2012 Harvest Starts in August!

2012 Vintage Report

Picking Chardonnay Grapes August 30, 2012

Picking Chardonnay Grapes August 30, 2012

August 28, 2012 – The 2012 harvest started very early following an early spring and a warm dry summer. Just when it started to get to the point of getting too dry in July, some welcomed rain came and the vines entered the harvest in excellent health.  Our harvest began on August 25th with Diamond grapes, which was our earliest  start of harvest ever with our 27th vintage.

This  first week of harvest includes the following varieties:  Diamond, Niagara, Cayuga White, Pinot Noir (for sparkling wine) and Chardonnay (for sparkling wine). Sugar levels and overall ripeness of the early varieties turned out to be exceptional!



Challenges to an Early Harvest

Diamond grapes being processed to go into the press.

While conditions have been nearly ideal, it has presented us with several challenges.  The early season and above average temperatures have resulted in a more varieties getting ripe in a more compressed time, so it has been advantageous to have our excellent processing facility which allows us to take in more tons of product  at a faster pace.The other challenge is that daytime temperatures right now are too warm to process fruit of the highest quality.  When fruit temperatures reach the upper 70’s to 80’s at the time of their processing, bitter flavors result.  Therefore, we feel machine harvesting in the very early morning hours is critical to preserving excellent quality.  We are using a harvest window period of 4 am to 8 am to get all of the grapes in at their coolest temperature.  It would be impossible to do this if we were hand harvesting.  All in all, this is one of the best vintages in memory, at least for the early part of the harvest.  We will keep you updated as we progress through the season!

This blog was written by Swedish Hill Vineyard’s Owner and CEO, Dave Peterson.


Click here to see more photos from our 2012 Harvest

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