Since we’re nearing mid-August, we thought we’d share a few tips on how to tell if the annual winegrape harvest is near. Here they are, in no particular order:
1) When you call to book a room in the Napa Valley for late August – October only to find that every B&B, hotel and motel is either sold out or offering their smallest room for only $800/night!
2) Check out winery press releases, such as this one from Mumm Napa on 8/7. Believe it or not, Mumm started picking its Pinot Noir grapes this week! Our favorite quote from the press release? How about this one: “Overcast mornings, cool nights, and bright sunny days made for ideal weather conditions prior to this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s harvest,” noted winemaker Ludovic Dervin. “I anticipate a very promising quality harvest for 2007 in the Napa Valley.”
4) When you look out across a valley of vineyards and see a strange silver or reddish shimmer coming from the tops of the vines. Particularly in the early morning and late afternoon in Napa, when the cool breeze is typically present, this ‘flash tape’ or reflective streamer can be seen doing its job, which is to keep the birds from eating the nearly-ripe, big money fruit that hangs below.
5) Seeing the bright yellow and white bins bobbing their way through the green vineyards as the grapes are being picked.
Also, our friends over at Good Wine Under $20 have a nice write-up on the 2007 harvest.