In Napa Valley THIS September Harvest is LATE

Sep. 21, 2010 | by Jim Beazley

What do you get when you add a particularly wet Spring to the coolest Summer in memory?

One of the latest Napa Valley Grape Harvests in history.

But our Autumn has started EARLY! The Grapes may not be turning, but the leaves sure are.

Mother Nature sure has a sense of humor, doesn’t she?

As innkeepers Carol and I don’t mind the cooler weather. Our air conditioning bills are down and our guests enjoy the reprieve from sweltering weather at home in the REST of the Nation.

Unlike grapes, we humans can layer in cool weather. About the best the vintners can do is cut back the vine’s canopy to let in more sunlight and drop their unripenning fruit.

It’s reminded Carol (a farmer’s daughter) and me how grateful we are NOT to be farmers.

The 2010 Vintage would have been a challenge without Mother Nature messing with the weather. The recession has meant fewer migrant workers to do the heavy labor and fewer guests to drink the wine which fuels the engine of our local economy.

We are seeing a change, though.

The weather this coming weekend is supposed to be hot which will spike the sugar levels pushing the grapes to harvest-ready.

And the funny thing about wine grapes, the more they are stressed and miss-treated by M.Nature, the better wine they become.

So 2010 may have been a tough year for us humans, but a great vintage for Napa Valley.

I’ll drink to that!

POST SCRIPT: IT’S NOT NICE TO CRITICIZE MOTHER NATURE!

No sooner did I post this blog then Ms. Nature, as she prefers to be called, having read it IMMEDIATELY TURNED UP THE HEAT! Like WAY UP!

We’ve had FIVE full days in the 90s and even a 100+.

Okay, so NOW the grapes are getting ripe! Q U I C K L Y!!!!

Sorry Mother Nature.

Now please turn the heat down.

-JB