In my 40 some years growing grapes in Santa Barbara County, I haven’t seen two back-to-back years that reached this level in volume and quality. I credit the weather and also the condition of our vineyards. When Mother Nature leaves you alone during harvest, and you’re able to pick almost everything at optimum, it’s something special.
Harvest 2013 is over! For the first time in 42 years, we had large crops back to back and outstanding weather that enabled us to pick our grapes at optimum levels of maturity. 2012 and 2013 will be superior vintage years.
With today’s picking, we are starting on the second half of harvest 2013. We farmers always talk about the weather. It is THE controlling factor in many cases and this year is no different. With little rain since December, a nice spring, good summer, and a few heat spikes, the crop is almost is large as last year’s bumper crop of 2012.
Harvest 2013 started a few days ago with the picking of a little Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for Sparkling Wine. The past few days, we’ve been picking Valley View Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio in Los Alamos. There are many variables in each year’s harvest and the most difficult thing is having the patience to wait until a grape is at the point of perfection.
We are still enjoying the remnants of winter and will finish pruning in ten or twelve days. That’s 450,000 reasons to be happy! With the lack of rain, we are starting to irrigate. A chance of rain is forecast for the next three days, which would be a great help.