Sonoma Valley winemakers expect delay in harvest season due to wet winter

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
Sonoma Valley winemakers expect delay in harvest season
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Sonoma Valley winemakers expect grape harvest season will be delayed this year due to rain from the past winter in Bay Area.

SONOMA, Calif. (KGO) -- Sonoma Valley winemakers expect there to be a delay in harvesting most grapes this year due to the rain from the past winter. The Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance says the rain and cool weather delayed some of the grapes from growing and many are not ripe enough yet to be picked.

"I would like to see some of these larger grapes coming in here and getting a little bit softer," said Chris Sebastiani, general manager of Viansa Winery. "We haven't started our harvest yet because we want more ripening of the grapes than our sparkling wine producing neighbors here who are harvesting right now."

The SVVGA celebrated the 199th annual bell ringing at the Mission to celebrate the start of harvest season. Sparkling wine grapes are being harvested now, but that usually happens in August. The rest will begin starting in the fall. Despite this, the Sebastiani family says it shouldn't create any issues.

"Some of these late harvests have yielded incredible wines so historically speaking we are looking forward to matching that," said Chris's wife Robyn who is the executive director of the SVVGA.

MORE: Napa Valley's 2023 grape harvest may be delayed by weeks due to cool spring, summer

She also says it wont leave much of an economic impact. Workers will still be employed picking grapes. The only difference is they expect this harvest season to last into November.

"Everyone is ready to get to work and also thinking, how far into the holidays will we be picking?" she said.

The family says the rain from the winter will have a great long-term effect on the wineries.

"We are looking at the green grape vines behind us they are dependent on water," said Chris Sebastiani. "So the more water the better. Of course there is a line where it is too much but we haven't really hit that."

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