2005 Napa Valley Harvest Update
Harvest is Underway: Notes from the Field...
10/12/2005 - St. Helena, CA, - The harvest for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot has begun in earnest in the Napa Valley, and although some have been quick to label this year as a late start, seasoned veterans are equally quick to suggest that historical data indicates things are progressing right on schedule.
Winemakers report that patience is paying off, with incredibly measured and near - ideal weather ripening the crop and yielding good fruit quality. Some areas of the valley still have several weeks yet to go, while others are almost finished picking, but all agree that moderate weather continues to provide a slow and steady rate of maturation, confirmed by the fully developed flavors tasted, and the ripe stems and seeds seen in the fruit as it comes into the wineries. These indicators suggest very good quality; and coupled with rich color in the skin s and good acidity, winemakers are reporting that the fermentations will produce dark, flavorful wines.
Harvests beginning in October can be challenging due to greater chance of rain, cooler evenings , and the fact that ripeness differentiation from area to area is significantly diminished; meaning that every vineyard ripens near or about the same time, creating in some situations tank space issues for the winery.
While each vintage has its own unique character and qualities, this year seems is reminiscent of both '94 and '91 , owing to the length and evenness of the growing season, the start of the Cabernet Sauvignon pick, phenolic maturity and balance of the fruit.
Contact: Contact: Kristina Streeter, NVV (707)968-4218 and Jennifer Kopp, Napa Valley Grapegrowers 707.944.8311 www.napagrowers.org