Harvest is nerve tingling as well as exciting. Each year we fear the worst, like rainy weather at harvest time; or unusual temperatures; or the birds eating our crop before we can net the vines. But we have had only one bad experience in the last 10 years; 1998 was so hot in August our Cabernet Sauvignon had no flavor and we had to sell it off in bulk. Contrary to many other wine growing regions in the world we have always gotten our crop in before the onset of the rainy season. In this regard Napa is certainly blessed for wine growing!
This year’s harvest started a couple weeks later than usual. Our winemaker Dimitri Tchelistcheff always wants to be here in person for critical events such as harvest. So he flew in from his home in Hawaii on Friday, September 24 just in time for the first Chardonnay picking. He is very happy that we got it picked before it became too ripe on the vines. Dimitri will stay at our winery full time through the remainder of the picking in October, and then resume his schedule of flying in every two months.
Today we had a group of visitors from South Carolina and Florida who where chiding us about our anxiety with the Napa weather. They have been experiencing hurricanes, while we sit here with the same near perfect weather year after year.