Harvest 2014

Fruit coming in ...

Fruit coming in …

Most of Napa Valley is complete, or nearing completion of harvesting the grapes from the vines for this vintage.  If this seems early, it is.  This entire season has been running about 2 weeks ahead of normal.  But this fact only impacts the human’s schedule, since the plants have their own schedule and the time between veraison (when the grapes turn from green to purple and the onset of ripening) and when the grapes are fully ripe are the same vintage to vintage.

Lucas inspects the berries...

Lucas inspects the berries…

In the valley most of the Merlot, Malbec and Petite Verdot are already picked with Cabernet

Sauvignon as typically the last varietal with the longest ripening cycle.  This hearty varietal has thick skins and large berries, so we want the juice to get as sweet and ripe as possible to balance out the tannins.

2014 Napa Valley winegrape growing season details according to the Napa Valley Grapegrowers Association:

· July 2014 average high temperature ranged from 80 degrees in Carneros to 92 in Calistoga and Pope Valley – right in the sweet zone for fine wines

· March – June 2014 months were all 3-5 degrees higher than average, getting the vines off to a strong start

· 2014 total rainfall is around 50-60% of normal

· February and March 2014 rainfall was 11-17 inches, falling at exactly the right time of the season to mitigate drought concerns and irrigation needs

Earthquake Update

Dear Friends,

IMG_1097As you know, an earthquake hit an area of Napa called American Canyon early Sunday morning. As luck would have it, that is where we, and many others, store and make our wine.

We have received lots of calls, texts and posts with concern and good wishes. Our homes may be broken, but our families and friends are safe and we are cleaning up with good cheer.

While our wine in bottle survived, sadly 1/3 of our Howell Mountain blend in barrel is lost, as well as a number of other empty barrels waiting for the 2014 vintage. This is quite a financial hit, as most small wineries cannot afford earthquake insurance.

IMG_2277Some have been asking what they can do to help the region, and the best thing we can suggest is to buy Napa wine, especially from small producers who took the largest hit.

It goes without saying we appreciate your concern; this event reminds us to take stock in how lucky we are to have such great friends.

We’ll dust off and move forward to 2014’s vintage, which should be a good one.

Love and respect,
Mike and Lucas Farmer