The 2015 Harvest is now in the books and all indications are that this was a very high quality grape harvest. However, this year the vineyard production was down across the board. Most growers reported up to 40% lower yields. At Croze & Smith Wooton we experienced around a 30% reduction in tonnage.
There are many possible reasons, from the ongoing four-year drought to the fact that the last two vintages were unusually large vintages. There is a natural cycle for grapevines and after a couple of years of extremely high output, the vines will take a year to reduce crop yields and recover. In my opinion, this is primary reason for the light crop load in 2015. Of course the historic California drought certainly has also impacted the local agriculture. Although grapevines do not require the large amount of water compared to other agricultural crops, they do need water at specific times throughout the year. California really needs to get some winter rain this year.
With the smaller, yet high quality crop the end result will be much less wine for consumers from the 2015 vintage. My recommendation is to keep this vintage on your radar and purchase as soon as the wines are released, they will not last long!