Thanks to a recent series of warm days, many vineyards progressed to perfect ripeness resulting in a grape picking frenzy at the end of September. October started with some light showers that settled the dust, but did not threaten any grapes remaining on the vine. With warm temperatures predicted for at least the next week, most vintners say they’ll be done picking by mid-October. Of course, Napa Valley’s diverse microclimates and varied wine styles mean there are still some grapes on the vine – in cooler hillside vineyards, or at the direction of winemakers who favor longer hang time. While picking dates may vary, winemakers agree on two things about the 2016 harvest: very high quality grapes and average to slightly above average yields across the board. Photos courtesy of Bob McClenahan, Carole Meredith, Kitchak Cellars and Spring Mountain Vineyard.