The 2021 grape harvest has been off to a fast and furious start for Hill Family Estate, which is one of the best wineries in Yountville. For the first time since 1981 and 1997, all grapes from our Napa Valley vineyards will be harvested before the month of October. Napa Valley encountered warm weather in 1981, like what we’ve experienced thus far in 2021. Francis Mahoney, who has been farming Chardonnay grapes in Carneros since 1970, said this is the earliest harvest that he’s seen in 50 years!
Because of how warm it has been and the lack of rainfall, vines have produced much lighter canopies. Grapevines have also shown weaker growth, especially along the edges of vineyards where mature trees and bushes have soaked up most of the water. Farmers that irrigated early in the season have been rewarded with more growth, larger canopies, and bigger yields.
The 2021 harvest is much lighter due to cold spells that occurred during bloom back in the month of May. Some growers are reporting that Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc yields have been 50% of normal. While the yields have been light, the quality is fantastic, which is great news for our loyal supporters who will be enjoying these wines at our Yountville tasting room and winery in the future!