The 2018 vintage by and large is seeing excellent crop loads and stellar quality. Cool temps from early Sept. on allowed for long hang time and for many a delayed harvest that developed fruit flavors. However, the myriad microclimates of the mountains makes it difficult to generalize, and a warm August precipitated ripening and harvest for some. Growers and winemakers are excited by the 2018 vintage and what it promises in the bottle!
Harvest 2017 Review
Vineyards started picking the end of August, precipitated by the heat wave that sat on Northern California for several days, bringing temps throughout the Bay Area and Central Coast to over 100 degrees. Crop loads this year are very good, but dehydration in varying degrees from these several days of heat affected some vineyards, especially in the early ripening varieties. Cooler temps and chilly nights following the heat spell prolonged ripening for remaining fruit, although with some acid loss due to the heat spell. Despite the challenging weather, growers and winemakers anticipate excellent results.
Budbreak started early/mid March (later at higher elevations); bloom late May/early June. The Santa Cruz Mountains experienced a very wet winter with an incredible amount of rainfall – as much as 100″ and more in many locations. This meant attention to floor management and weed control; and canopy management with healthy vine vigor