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Napa Valley reports strong vintage with ideal weather conditions

Published:  12 November, 2018

Napa Valley has announced a “Goldilocks” 2018 vintage.

The relatively mild summer followed by extended sunshine and moderate heat had created near-ideal conditions for winemakers, which had resulted in many winemakers gauging a 20% to 30% increase in volume over average crop quantity, according to the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV).

It said February saw abundant rains, followed by lots of filtered light in spring and early summer. Both bud break and flowering occurred a bit late, but there were “ideal weather conditions”, which created a “plentiful and even fruit set.”

“The Napa Valley 2018 growing has been a Goldilocks vintage,” said Dawnine Dyer, co-winemaker at Dyer Vineyard, as well as a consulting winemaker for wineries throughout Napa Valley.

“Weather? Not too hot, not too cold. Sugars? Not too high, not too low. Colours and tannins and quality? Off the charts excellent.”

Jaime Dowell, winemaker, Round Pond Estate, said that it had to drop more fruit than expected to ensure ripening.

“I believe the quick shot of rain we had in early October followed by a warm wind really helped things mature in a beautiful way. Slow ripening has meant elegant fruit, just what we always hope for,” he said.

Peter Heitz, winemaker, Turnbull Wine Cellars said it has been “hangtime heaven” due to the “magical rain”

followed by three weeks of mild sunshine softened grapes and freshened acids.

Meanwhile, David Tate, winemaker at Barnett Vineyards and Tate Wines said it was a “winemaker’s year”

“Mother Nature has given us spectacular fruit and the time to make decisions based on finding just the right moment to harvest, ferment, extract and then barrel. Making the best wine takes longer, it takes patience. This year we’ve been able to take all the time we need and I can’t wait to guide these wines to bottle,” he said.