Vintage Watch IX

Watching the weather as harvest 2013 kicks into high gear.


The moment of truth is fast approaching for the northern hemisphere's vineyards. Everything up until harvest is pretty much dress rehearsal, the devastating hail in France withstanding. These final weeks of weather before and during harvest are ultimately the most crucial; heavy rains, cold temperatures, or yet more hail can take the most promising vintage and turn it into something mediocre, or worse.

Taking a quick look around the world I see that harvest has or is close to starting just about everywhere, with France looking to have the worst harvest in decades in both quality and quantity. Much of California on track for another fine harvest, smaller than last years, about as early as any in the last five decades, and from a season as warm as 1997 was.  That is getting people excited, the question of course remains, will the weather hold out through harvest? Lets take a look and see what's in store.

Napa, California

It looks distressing hot at the end of this week in Napa, with high temps and dry conditions that can cause grapes to shut down their maturation process.

Last Week's Forecast

Alba, Italy

Piedmont is still having a bit of a tough time of it with significant rains pushing into Spetember and close to harvest. This year had goten off to a slow start, and while it seemed as though they might gain some ground late in the season they really need a fine Indian summer to help save the vintage.

Last Week's Forecast

Logroño, Spain

After last weeks fine forecast this week looks a little foreboding with rain followed by unseasonably cold temperatures in Rioja.

Last Week's Forecast
 

Sonoma, California

Sonoma looks to be just about a degree cooler than Napa this coming week, but otherwise it shares the same issues, exedingly high temerpatures at the end of the growing season.

Last Week's Forecast
 

McMinnville, Oregon

That's a lot of rain in Oregon, at least it warms up once the rain passes, we hope.

Last Week's Forecast

Jordan Station, Ontario Canada

For the second week in a row Ontario looks to be enjoying better weather than McMinville, it's close but I would take this over theirs.

Last Week's Forecast

Tuscany, Italy

Summer and autumn are battling it out in Tuscany. After a gorgeous pair of months rain and cooler weather are muscling their way into the picture. Another week or two of this and they might end up decisively shaping the vintage.

Last Week's Forecast

Dijon, France

Slowly the weather seems to have turned a corner in Burgundy and those not greatly impacted by the year's hail have hope of harvesting a healthy, ripe crop.

Last Week's Forecast

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