizing up,” he said, attributing this year’s small berries to last year’s huge crop.

Mumm winemaker Ludovic Dervin said it helped that a heat spike came after the rain. “Each weather event by itself could have been an issue, but the heat actually helped neutralize the rain event and put everything back in balance,” he said.

Overall, Dervin said Napa Valley was on “track for an excellent vintage” and that the current weather conditions are perfect. “We have a very nice balance between the green growth canopy and the fruit load, which should lead to a slow and even ripening season until harvest.”

Laurence Sterling, operations manager for the sparkling and still wine producer Iron Horse Vineyards in Sebastopol, Calif., said they still have weeks to go before they start harvesting Pinot and Chardonnay for the winery’s sparkling program. He said Iron Horse likely wouldn’t be picking before Aug. 20, adding that most of the winery’s estate vines had just started véraison.

The average starting pick date for the past 15 years has been Aug. 27, Sterling said. The earliest start was Aug. 10, 2004 (a very small yield vintage), and the latest was Sept. 1, 2011.

This year, Sterling said everything has gone well so far, and he’s cautiously optimistic. “It’s looking pretty good, (but) it’s still long enough for things to go wrong, so I don’t want to be predicting it’s going to be great.”     

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
May 2015 $607 million
7%
$8,068 million
5%
May 2014 $569 million $7,651 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
May 2015 $141 million
4%
$1,896 million
14%
May 2014 $135 million $1,657 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
May 2015 355
15%
256
20%
May 2014 308 213
     
 
MORE » Released on 06.15.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • July 7
     
    Sanitation Seminar, Napa
     
  • July 8
     
    Sanitation Seminar, Greenfield
     
  • July 9
     
    Sanitation Seminar, Solvang
     
  • July 9-10
     
    Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Pull Red Blotch Vines, Get Paid »
 
Maybe this would be a good time for the USDA to allocate some of its...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Wine E-commerce Remains a Niche »
 
This shouldn't be a surprise. E-commerce is only about 5-7% of overall retail across the...
Reader: Barbara Insel
 
Article: Pull Red Blotch Vines, Get Paid »
 
I worked for a year with USDA in Washington to get Red Blotch identified as...
Reader: Bob Dempel
 
Article: Pull Red Blotch Vines, Get Paid »
 
I'll bet anyone in Napa and Sonoma counties I can find GRBaV in their red...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: New York Wineries Going Green »
 
Bravo to Lakewood for being an early solar adopter in the Finger Lakes wine industry!...
Reader: Suzanne Hunt
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Tasting Room Associate
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Vineyard Manager-Viney...
 Healdsburg, CA
Vineyards
 Consulting Winemaker
 Sierra Foothills, CA
Winemaker/Enologist
 Tasting Room Associate
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Administrative Assista...
 St. Helena, CA
General Administration and
 Chain Sales Consultant
 All, FL
Sales and Marketing
 Regional Sales Directo...
 Usa, NA
Sales and Marketing
 Winemaker
 Napa Valley, CA
Winemaker/Enologist
 Cellar Master
 Paso Robles, CA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Wine Sales Professiona...
 Southborough, MA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2015 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.