2017 Wine Harvest Begins
Monterey County, August 3, 2017 – Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association is excited to announce the beginning of the 2017 wine grape harvest. Winter rains and moderate weather have given Monterey County winegrowers a positive outlook. This year’s crop, anticipated to generate an average to slightly light crop load, is expected to produce high-quality fruit throughout the region. Harvest will begin in full force by the first week in September and actively continue through the end of October.
HARVEST FOR SPARKLING WINE
The 2017 harvest aptly began as the sun rose above the Salinas Valley with the inaugural harvest from Scheid Vineyard’s Isabelle Vineyard (named after Al Scheid’s mother). Located in the Monterey AVA, it is one of the most northerly vineyards in the county. The hand harvested Pinot Noir grapes are used in Scheid’s sparkling wine program.
“The grapes harvested today are for our Isabelle Cuvée’” according to winemaker Marta Kraftzeck. After the early morning harvest, the grapes headed to the winery to begin the crush and fermentation process. “We use the traditional method for sparkling wine making. Our 2012 sparkling wine is just being released this year. The 2017 sparkling wine won’t be released for another five years.”
Grapes for sparkling wines are harvested early to ensure high acidity with low sugar levels, ideal characteristics for sparkling wine production. Scott Caraccioli of Caraccioli Cellars shared, “We expect to begin harvest for our sparkling wine program early next week.” This is about two weeks later than last year’s harvest. Caraccioli Cellars’ Escolle Vineyard is in the northern Santa Lucia Highlands AVA.
HARVEST FOR STILL WINE
“We experienced a more typical weather pattern this year. The winter rains produced excellent root flush. Spring was mild and the bloom was good. These combined to set the tone for happy, healthy vines,” explained Jason Smith, President of Valley Farm Management and Smith Family Wines. “Recent warm temperatures are helping the grapes transition from veraison to full ripeness. With increased heat and less winds – a good portion of the harvest will begin by the first week of September.”
“Although there are variations between area and variety, on average the clusters are large and look good, better than last years. The quality of Pinot Noir grapes is high. The climate in Hames Valley (an AVA in southern Monterey) has been very temperate, producing ideal conditions for the ripening of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot,” shared Greg Gonzalez, Vineyard Manager for Scheid Vineyards.
Formed in 1973, the Monterey County Vintners & Growers’ Association (MCVGA) brings together the talents and resources of winegrowers, winemakers, and our extended community to promote and support leadership in the art, science, and business of wine. By standing together, we strengthen the Monterey Wine Country™ brand and bring awareness to the region.