The 2016 Napa Valley Winegrape Harvest is officially “in” this week, just as the season’s first storm heads towards Napa Valley. The current forecast calls for up to 3” of rain throughout Napa County, beginning on Thursday, October 13. While many growers hustled to bring any remaining fruit in, three growers sat with Sara Schneider, Wine Editor for Sunset Magazine, at the Napa Valley Harvest Press Conference Wednesday, to discuss the growing season and some of the major issues facing vineyard owners today.
By Bill Swindell
A grape harvest that again started earlier than usual this year has essentially wrapped up in the North Coast, about two weeks ahead of the typical end of the season and before weekend rains that could have presented major problems for winemakers.
By David Stoneberg
A tight supply of vineyard workers, California’s new law mandating overtime pay for agricultural employees and climate change highlighted Napa Valley Grapegrowers’ harvest press conference Wednesday morning.
“Labor is a hot topic right now. There is a shortage of people wanting to get into vineyard work,” said Brittany Pederson, viticulturist for the Silverado Farming Company.
Given the labor situation, preserving the current workforce is “what we need to focus on — keeping them safe, healthy and happy and keeping them here,” she said.
Michael Silacci, winemaker for Opus One, was more direct. “We feel vineyard workers are perhaps the most valuable resource we have, after the grapevine,” he said.
By Barry Eberling
Napa County could soon get a wet wallop, but local grape growers and Safeway Open golf tournament officials expect to weather the blow.
The National Weather Service on Tuesday predicted a storm will hit late Thursday through Friday and another late Saturday into Sunday. Rain could be heavy at times and top three inches at some North Bay locations, with more than an inch closer to the region’s bays.
By Greg Northcutt
By the first of September, Napa Valley wine grape growers had picked much of their 2016 Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc crop and were just beginning to harvest their Merlot and other earlier red varieties, says Garrett Buckland.
Buckland, partner of Premiere Viticultural Services, based in Napa, Calif., expects the three-to-four-week harvest of Cabernet Sauvignon, the area’s most widely-planted variety, to begin around Sept. 20.