2015 Northern California Vintage Preview

We are looking forward at the current vintages before looking back at the past.  One of the questions that have come up looking at 2015 is exactly how the drought out west would impact Northern California wines.

In general, the drought has caused challenges for growers out in Napa Valley and other regions of Northern California, however, the combination of unusually warm weather and some rainfall has provided what they believe will be an excellent crop still this year.  We have mentioned in previous articles that the hot weather in the growing season can ultimately influence the fruit, tannins, and other aspects of the wine.  In this case, the grapes ripened early, but the sugar content in the grapes did not go excessively high prior to ripening and, therefore, the quality was mostly maintained.

There are other interesting notes, especially to buyers and lovers of Northern California wines.  The growing season and earlier ripening of the fruit have resulted in lower yields, similar to that of France and other wine regions.  The result of lower yields frequently means that grapes are of higher quality. Assuming this is the case, a smart buyer can also surmise that 2015 wines may be more valuable when they are released and in the future.  The bottom line however for right now is to keep an eye out until we have more information.

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