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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The 2013 Grape Harvest

As of August 5, 2013 in Sonoma County

Bud break was early this year

With a warm spring bud break in the vineyards occurred up to three weeks early. The predictions just several weeks ago was for one of the earliest harvest ever, maybe three weeks ahead of schedule. This was after a long heat spike in June that ended on July 4th. Ma Nature has a way of evening things out. Since mid-July we've been running a few degrees below average. The forecast is for continued cool weather. This has probably put things back to normal harvest times.

 This is good for the proper maturity of the grapes. This is good for winery scheduling. Generally, in August wine is being bottled to clear out barrel space, harvest interns are brought in to help with the upcoming busy months, and the barrels and tanks are cleaned and made ready.

A few days ago, on August 1st, Mumm Napa Valley brought in the first of their grapes for sparkling wines. This is about a week ahead of the average. Wine grapes for sparkling wine is picked earlier than for regular table wines as they are less ripe (have lower sugars). The table wine season starts around Labor Day and with the cool stretch of weather it looks to be on schedule. Of course, another heat wave could change that.

The first Pinot Noir grapes coming in at Mumm
Image from

Article on bringing in Mumm's first grapes from the Press Democrat.

Will 2013 make great wines? Too early to know.