The cool, autumn-like weather late last week gave Napa Valley’s vintners and growers a break from picking grapes and allowed a bit of time for catching up in the cellar. There was flurry of picking activity mid-week, right before two short, intense storms passed quickly through the valley pausing vineyard activity for a couple of days. However, as soon as the sun came out, picking began again in earnest. This week’s warm days and cool nights, expected to last through the weekend, have provided optimal conditions for grape ripening as Napa Valley enters the home stretch of harvest 2014.
Many wineries, especially those on the valley floor, are reporting that all their grapes are in and are now fully focused on cellar tasks. A few vintners, especially those in the hillside areas of the valley, like Mt. Veeder, Howell Mountain and Diamond Mountain, still have some Cabernet Sauvignon hanging on the vine and won’t finish their picks for another 2-3 weeks. Vintners continue to rave about the quality of the vintage, but reports of quantity are quite varied, depending on the grape variety and the vineyard location within the valley.
Canopies look good and the weather forecast is promising for those who are looking for that last bit of flavor and tannin development.
Dawnine Dyer, Dyer Vineyard