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2018 Harvest Report

2018 Harvest Report

Posted on October 19, 2018

Wet season brought challenges-  classic whites & rosé, elegant reds 

Early warmth generated budbreak between April 16 and 27, average for the season, with no major frost event.  Rainfall during bloom created lighter and looser clusters, which became helpful later in the season.  On a whole, fruit-set was light, both from bloom-time weather and vines naturally balancing themselves from higher yields in 2017, a factor that assisted ripening through the summer.  Spring and summer of 2018 were the wettest on record though the rains tended to drive in short bursts and vineyards with well-drained soils were able to respond well through the deluge.  With this additional rainfall, vineyard managers saw an increased risk of downy mildew, creating a vintage where meticulous care and attention was especially valuable.  Heat events in July and August drove ripeness, with harvest for sparkling wines beginning right on time in mid-August.  The lighter sets that were a concern in the spring helped drive earlier ripening and healthy clusters, a benefit given the harvest rain.  Fruit for white and Rosé was harvested from mid-to-late August, with a high level of quality in good vineyard sites.  As Hurricane Florence approached in September, many winegrowers picked their reds prior to the heaviest rains, truncating and the growing season.  Some grapes hung through the rain and continued to ripen later into the season; though on a whole, harvest was rapid and intense.  As a result, the 2018 vintage provided many wineries with classical sparkling, whites and rose’ and elegant and lighter bodied reds for earlier release.