11/1/2021 - St. Helena, CA – Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) is pleased to report exceptional quality wines are on the way from the 2021 Napa Valley vintage. The vintage will be remembered for low yields with intensely-flavored, small-sized berries and a smooth and uneventful harvest season. Harvest began early with white wine grapes picked on July 30th and red wine grapes beginning on August 31.
“The joy is back,” said Andy Erikson, Owner and Winemaker of Favia. “It was a really great harvest that wasn’t rushed, and the grapes are showing a lot of fantastic character. White wines are very aromatic, mountain reds are dark and tannic and valley floor wines are lush and fruity. It’s a great year to taste the differentiation from around the valley.”
Field Notes on the Vintage
The growing season saw rain in January and February then almost no notable precipitation for the rest of the season. This provided an ideal environment for grapes to flower, bloom and set in early spring. Budbreak was early in April followed by flowering and bloom in May. The summer saw early and even ripening through the valley with no concerning heat spikes. Everything trended early thanks to the calm spring with veraison appearing in early July. Due in part to the drought, yields were naturally lower, resulting in less pruning and dropping of fruit in the vineyards.
It was one of the earliest starts to harvest on record, with Sauvgnon Blanc being the first grapes picked. Harvest kicked off with clear skies and almost no weather events to worry winemakers. This allowed the grapes to hang as long as winemakers wanted to achieve optimal ripening and taste. Wineries took their time bringing grapes in. As if scripted, right around the time the last grapes came in, a late October storm brought much-needed rain to the Bay Area and set hopes for a wet winter ahead.
A Winemakers Dream
Wine production teams around the valley were rejoiced to end of the harvest season several weeks earlier than typical. Throughout harvest winemakers enjoyed the steady pace of fruit coming in as it ripened. Early indications are that the small-sized clusters and berries will lead to exceptional flavored wine with deep concentration.
“The wines are tasting great. They are beautiful, full-bodied, ageing worthy wines. I have some spectacular lots that make me smile every time I taste them. It’s an amazing feeling for a winemaker. The wines have intense color and flavor this year with lower alcohol levels. I couldn’t be happier,” said Laura Diaz Munoz, Winemaker and General Manager of Ehlers Estate.
The work to bring these wines to completion has just begun. There is a feeling of excitement in the community knowing that the 2021 vintage is safely tucked away in the winery and the promise of a great vintage is on the way.
Visit harvestnapa.com for notes on the 2021 vintage capturing winemakers fieldnotes beginning with the start of the year through harvest.
About the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV)
The Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association has been cultivating excellence since 1944 by inspiring its more than 550 members to consistently produce wines of the highest quality, provide environmental leadership and care for the extraordinary place they call home. Since 1981, the NVV has invested more than $200 million in its community to provide equitable access to healthcare and opportunity for advancement in children’s education. NVV is dedicated to improving diversity and championing inclusivity in its community and in the wine industry. Learn more at napavintners.com,
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