California’s 2018 harvest ‘played out like a dream’


“Overall, 2018 was a very good year for Amador County winegrowers. Harvest began around 10 days later than normal, after an even growing season with no frost damage and plenty of
heat during veraison. Set was good on all of the region’s major varieties, with Tempranillo experiencing some issues. Vintners are expecting a larger than average crop, with good color and extraction. On a 10-point scale, fruit quality looks to be an 8.”


“A later than normal harvest, higher yields and good quality fruit characterize the 2018 growing season. The region experienced a cool, wet spring, with some shatter issues for Grenache. A period of mild days and cool nights was followed by a prolonged heat spell, but temperatures cooled down in time to allow the grapes some extra hang time. Harvest began two to three weeks later than normal, and yields are slightly higher than average despite bird issues at some ranches. Vintners are reporting good color in the grapes with slowly developing flavors, and good acid and pH levels.”


“Harvest 2018 got underway about a week later than last year and started to wind down by mid-October. By late September, the region’s warm summer temperatures gave way to mild fall temperatures, which allowed for longer hang time. With the onset of wildland fires in late July, growers began working closely with winery partners on testing, analysis and micro-fermentations, and adjusting viticultural and harvest practices accordingly to minimize any impact to the grapes and wine. Because of Lake County’s vast, diverse and mountainous terrain, assessments are being conducted on a vineyard-byvineyard, varietal-by-varietal basis. While growers noted a larger crop than the prior year, sugars and acids are well-balanced, leading growers and vintners to be optimistic of fruit quality. Growers remain dedicated to maintaining the region’s reputation of delivering high-quality grapes.”

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