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2019 Harvest Report + Vintage Outlook for the Central Coast

Here are the key takeaways on the current harvest from leading winemakers in Arroyo Grande, Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara and the future SLO Coast AVA.
by Press Release
September 23, 2019

Paso Robles, Calif.—Solterra Strategies, a boutique public relations firm representing wineries, vineyards and marquee wine events throughout the Central Coast, is pleased to share this harvest status report – and Vintage 2019 outlook – from top winemakers working throughout the premier AVAs of the region.

Overall, thanks to a colder winter, a mild spring and only a few summertime heat spikes of 100 degree-plus, harvest is two to three weeks later than in recent years, with most pulling the first of the core fruit in mid-September. Not surprisingly, Arroyo Grande was the exception in 2019. Like most years, harvest in the San Luis Obispo County sub-AVA started “on time” about Sept. 1.

Winemakers in Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara and the SLO Coast note this year’s timing reminds them of the “old normal” of the early 2000s, when harvest began well into September and the last of the grapes came in about Thanksgiving. In recent years, harvest has begun well before Labor Day for most of the Central Coast.

This year’s relatively gentle growing season, the later harvest and current seasonably mild weather are providing longer hang time for the grapes on the vine. Longer hang time – under these current near-perfect conditions – allows grapes to evenly develop rich color and more complex flavors.

This has winemakers very excited about Vintage 2019.

There have been challenges in 2019. In Monterey and Paso Robles, the wet spring may lower yields slightly. Arroyo Grande, Paso Robles, SLO Coast and much of Santa Barbara had to battle mildew this summer.

Still, the outlook for Vintage 2019 is overwhelmingly positive.

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