The 2014 Napa Valley wine grape harvest should finish the week of Nov. 13 with one of the highest quality crops on record, according to the Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG).
This is despite a litany of challenges including drought for the third consecutive year, the South Napa Earthquake, and late season hail.
“We were on a bit of a roller coaster this year,” said Allison Cellini, a NVG member and viticulturist at Renteria Vineyard Management, in a NVG statement.
“But good contingency planning and an early harvest have produced fantastic grapes.”
She says the latest heat spike pushed the grapes to optimal ripeness.
The NVG believes high grape quality should result in greater value for Napa wine grapes.
After another year of drought, Cellini says growers are hoping for a “very rainy winter” after the harvest ends.
This year, spring rains came at the right time providing the necessary water for a fairly smooth growing season and perfect conditions for producing a high quality crop. The warm spring weather resulted in an early bud break. Heat spikes forced harvest to begin a week earlier than last year.
Growers picked at night and in the very early morning hours to bring the grapes in at the perfect time and in cool weather.
One particularly odd phenomenon of the 2014 season was the Aug. 24 South Napa Earthquake. It caused seasonal creeks to ‘magically’ start running without any rain falling, proving there is a large amount of water under Napa Valley’s wine grape roots.
To watch the NVG recorded press conference, click on this link.