Harvest begins in Cali and Washington

Early grape harvests have begun in both San Luis Obispo in California and Washington due to a prolonged spell of warm, dry weather.

KSBY.com reports that wineries in California’s Central Coast are experiencing one of the earliest harvests in decades.

Tolosa Winery in San Luis Obispo started harvesting grapes last week – three weeks earlier than usual and its earliest harvest in 35 years.

“This is so early. We usually like to finish bottling before we begin harvesting, and we won’t even begin bottling last year’s Pinot until next week,” Larry Brooks of Tolosa Winery told KSBY.com.

The Central Coast saw such little rainfall this year, leading to drier soil, which promoted early grape growth. Brooks described his crop as looking “excellent so far.”

Over in Washington, Barnard Griffin began its harvest over the weekend, bringing in 24.5 tonnes of Pinot Gris from its Caroway Vineyard east of Kennewick.

As reported by Great Northwest Wine, the harvest is the earliest in the estate’s 37-year history.

Champoux Vineyards meanwhile, harvested its Marquette crop on 18 August, while Crayelle Cellars in North Central Washington began its Chardonnay harvest on Saturday.

Leading Washington winery Ste. Michelle will begin its Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay harvests this week, Kevin Corliss, vice president of vineyards for Ste. Michelle, confirmed to Great Northwest Wine.

The winery anticipates yields will be up by 10-12% on 2013. The 2014 harvest in Washington is expected to be one of the warmest on record.

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