Mild October Days Make for Ideal Ripening of Reds

Bin of grapes with farmworker harvesting in background vineyards

Reds that have come across the crush pad and into tanks for primary fermentation are typically going through punch downs or punch overs, where the skins of the grapes are mixed back in with the juice, creating additional color, flavors and tannins.

Sunny, warm days with cool nights are making for ideal ripening conditions for Napa Valley’s revered red wines, while most whites have gone through fermentation of one sort or another and tucked away for the winter. As October gently slips into the home stretch, much of the harvesting of valley floor Cabernets and other richer reds is wrapping up and the movement for harvest moves into the mountains.