Winegrowing: November 2007 Archives

Harvest Hopeful Redux

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By Robert Farmer

It got a little screwy there for a bit in October. Winemakers went from feeling outwardly optimistic about the state of affairs for California's 2007 wine grape harvest, to suddenly having their spirits dampened by a wetter-than-usual October. But the clouds have parted and the news is still good. It was announced earlier this week, that California's wine grape growers are bullish on the 2007 harvest. The state's grape harvest this year began early, stalled mid-way due to cool weather, and finished in late October to "vintner accolades." The mild winter with below normal rainfall, coupled with a dry spring, led to early bud break. Overall, fruit was small, which leads to a high skin to juice ratio and, ultimately, higher quality in the bottle. "The 2007 year is one of the better vintages in recent history," commented Vince Bonotto, Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines Vice President Vineyard Operations overseeing vineyards in Napa and Monterey. "There was a lighter crop and yields were down from the past few years, but quality is extremely good." The only bit of bad news? The yield was not as large as hoped for. Which really means the 2007 vintage is shaping up to have that "rare" and "hard to find" quality. As I've mentioned here before, get in on those futures while you can.

The How-To Harvest

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Harvest Tales - Part 2

by Robert P. Farmer

It's easy enough to feel like you're part of the wine country harvest simply visiting in the fall. But there are ways to truly be part of the action. Short of pulling up stakes and moving here, you can act like a local by getting involved with one of the many programs designed by wineries to make guests feel right at home. These events and programs don't only take place during harvest, but there's no better time to take advantage.

There are a number of excellent behind-the-scenes programs at wineries throughout wine country and in all of California's various wine regions. They range from full-fledged, yearlong grow-your-own courses to afternoon-length grape stomps. The programs are fun, educational ways to get to know wines first hand.

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