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

SONOMA COUNTY

“Vintners are expecting an excellent 2018 vintage. The region experienced an increased amount of rainfall during the spring, followed by occasional heat spikes that occurred
in June during flowering. Fortunately, the heat spikes were not prolonged, so the effects should be minimal. The harvest began about two weeks later than in previous years but was more in line with normal timing in the years before the drought. This year saw a significant increase in yields compared to recent vintages, and so far, vintners are reporting great quality and flavor intensity in the fruit.”

TEMECULA VALLEY

“Temecula Valley harvest began with “normal” timing mid-August. Weather was challenging the entire season. Vines entered dormancy late in the season, due to unusually warm temperatures November through January, then freezing temperatures hit vineyards in February. Zinfandel experienced some late season bunch rot, and a July heat wave hammered the region’s Muscat, Petite Sirah, Barbera, Sangiovese and Syrah. A hot August sped up the harvest and increased the need for irrigation. Overall yields are expected to be slightly down. Chardonnay is a bit
below average yields, but quality looks good. Syrah had a rough year, from frost issues to heat damage, but the fruit fared pretty well. Cabernet Sauvignon is looking great this year, along with Barbera, Sangiovese and Merlot.”

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