Well as many of you know, with my move this year to Sonoma County California and my accepting my new position as Director of Membership with Sonoma County Vintners Association in addition to my operating and growing my little wine company Black Dog Cellars, 2015 has been a very eventful and busy year! Consequently I apologize for not posting on a regular basis to "The Big Dog's Blog". However look for much more regular updates and posts to my blog in the coming months!
So... like my 2014 harvest report, I thought I would deliver this new harvest report post by giving you a brief overall summary of my thoughts from this years 2015 harvest.
2015 Harvest Report
While those of you who remember our 2014 harvest report, 2014 was one of the earliest grape harvests reported on record. However this years 2015 Sonoma County grape harvest began even earlier than the 2014 early harvest. For the second vintage in a row, in general, growers reported that this years 2015 harvest was on average even earlier than 2014. In some cases growers reported beginning harvest almost two weeks earlier than 2014 making this years 2015 harvests possibly one of the earliest grape harvests in memory for Sonoma County. And also like 2014, growers had to deal with California's continued record setting drought, as well as, a warm winter, cooler Spring and a couple of Summer heat spikes this year that helped contribute to this years early harvest times.
After talking to some ofthe most respected grape growers, vineyard managers and winemakers across Sonoma County, consensus is that grape yields across the county this year are down an estimated 15 to 40 percent on average. However it is significant to remember that this figure also uses the excellent harvest numbers of vintages 2012, 2013, 2014 as a comparison as well. In addition, the 2015 harvest came "fast and furious" for many growers with vineyards across the county not only ready for harvest early, but many at the same time! This required growers and winemakers to put in even longer hours than normal during the busy harvest season.
However while grape yields and weight are down for 2015, growers and winemakers are extremely excited and enthusiastic about the 2015 vintage fruit quality! Grape concentration and richness is fantastic and speaking from "The Big Dog's" personal experience in the vineyard this harvest season, the intensity and flavors for the 2015 vintage are truly amazing!! So while yields and quantity may be down for 2015, the vintages quality, intensity and flavors are classic! I can't wait!
Finally I want to once again salute all those amazing grape growers, vineyard managers, winemakers, harvest crews and winery staffs that work long early hours each harvest season to make some of the worlds greatest wines!! Cheers to you all!!