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Napa County's Winegrape Harvest is About 75 Percent Completed

by Kerana Todorov
October 17, 2019
Crews at Trefethen Family Vineyards harvest fruit in the Napa Valley. Trefethen Family Vineyards' CEO Jon Ruel reported a smooth 2019 harvest. Submitted photo courtesy of Robb McDonough

Napa County’s wine grape harvest is about 75 percent completed, the Napa Valley Grapegrowers said this week. While some growers were done with harvest, others had 50 percent of their crop in.

As of Tuesday morning, Trefethen Vineyards’ fruit was 90 percent in, said Jon Ruel, CEO at Trefethen Vineyards. The winery reported last week operations continued during last week’s PG&E power outage, thanks to its back-up generator.

The fruit is being harvested after a summer characterized by warm nights. June was the warmest June since 2006 and August, the warmest August since 2003, Ruel said during the Napa Valley Grapegrowers’ 15th annual harvest conference at Cliff Lede Vineyards.

“The pace of harvest has been calm” said Jon Ruel, CEO at Trefethen Vineyards. “We’re really seeing great flavors,” he said.

Allison Wilson, director of vineyard operations for Cliff Lede Vineyards, said the winery finished harvesting Monday. The crews brought fruit from Howell Mountain and Calistoga. “So far, we’re really excited about the quality. Having this really mild time during harvest allowed us to leave the fruit a little bit longer than we would to get a little bit of extra hang time to develop those flavors a little bit more and we’re excited to see it through the fermentation process and get that wine in bottle.”

Erin Bright Russell, partner at Rancho Chimiles, reported the company has harvested about 50 percent of its fruit. The crews are in the middle of picking Cabernet Sauvignon.

The wineries had power generators during last week’s PG&E safety power shut-off. The power outage did not affect Rancho Chimiles’ harvest schedule, she said.

“It’s been a really smooth harvest and the fruit just looks and tastes fantastic,” said Bright Russell.

Napa Valley Grapegrowers CEO Jennifer Putnam hosted the annual harvest conference.
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