Summer is almost over and Harvest is finally here! In wine country, this is kind of a big deal. Napa and Sonoma come alive with the buzz of the season as wineries start to finally pick the grapes they’ve been growing. Winemakers become anxious to make sure everything runs smoothly. If you’re visiting wineries in Sonoma or Napa, you’ll notice everything may be a bit chaotic. But that’s where the fun begins! Let’s learn a little bit about harvest, shall we?
Who goes first?
When starting to pick grapes, we begin usually with the sparkling wines. “Crush” starts when these grapes throughout Napa County and Sonoma Valley wineries are harvested. Soon after that, white wine grapes are picked and sent to the crush pads where winemakers will transform them into some of our favorite Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and more!
Harvesting the Red Varietals
Wineries in Sonoma and Napa are especially famous for their reds. Throughout the fall months and even into November, red varietals are harvested. It takes longer for these grapes to mature completely so the process is much later in the year. In fact, the harvesting of famous Napa Cabernet Sauvignon takes the longest. Sonoma Valley wineries and Napa wineries will be working hard to perfect the harvest of their reds!
Lat-Harvest wines use grapes that have been left on the vine much longer than most. This will cause a more ripe and concentrated sugar level. Late-Harvest will go into December so Sonoma Valley wineries and Napa wineries will be working hard up until Christmas. But alas, when this is over, Cabernet Season begins allowing winemakers to relax and appreciate their hard work.
What Can You Do?
If you’re visiting wineries in Sonoma or Napa, check out Harvest activities! This includes tours with grape stomping! Make sure to check out some of our favorite Napa and Sonoma Valley wineries to see the process of harvest and visit them on a wine tour with us!