Mumm Napa starts the 2014 harvest in the Napa Valley
Just about two weeks ahead of a normal harvest, the 2014 harvest in the Napa Valley began today at the Game Farm Vineyard, just off the Silverado Trail, between Yountville and Oakville. The grape harvesters began working in earnest as daylight emerged over the vines. These are Pinot Noir grapes and they will be used to make Mumm Sparkling wine. I shot the photo above a few years ago at the Mumm Napa winery blessing of the grapes. The photo stamp is August 15, so indeed, harvest is two weeks ahead of normal. I was not able to attend this year’s harvest event, but I still vividly remember the excitemnet of “The Crush” in the vineyards and back at the Mumm Napa winery. The harvest is really something special and, from now until perhaps mid-October, harvest will take place up and down the Valley. The high point of “The Crush” is mid-September, and if you have the opportunity you should make it a point to take in this grand event in the world of winemaking.
The small yellow baskets are the signature grape containers of Mumm Napa. These grapes were picked by hand, then loaded onto trucks and brought to the winery. Each year at the first harvest, Mumm conducts the traditional blessing of the grapes, led by a local Priest. All the employees are present, and they toast with a glass of Mumm sparkling wine to give thanks for the harvest. These celebrations will be repeated many times by other wineries in the Napa Valley when it’s time for them to harvest their first grapes.