Early Harvest of California Wine Grapes Expected Due to Drought

Early Harvest of California Wine Grapes Expected Due to Drought

Grapes throughout much of California will be harvested early due to the dry, hot weather conditions resulting from the Golden State’s fourth year in a deep-cutting drought. The rough climate change has caused for an earlier than normal ripening of the wine grapes, but some say the drought will not drastically affect this year’s harvest.

The typical time to begin harvesting grapes in California is early-to-mid September. But, according to the executive director of the Amador Vinters Association Jennifer Pechette, mid-August seems to be the starting point this year, notes California Public Radio. Pechette says that Amador County hosts 50 wineries.  

“Our growers and winemakers are looking really closely at the grapes right now; they’re going out in the fields every day and checking them,” said Pechette to CPR.

Almost an hour and a half away in Napa County, the Napa Valley Vinters told decanter.com that sparkling wine producers have already started harvesting their grapes

However, decanter.com notes that Paso Robles, which has endured some of the worst effects of the drought, would most likely be experiencing a 25% deficit in quantity compared to last year. 

In January of this year, Governor Jerry Brown officially declared a statewide drought emergency. Just last month, California’s State Water Resources Control Board unprecedentedly approved up to $500 fines for individuals and businesses they deem to be “water wasters.”

A list of upcoming wine festivals and events throughout Northern and Southern California can be found here.


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