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Monday, August 23, 2010

Sonoma County Grape Harvest Begins

Sort of.

On Monday, August 23rd, the first wine grapes were picked. These grapes are from the Hunter Vineyard in Sonoma Valley and are for sparkling wine. The grapes generally used for sparklers are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and these are some of the earliest ripening.   But the main reason these are the first picked is because sparkling wine grapes are picked less ripe--with more acid and less sugar than what is required for still wines. So the "main" harvest is still a few weeks away.

August 21st in Sonoma Valley
The Hunter Vineyard is Pinot Noir and it's grown in an unusually warm location for Pinot so these grapes often come in first.   This is two-to-three weeks later than normal for this vineyard as it's usually picked the first week of August.

Other sparkling wine producers will be picking a few vineyards this week.

For more on this growing season see the previous entry "2010 Grape Growing Season Update" dated August 6th.   Also, more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.