Grape growers and winery owners like Steve Felten are anticipating an early harvest in Lodi this season.
“Mother nature, it all depends on what she throws at you. Sometimes it’s a blessing,” said Felten, owner of Klinker Brick Winery.
The hot, dry summer means the crop is about two weeks ahead of schedule.
“We get the harvest over with earlier, hopefully avoid some of the rains later on during the season. And that’s really our biggest fear,” Felten said.
The more sugars in the fruit the better the wine – particularly for zinfandel’s, and late rains can dilute the sugar content.
“The cool nights tend to make grapes concentrate in color and flavor, and then the heat pushes them through as far as building sugars and such,” Felten said.
The early harvest – likely nothing you’ll notice when you crack open a bottle of the 2013 blends.
And for growers
“Not really going to have a big effect as far as the cost of things. It all costs the same,” Felten said.
It could always be worse.
“Last year was a good sized crop, and this year is a little bit smaller than that, but still a good healthy crop though,” Felten said.