As October ramped up, picking activity wound down. Overall, winemakers are giving high praise for the quality of this year’s Napa Valley wine grape harvest which will also be remembered as one of the earliest ever.
Although Napa Valley received nearly 75% of normal precipitation for the year, the relatively dry and warm winter resulted in small clusters of grapes with highly concentrated flavors. Early bud break gave way to a cool spring with a long flowering period followed by somewhat uneven fruit set. Temperatures throughout the growing season were even and warm, although a surge of hot temperatures in the final weeks of harvest brought things to a quick conclusion. The first grapes for sparkling wine were picked on July 22 and by October 10 most vintners in the region had brought in the last of their grapes.
What does it mean for the wines now fermenting quietly in the cellar? More importantly, what does it mean for wine lovers around the world? Our 2015 Vintage Q&A answers your top questions.
Young wines look to be of excellent quality with deep color and lovely fruit aromas, and initial analysis shows no serious impacts from the series of heat waves we experienced. Overall yields are down, but it is safe to say that while we will not have the expected quantity to sell in upcoming years, the quality will be exceptional.”
Anthony Bell, Owner and Winemaker, Bell Wine Cellars