Harvest 2019 nearly a wrap

Season challenging for some, better for others

HARVEST HAUL Thérèse and Dan Martin of Martin Ranch. Photo: Margie Hinman

Ask anybody about the 2019 harvest in the Santa Clara Valley and they’ll tell you it’s been late and protracted.

Kim Englehart of Lion Ranch shared, “It’s been challenging; every piece of equipment seemed to have an issue at least once.” They are still waiting on grenache noir and counoise.

Vic Vanni of Solis picked the last cabernet and sangiovese on Nov. 1. 

“Crop is about 30 percent more than average and great quality,” he said. “We had a relatively cool summer and mild fall with unusually cool nighttime temperatures the last couple of weeks.”

Therese and Dan Martin picked their estate cabernet and Lester Vineyard syrah on Halloween to wrap up harvest 2019.

Winemaker Christian Roguenant of Lightpost reports that circumstances forced a switch to San Miguel for production; they had been crushing at The Stomping Ground. Roguenant lives in Arroyo Grande, nearer to their Paso Robles fruit sources, so the move was welcome. 

“Last year, I put 36,000 miles on my truck,” he said. “This year has been much easier.” 

Lightpost also got cabernet and cab franc from Bates Ranch on Redwood Retreat Road for 2019, as well as Saveria Vineyard pinot noir from Corralitos.

Viticulture consultant, Prudy Foxx, noted that the last heat wave caused some cluster shrivel.  Still, she thinks 2019 looks good overall. 

“I think the whites are fantastic this year, she said. “Some of the heavier reds, like cabernet and Rhones, really benefited from long hang time and slow ripening.”

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Laura Ness is an accomplished freelance writer offering travel tips and commentary on the California wine industry.