Each year at the end of summer, the Napa Valley comes alive with the excitement and rush of harvest. After months of careful nurturing and observation, winemakers all over the valley finally give the word, “it’s time.”
Vineyard crews work morning and night throughout the grapevines to deliver this years crop to the crushpads. Grapes for sparkling wines are the first to be picked, followed by white wines in early August. Harvest continues through late October – sometimes early November - for red varieties and can last until December for late-harvest dessert wines.
As the grapes come in, glasses are raised and crews celebrate the culmination of a year’s hard work and another great vintage. The conclusion of harvest leads into Cabernet Season, where the winemakers can finally take a moment to relax and appreciate the fruits of their labor.
VERAISON: The sweetening of flavors, softening of the berries and the color change of grapes on the vine, indicating the onset of ripening.
BRIX: The scale winemakers use to measure sugar quantity in grape berries or juice. Winemakers use Brix as one way to determine ripeness.
TANNINS: Extracted from grape seeds and skins, tannins taste astringent or chalky and add body and structure to wine.
TERRIOR: The combination of soil, climate and all other factors that influence the ultimate character of a wine.
Napa Valley Fun Facts