on 27/08/13 at 9:13 amWine
There’s no such thing as “normal” weather in the California wine country, and vineyard operators say this year that truism could mean good news for wine lovers.
After cool temperatures slowed ripening and kept grapes on the vine until fall in recent years, growers in the nation’s premier wine region are facing a heat wave that has made for one of the earliest harvests in recent memory.
“It has been a challenging year,” said Michael Silacci, winemaker at Opus One in Napa Valley. “But it’s shaping up to be an excellent year.”
Weather hasn’t been this warm across the region since 1997, a year that produced a highly regarded vintage. If the heat continues as expected, it could mean fruit-intensive wines from an early and abundant crop.
“We’re a full month ahead of 2009, ’10 and ’11,” said Jon Ruel, COO at Trefethen Vineyards and president of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers.