It’s warmed up again since last week’s cooler temperatures and light rain, nudging along an already early and accelerated harvest season. Some Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are still taking on a few more days of sun and warmth, but most red varieties have ripened and are being brought in. A bit unusually, Napa Valley Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are being picked at the same time as Syrah and Petite Sirah in the same week. Most local vintners are expecting to wrap things up in the next two weeks or so, making this one of the earliest harvests ever. In the cellar, Chardonnay and other whites are fermenting and eliciting oohs and aahs from winemaking teams. The refrain overall for this year’s grape harvest: amazing quality with concentrated flavors; good acidity and balance; lower overall yields.
At Chimney Rock, our fast and furious pace for the Cabernet Sauvignon harvest continues as we come closer to the finish line. Our team is a bit tired, but also exhilarated by it all. I predict all our grapes will be in before the 1st of October – a first in my 15 years at the winery.”
Elizabeth Vianna, Winemaker, Chimney Rock Winery