The state of Cabernet in the Napa Valley
Veraison is well underway with red grape varietals. In these two photos we see the state of Napa Valley Cabernet as of July 17, 2014. The above photo shows vineyards in the St. Helena AVA, and in the photo below are vines from the Rutherford AVA. Most vintners agree that the 2014 vintage is two to three weeks ahead of normal for this time period. As to the tonnage of grapes, things appear to be on track for about the same as the 2013 harvest. As one vintner put it, “It looks like a normal year in the Napa Valley for grape quality and amount.” The term Veraison is French and means the “change of color of the grape berries.” In other words, it is a sign the grapes on the vine are ripening. It is a signal to all that harvest activities will begin in August. It will be Pinot Noir and Chardonnay first, but for sparkling wines only. By mid August some Sauvignon Blanc is expected to be ready for harvest. These Cabernet Sauvignon grapes will not be harvested until late September or early October, depending on the climate. Wine Country travelers in July should take note of this amazing process taking place in nature.