From Sonoma County and Napa Valley south: 2016 harvest a surprise after 2015’s disastrous yield

From Sonoma County and Napa Valley south: 2016 harvest a surprise after 2015’s disastrous yield

When Gino Fortino of Fortino Winery walks his vineyards he can tell the berries are “nice and plump, not shrivelled up like they were last year during the drought.” The Gilroy winemaker notes that El Niño rains earlier this year also increased “the hang time,” resulting in more balanced and flavorful grapes. Things are also looking good at Wente Vineyards in Livermore, where the harvest began August 15 with Chardonnay grapes, followed by Sauvignon Blanc. “Right now, the quality is exceptional,” says winemaker Karl Wente, “but I won’t know for sure until I taste the wines come Christmas.”

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