Abundant harvest has wineries full to the brim
Local winemakers seem to agree that Harvest 2013 is looking good from a wine quality and processing perspective.
Winemaker Chris Lindelof of Musetta Wines said, “I hear the crop is bigger than expected – AGAIN! – but I suspect the wineries will be putting the brakes on soon. Everyone is full to the brim.”
Asked what happens to the rest of the grapes when wineries won’t take anymore, he replied “It’s just a bottle neck situation. They can only process so much fruit at a time. So, at some point, they will have to stop and take a breather until they can free up some space. Eventually, they will take what they have committed to. Sometimes the grapes just have to hang on the vine a little longer.”
Over at Asti Winery, General Manager Jeff Collins commented on the abundance of fruit so early in the season, saying he doesn’t remember ever seeing so many grapes from so many different regions coming in at the same time.
“The recent heat spike drove the sugar levels up, but now that the weather has cooled off, the sugar levels have gone down and the flavors are really starting to develop.”
He also said he’s noticed that finding crews to work in the vineyards is becoming more and more difficult.
“I’m not sure if the shortage of labor has impacted the quality yet, but at some point down the road it certainly could. A lot of us grew up around here picking prunes and doing other work in the fields, but that’s not true of this current generation.”
“This time of year is challenging for everyone in the area,” said Lindelof. “With additional trucks on the roads, tractors, tourists, vineyard workers, and all the people living here trying to go about their daily lives, the stress level is always high.”
He concluded by saying, “I’m very thankful there have been no serious injuries or accidents this season and my hope is for a continued safe harvest.”