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Stories from the valley

Harvest in the Cool of the Night

Contributed by Tim Johnson

For a great wine grape harvest – we go at night! 

Our harvest kicked off again this year in the cool of the night. Following a week of 100 degree + heat during the day, the crew and the grapes were all glad for the break for the weeks heat!

Making sure we met the new lighting standards and smoke requirements from the wildfires, we started harvest this year with the chardonnay and zinfandel. The chardonnay are always our first grapes to get ripe. We were in the old block and picking was slow but we were able to get it done before 3:00 AM.

Next we moved to the zinfandel in the new vineyard. The winemaker wanted these grapes at lower sugar levels for her nouveau zinfandel which is a fresh young wine that celebrates the harvest. Sacramento’s own Revolution Wines 2017 Zin in this style was fantastic with fresh strawberry and even cotton candy. Thanks Coleen! We loved the bottle you shared with us!

We were a wrap by 5:00 AM and had the chance to hit the sack for a couple of hours before Ann headed out for deliveries. 

While an adjustment at first, we have come to really appreciate the benefits of night harvest. Temperatures for our pickers are much better, the grapes are cool and we get the delivery to wineries early in the day. It is why we go at night.