Harvest in Napa Valley is quietly getting underway. After the first grapes for sparkling wine were picked last week, we’ve had cooler and overcast weather, giving a mild pause to the ripening process. A few Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes are being picked this week and next, but right now is the calm before the proverbial storm that is harvest.
Vintners around the valley are anticipating an early harvest, right now about two weeks on average, depending on whether a vineyard is situated on valley floor or hillside, and where in the southern to northern niches of the valley it is located. Hot, sunny weather is predicted in the week ahead, and the pace is expected to pick up quickly. Veraison, when the grapes turn from green to red, is coming to fruition depending on location, from nearly complete to halfway there.
Within the cellar there is a flurry of activity readying for the vintage coming in: bottling is at full speed, barrels are at the ready and equipment of all sorts being well-tuned for the whirl of work just ahead.
Weather is perfect for a bountiful yield. Clusters are large, cluster counts are high and canopy development is perfect. We’re looking at a likely ‘three peat’ of 2012 and 2013.
Don Baker, Sciandri Family Vineyards