2017 Harvest Report

On the roads in Northern California we are beginning to see the sure signs of harvest.   Trucks, brimming with luscious wine grapes deliver the bounty of the vintage from vineyard to winery.  Most of the white varieties are harvested.  These tend to ripen before the reds.  The very first to be harvested are the wine grapes for Champagne.  Champagne and all sparkling wines are harvested a bit early because this bubbly delight is crafted differently from still wine - winemakers want more acid and less sugar in the fruit. Next come the whites and then the softer reds.  

Finally, Cabernet Sauvignon, king of the wine grapes, wraps up the harvest season.  We expect to harvest in mid-September.  

By all measures, this will be an exquisite vintage.  We had a late, wet spring.  Summer started mild and slightly cool with our highs in the 90s.  Our first major heat spike came in early August with temperatures in the triple digits.  Then we saw a nice fluctuation from cool days to hot. Our evenings are always cool due to coastal influences from the Pacific.  All this variation in temperature lends quality to our wines.  We had another heat spike in early September - just last week with temperatures topping 111 degrees! During these days of extreme heat we use drip irrigation in the evenings to keep the vines strong and healthy while the fruit reaches maturity. Our vines are tough and rugged, producing small clusters of fruit with thick skins. The depth of color, flavor and phenols come from the skins as the flesh of most red wine grapes is "white" (actually a translucent, whitish ice green).  We are very excited about the way the 2017 growing season is wrapping up at Hawk and Horse Vineyards.

 
Hawk and Horse Vineyards