The Associated Press
Last year, it was late August when California wine grape growers began picking fruit
for sparkling wines. This year, some have already begun. In recent years, cool temperatures have slowed ripening and kept many grapes on the vine until fall, but growers say this year’s heat will likely require them to harvest sooner.
The last time weather was this warm across the Napa Valley was 1997 – a year that produced a highly regarded vintage. The heat could mean fruit-intensive wines from the early and abundant crop…though some growers who rely on grapes that hang on the vine longer for more complex flavors say the earlier harvest is a bit worrisome.
Last year, California’s wine grapes created more than 34 billion dollars worth of wine.