September 9, 2014 – Santa Rosa, CA – Sonoma County’s 2014 harvest season started earlier than normal with the first grapes being picked on July 29 for sparkling wines. Since then, winegrowers and winemakers throughout Sonoma County have been holding a steady pace on grape picking for still wine varieties, such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, and Pinot Noir.
With the moderate, cool climate weather and typical Sonoma Coast fog patterns throughout most of August, fruit maturity on the vines has slowed down and allowed the grapes to ripen at an optimal pace. This slower pace has also allowed this harvest season to resemble the timing of previous vintages with many of the AVA’s reporting that 2014 is now only approximately 7-10 days early.
Harvest activity is anticipated to increase throughout September as most varieties, whites and reds, will reach full maturity and ideal flavor profiles. Winegrowers are also predicting an average crop size with quality looking good across the region with some calling the fruit “clean,” “sound,” and “excellent.”
“Despite the challenges we’re facing as a result of the drought, we are still anticipating another successful harvest season here in Sonoma County.
Throughout the season, the vines continued to stay healthy with moderate weather conditions creating an ideal growing season. Yields are expected to be lower than the last few years, while quality is looking exceptionally great.
It’s still early in the season, with only about 20-25 percent of harvest completed throughout our region, but winegrowers and winemakers are thrilled with how the fruit has developed on the vines with great flavors, colors, and sugar and acid levels.
There’s a great energy building right now since we know our winegrowers will be working tirelessly day and night over the next 30-45 days to bring in the remaining fruit. The race is on!” — Karissa Kruse, President of the Sonoma County Winegrowers