The 2015 Harvest has ended, and we finally had a chance to catch up with Scott to get his thoughts and insider knowledge about the Amador County harvest and how it compares to the harvest in Napa Valley. Also, how is the California drought affecting the vineyards?
“Hi, I’m Scott Harvey from Scott Harvey Wines and Jana Wines. It is the end of another harvest …wahhoooo…the 42nd one for me. This harvest ended last week for us; we pressed out the last tank today, so we’re done. This is probably the second to earliest harvest we’ve had. Last year’s harvest finished January 26th, this one about October 5th. So, it’s a harvest that is very much affected by the drought. This time very much so in both Napa Valley and Amador County. Last year Napa wasn’t as affected because of it’s irrigation systems where Amador was down about 40%. This year Amador, especially the Barbera, was down 60% because this drought just continued. Napa didn’t have as much irrigation to put on this year as last year, plus the bud wood that was formed last year during last years’ drought was weaker, so this years’ crops were down in Napa as well.
That’s producing wines that have more extraction because you have fewer berries per acre of land and so you have more concentration of flavors. They tend to ripen earlier so you end up with these really ripe extracted wines. Also, we had very little winter last year, so the vines really never shut down real hard, so they kind of had a head start this year in the spring and that also brought the harvest on much, much earlier.
It will be an interesting harvest. The only other harvest that was this thin and light a crop for me was 1978, which was after the last really, really big drought that we had. So after 2 years of that, we got lots of rain. So we’re praying this year to get lots of rain again and get the cycles going back into the wet cycle.
We hope look forward to the 2015 vintage when it comes out and we hope you enjoy it. See ya!”
Just how much goes into making your favorite bottle of wine? Get all of the juicy details from our Vineyard to Bottle sheet.
Read our full 2015 Harvest Report