If I were to suggest an average starting date for harvest in our Yakima Valley vineyards, I would say that the early ripening fruit would be picked around September 7th. Today, on September 7th, we are happily harvesting beautiful Merlot. We are already at the halfway mark of harvest for 2016 and expect to bring in the majority of remaining fruit by the middle of this month. This year was marked by an extremely early bud break with flowering starting a couple of weeks ahead of a "normal" year. One of the warmest springs on record pushed growth and we also obtained fruit set several weeks early. The past few weeks of summer, however, moderated resulting in a beautifully balanced ripening period- essential for the kind of fruit that we tout here in the Northwest; perfumed aromatics, excellent acidity, ripe skins and bright flavors.
The 2016 vintage is now and a great time to visit wine country to savor the harvest.