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First grapes picked in Napa 2016 wine harvest

The odds are shortening for another strong vintage in Napa after the first grapes were picked for sparkling wines, according to Napa Valley Vintners.

It’s been another early start for Napa in 2016, with the first grapes picked for sparkling wines in the past few days, said Napa Valley Vintners.

And some producers have already predicted another strong Napa vintage, buoyed by recent warm weather. But, it is still early days.


Mumm Napa, 2016 harvest

Mumm Napa winemaker Ludovic Dervin celebrates the first grapes arriving at the winery in 2016. Credit: Tony Albright for Napa Valley Vintners.

Despite the drought continuing to afflict California, many Napa wine producers have enjoyed a run of three strong vintages – more than making up for a rain-sodden 2011.

‘For the most part, every year is an awesome year for Napa Valley,’ said Garrett Buckland, president of Napa Valley grapegrowers.

‘We are anticipating tremendous quality this year,’ he said.

Buttland said growers were in general anticipating good yields, although Cabernet Sauvignon could be slightly below average in some areas.

However, it is still too early to tell where 2016 will sit in the Napa vintage hierarchy. And many winemakers point out that a sudden change in the weather can skew the prospects of a good year.

Sauvignon Blanc picking is set to begin in earnest in the next week to 10 days, said NVV.

Full-on harvesting is still around three weeks away, set to start in the third week of August.

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