High Hopes for Harvest

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By Robert Farmer

Wineries throughout Napa Valley have got that happy feeling--not just because it's harvest time, which always brings a smile, but because the harvest this season is looking particularly good--as good, in fact, as it's looked in a long long time.

The official (and unofficial) word among vintners is that the 2007 harvest season, which got under way about three weeks ahead of schedule, is shaping up to be the strongest harvest for Napa in at least a decade. This according to early reports in the industry and according to a panel of growers convened by the Napa Valley Grapegrowers.
Fewer heat spikes and an unusually cool summer have meant that vines didn't require as much water as they might typically absorb. The relatively mild conditions were ideal for producing vines with smaller clusters and small berries that contain highly concentrated flavors. Translation: intensely flavored wine in the bottle. From sparkling wines to pinots to cabs, winemakers are hopeful that the 2007 vintage will be one of the record books (can you say, 90-plus?).

Much of the sparkling wine grapes have already been brought in, while most red varietals are expected to be picked well into October. As harvest continues, now might be the perfect time to start getting in on futures of your favorite.

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