2018 has been a magical year in the Napa Valley. The weather has been near perfect, allowing for a substantial fruit set and long hang-time. After several challenging vintages defined by drought and wildfires, Mother Nature rewarded the perseverance of Napa Valley wineries with a near perfect growing season.
This season started after adequate winter rains filled reservoirs and replenished ground water. The vines came to life in early spring and the weather was conducive to a large fruit set. The temperatures were moderate with no rain and minimal wind. This all resulted in a picture perfect bloom and set. The summer temperatures remained steady with minimal heat spikes allowing for a slow even fruit development.
This year veraison was extended with moderate temperatures allowing for a slow and steady development of fruit maturity. As the fruit approached harvest, the mild weather continued and thick skinned red grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, had ample hang-time to allow secondary flavors to develop.
The excitement surrounding the 2018 harvest is evident as I talk to colleagues. This is a banner year for the Napa Valley and we are all very fortunate for such fantastic weather conditions after several challenging vintages. Be on the lookout for these wines when they are released in the years to come. This may very well be one of the greatest vintages in Napa history!