Call Us 888-DAM-FINE

Harvest 2015 update!

 photo IMG_8813_zpssnbhu3mv.jpg

Believe it or not, harvest at Castoro Cellars is almost completely over and it’s still October! For many of the smaller producers in the area, harvest has been over for weeks, which is crazy considering that we usually go through Thanksgiving. To be completely honest, not much has changed since the last blog I wrote on this harvest, and if you remember I said that typically “small harvests get smaller and big harvests get bigger,” well this one continued to get smaller.

To put it in perspective, this has been the smallest harvest, in terms of yields, that we have ever seen. Vineyards that typically give four tons per acre have given one or less in many cases. Yes, it is even smaller than the harvest of 2011 that was seriously impacted by frost. On the positive side, however, the fruit we have gotten has been of great quality and possibly the best color we have ever had.

 photo IMG_8815_zpsshrklatg.jpg

As I mentioned in my last post, the reason for the low yields we have experienced is not a simple one. Many people are quick to assume the sole reason for the small yields is the drought when in fact there is a little more to it than that. A big reason for the small yields comes from bad berry set/poor pollination that was a result of unseasonably cold weather in May. The cold weather, coupled with the extra stress put on the vines by the drought, teamed up to give us the most challenging and humbling harvest to date.

As always, we need to focus on the positives, and luckily there are many to highlight! In California, for example, we experienced record yields in both 2013 and 2014, which make things much more tolerable in regards to the low yields of 2015. Also, we have seen great color and quality as I mentioned earlier, and some of our blocks have gotten the ripest we have seen to date. Our Whale Rock Cabernet and Charbono are two that fit into that category and are also two of the three varietals left to be picked at Whale Rock.

 photo IMG_8733_zpstbm3awf2.jpg

It is my hope that these blogs help you to understand what we are going through as farmers but also get you excited to experience the ever-changing vintages we produce. No two years will ever be the same and that is a big reason we love what we do. Fingers are still crossed for the el Niño and in the meantime we will be making the most of this small but intense harvest.