Rejoice! Grape season harvest is upon us! Over the past few years, extreme weather ( droughts, high temps & wildfires) have prompted winemakers to harvest earlier than normal. In fact, in 2015 some winemakers were forced to harvest their grapes 3 months ahead of schedule in July! But in 2018 it seems it is business as usual, with some winemakers just harvesting their grapes now!
How California Wild Fires Affect the Grape Crop This Year
While this year’s wildfires were not nearly as catastrophic as 2017, the Napa Valley area still experienced dense smoke exposure. However, many winemakers noted this year’s fires may have had a positive effect on this year’s crops. According to Brendan Smith, an associated winemaker at the Rollingdale Winery, “that hotter temperatures tend to slow growth in his vineyards and the smoke acted as a filter to the hot day sun.” Additionally, some grape vineyard owners stated that the smoke also helped improve the consistency and nutrients in the soil.
In addition to the wildfires, the Napa Valley also experienced budbreak- the begiining point of the groiwn season- later than usual. That combined with a cool August, which slowed ripening, has caused many winemakers to postpone thier harvest until recently. But even with the delay, winemakers are excited about what this year’s crops will yield. In fact, J.Moss, Valley of the Moon and Lake Sonoma, Julie Lymgai stated she believed this year’s harvest could yield “ the most naturally balnced wines in a number of vintages.”
Why A Late Harvest Matters
When it comes to wine quality, a later, longer harvest season can be a really good thing. Why? Well, the longer the grapes hang on the vines, the longer the flavor can deepen. Intensely flavored grapes without sky-high sugar levels are the holy grail of winemaking. However, pushing the harvest timetable is also a risk. As it exposes the crop to a whle host of other unforseen disasters such as rain and rot!
Experience The Beauty of The Napa Valley
See the beauty and taste the fruits of the wine makers labor by visiting Napa Valley today. Napa Valley Wine Country Tours offers some of the best tours and limos in town. We have received the Certificate of Excellence from Trip advisor in 2017 and our special winery bus tour service, and tourist services have impressed guests for many years in the Napa Valley area.
Call today to book your tour!