Harvest comes to a close

Wineries report on season

KEEPING IT FRESH Verde Vineyards added new varietals to its lineup this season. Photo by Ron Jensen

Harvest 2019 seemed endless to many. At last, it’s finally over.

John Aver of Aver Family Vineyards finally brought in cinsault, mourvedre and petite sirah. Of 2019, he said, “I like the quality of the fruit, and acids and sugars seemed very balanced for the most part, but our yields were down slightly.”

Verde Vineyards reports they are adding new varietals to its lineup, including a 100 percent malbec, a merlot reserve, syrah, pinot noir, a 100 percent cabernet franc and a port. Explained Ron Jensen, “Pinot comes from Wrath Vineyards in Monterey County along with our chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. Everything else is estate grown.”

Harvesting 80 tons vs. last year’s 60 puts them in the 5,000-case-per-year range.

Sandy Moller of Satori Cellars credits their Harvest Club for expediting harvest.

“So many amazing people came out to the vineyard to learn and have fun,” she said. “It was a little lighter harvest than times past, but the quality of the fruit was outstanding. We picked each varietal at its perfect balance.”

Lion Ranch’s Kim Englehart noted, “We heard from some in the area about high mildew pressure, but we’ve had no issues using our organic schedule. Our viognier crop dropped significantly because we grafted two-thirds over to additional syrah, grenache blanc, picpoul blanc and—most exciting—multiple ‘new to the market’ reds: terret noir, vaccaresse, muscardin. We now grow all eight of the red Chateauneuf du Pape varietals.”

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