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Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Grape Harvest 2016!

October 11th, 2016 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

The short version of this years harvest: it’s good, again. Rain fell on much of Northern California this week, in some places for the first time in months. But it didn’t really matter because practically all of the thinner-skinned early-harvest varieties like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were safely inside already. In fact, 2016 has seen such an early harvest that some winemakers don’t know what to do with themselves.The early harvest is the result of another mild winter, after which the vines awakened and started the whole process early. Also, there have been no major heat spikes of the type that can temporarily put a halt to the grapevines’ natural processes. As a result, the harvest has been not just early, but smooth and predictable. In terms of crop size, Northern California had a string of three huge vintages in a row that was broken last year, perhaps because there are only so many big crops vines can produce in a row. Vintners this year are reporting that their yields are more in line with the big crops of 2012-14 that may have become the new normal.As for what type of wines we’ll see when they eventually get to stores, that appears to be hard to characterize, because 2016 has not been a cold year or a hot year. Stylistic choices by wineries will be as important as ever, as well as the differing terroir across the region. While it’s easy to lump all of Napa Valley or Sonoma County together, one reason they are great wine regions in the first place is the microclimates, so asking winemakers what their grapes are like this year gets you answers that are literally all over the map. It’s all good news; just different versions of it. Also, for this season’s harvest, check out all our stainless steel wine barrels.

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