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CWI announces ‘dream’ harvest

Published:  30 October, 2018

The Californian Wine Institute (CWI) has announced the 2018 harvest had ‘played out like a dream’ for winegrowers in regions across the state.

A slow and steady growing season, characterized by moderate temperatures throughout the spring and summer, had resulted in “excellent quality” across the state, according to the California Wine 2018 Harvest Report released today.

Overall, vintners were enthusiastic about both the quality and quantity of the 2018 vintage, stated the report, with yields up 2% compared to 2017, and above the historical average of 3.9 million tons.

It was also in line with the US California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) forecast in August of 4.1 million tons.

A few regions, including Temecula, Paso Robles and San Diego County, experienced issues with heat spikes, but most reported even temperatures throughout the season with “little-to-no frost damage”, according to the report.

“The mild summer weather allowed fruit to mature slowly without heat stress, and canopies are looking healthy,” said John Killebrew, winemaker for Z Alexander Brown winery in Napa. “Crop levels looked good and quality appears very high, with balanced sugar, acid and tannin levels.”

In 2017, the state’s overall crop size was down on the 4 million tons estimated by the CDFA due to a heat wave in late August and early September, while total crop reached 4.03 million tons in 2016 – above the historical average.