Napa Valley harvest 2008: reds coming in, low yields overall due to Mother Nature

by TrevR on October 20, 2008

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Over the weekend we checked-in with our friends at Spring Mountain Vineyard to see how the 2008 harvest was shaping up.

Read on for an interesting update from winemaker Jac Cole, who talks about the general impact of the lack of rain this past winter, the early springtime frost and much more…

We have stated bringing in Cabernet as well as some Merlot, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot. We also finished harvest on our Syrah, though it’s a very small portion of our production it’s also a very beautiful and sought after wine.

In general we’re a bit sadden by the low yields were experiencing this year, though it’s to be expected being in a second year of drought and having frost in the early spring and a very hot September. Because of the drought the vines were a bit shy in the amount of fruit they set, the frost hit us in several areas and we lost lots of potential fruit in those blocks and the heat spikes damaged allot of clusters we have had to sort out. We’re thankful the new berry sorting system, called the Mistral, is in place and working this harvest; we have been able to select out any fruit that might have lessened the quality, but it does slice away at the volume that was already low. Just one of those years that remind us we’re only farmers and we’re at the mercy of Mother Nature.

Not all doom and gloom however; we’re quite excited by the incredible extraction and concentration of the fruit we’re getting in the tanks: floral, spicy and with loads of flavor and dense tannins.

At this writing we are a shade over 50% harvested and the forecast is for mild and clear weather until the end of October; more than enough time to get all the rest of the grapes in without worrying about the “R” word. Yes, you know what I mean, but we don’t talk about it until the grapes are in, the way we never talk about a no-hitter while the pitcher is still on the mound.

Be sure to check out all of our Harvest 2008 coverage.

[techtags: Napa, Napa Valley, wine, winery, Spring Mountain, Spring Mountain Vineyard, napa harvest, harvest 2008]

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has written 722 posts on The Cork Board. He was born and aged in the Napa Valley and has a passion for wine, writing and social media, which led him to co-found this blog in early 2007. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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