I Can FEEL the Grape Pickers Here in Napa…It’s Time

Picking the grapesBy this coming Wednesday, the vast majority of fruit still hanging on the vines here in Napa Valley (and in Sonoma County) will have been picked. There is a forecast for possible rain on Thursday and again on Sunday. Rather than risk more rot, growers are likely going to throw in the towel on the prospects of getting their grapes riper in 2011.

All in all the past few weeks have been VERY good for North Coast growers who feared the worst after an October 4th rainstorm hit this region, causing significant rot in many vineyards across Napa and Sonoma. Yet since there, we have had some pretty good weather including regular sunshine all the way up to today.

The 2011 harvest is going to be quite variable. Some wineries in the North Coast area I've spoken with are absolutely ecstatic about the quality of the grapes they've harvested. Others are dealing with significant rot among the grapes they've harvested. Still others have told me that "concentrate" will be the watchword of the 2011 harvest. In addition to this, we are seeing significant reductions in yield among a number of varieties of grapes.

All that said, while I can't see them from my window here at the world headquarters of Wark Communications in Napa, I can "feel" the crews in the field pulling the Cabernet off the vines. They are out there.




2 Responses

  1. JohnLopresti - October 31, 2011

    Still, it might be interesting to see who takes the chance with cabs this year, for more hot weather in November, more hang time, and maybe that famous late sugar in that super premium varietal.
    The photo looks old hat, and the soils too fluffy for Napa valley.

  2. Brian - October 31, 2011

    Driving up to Rutherford today I saw a lot of fruit still hanging on the vines. But I also saw a lot of workers out there bringing fruit in. They seemed to be in a hurry.
    Weather.com is warning “WIDESPREAD FROST IS POSSIBLE IN THE VALLEYS OF THE NORTH BAY ON FRIDAY NIGHT”. I think that’s all they need to see to know they better get their fruit in.

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