As harvest 2015 comes to an end, Grower Relations Technician April Berg shares her thoughts with us on this year’s crop:
As the days shorten and cool off with the arrival of Fall, harvest-time is rapidly coming to an end. Nothing short of fast and furious, fruit intake truly came on quick and ended even faster. Many growers expressed that in their numerous years of farming they have not seen a harvest start this early or end this soon. Indeed, in normal years, harvest can easily run into the end of October and early weeks of November. Not only was harvest early, but yields were significantly lighter than normal with some wineries reporting as much as a 30-40% reduction. While it might not be the best news for farmers, low yields can mark excellent quality due in part to smaller berries which are more concentrated in flavor, aroma, and color compounds. Overall winemakers are really pleased with fruit quality this year and expect to see beautifully colored wines rich in flavor, body, and structure.
All in all, the light crop along with a warm, dry growing season may be key factors as to why wineries saw such an early start. In any case it is safe to say we can sum up harvest 2015 in a few short words: quick, energetic, and marked by quality.
So what happens after the grapes are picked? Cellar activity in the winery is still abuzz with fermentation, clarification, and aging. However in the vineyard, vines begin to recover from fruit production and reset for the cooler days and nights. At this point, growers will make sure nutrient and water levels are restored in order for vines to enter into winter dormancy.
With the hustle and bustle of harvest coming to an end, holidays are just around the corner so make sure to stock up on your favorite wine for that special occasion.