July 31, 2014, Santa Rosa, Calif. – The Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW) and Sonoma County Vintners (SCV) are excited to announce that the region’s 2014 harvest season got off to an early start on Wednesday, July 30 at 10:15 p.m. with approximately 8 tons of pinot meunier grapes hand-harvested from J Vineyards & Winery’s “Nicole’s Vineyard,” a CSWA certified sustainable vineyard located on Eastside Road in the Russian River Valley. These grapes will be used for the winery’s sparkling wine program.
Sparkling wine is often used to celebrate special occasions and major milestones. Ironically, grapes used for sparkling wine, with their lower ripeness levels, are commonly the first grapes harvested, kicking off Sonoma County’s season each year.
“Given our strong commitment towards sustainable farming, it’s very fitting that the first grapes to be picked in Sonoma County this year are from vineyards certified sustainable through the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing,” says Karissa Kruse, President of the Sonoma County Winegrowers. “Harvest is an exciting time in Sonoma County and after a nail-biting year of dealing with the drought, we are thrilled that the grape quality is excellent.”
This year’s start to harvest is one of the earliest on record, but the moderate temperature this past month, with morning fog and afternoon sun, have helped the grapes mature and ripen at an optimal pace. Most winegrowers predict that harvest for still wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon, will start approximately 1-2 weeks earlier than average, around mid-to late August and end sometime in October. Despite the drought conditions, winegrowers and winemakers are excited by the quality of fruit on vines so far and believe it will be another excellent vintage throughout Sonoma County.
The Sonoma County Winegrowers and Sonoma County Vintners will continue to send out periodic updates on harvest. Visit http://wearesonomacounty.com/tag/2014-harvest to stay informed on the latest harvest news. You can also follow along on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #SCHarvest14.
About the Sonoma County Winegrowers
The Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, also known as Sonoma County Winegrowers, is a marketing and education organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier grape growing regions. SCW has oversight by California Department of Food and Agriculture which supports producer regions. With more than 1,800 growers, SCW’s goal is to increase awareness and recognition of the quality and diversity of Sonoma County’s grapes and wines through dynamic marketing and educational programs targeted to wine consumers around the world. In January 2014, SCW committed to becoming the nation’s first 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019. For more information about SCWC and its programs, visit www.sonomawinegrape.org
About Sonoma County Vintners
Sonoma County Vintners (SCV) is the leading voice of Sonoma County wine, dedicated to raising awareness and building understanding of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier wine regions, noted for its heritage of artisan winemaking, distinct growing regions, and extraordinary quality. Founded in 1944, SCV represents more than 200 wineries and affiliates of all sizes throughout the county. Learn more about SCV at www.sonomawine.com.
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