2016 Harvest Play-By-Play
Like an amusement park ride, recent temperatures have gone up, hovering at 100 degrees on the 18th; back down, to the low 50s overnight midweek; and now they're headed back up with another 100 degree day predicted on the 25th. The result? Picking of white wine grapes is essentially done. Most of the medium-bodied reds, like Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Syrah are gently fermenting in tanks across the valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is knocking at and crossing over cellar doors. At night, the valley is nearly as bright as day with portable floodlights filling the sky as pickers work feverishly below. Grape trucks loaded with white, yellow and blue bins line the highway each morning as the valley comes to life, ready for another frenzied day.
View photos & previous updates
What does it take to bring home a perfect wine grape? View photos, videos and stories about the traditions, heroes and stages behind Napa Valley's annual harvest.
One of the best ways to capture the magic of Napa Valley's harvest is on video. Watch A Day in the Life of Napa Valley's Harvest with Sunset magazine Wine Editor Sara Schneider.
From bud break to bottling, learn what it takes for a grape to become wine that lives up to Napa Valley's reputation for quality.
Go from vineyard to glass and learn how Napa Valley's most widely grown grape variety becomes wine.
Chardonnay is probably the most well-known white wine grape. It originated in the Burgundy region of France, but it is grown all over the world.