In Napa Valley, grape growers and winemakers are already praising the potential of this year’s crop, which they have already pulled from the vines.

This was the fourth consecutive early harvest because of the drought.

There aren’t as many grapes at some Napa Valley vineyards this harvest season.

A grower named P.J. Alviso from the Duckhorn Vineyards described the merlot grapes they were harvesting as perfect. “So what we look for is ripeness, you want the juice to kind of melt across your palette,” he said.

But it hasn’t come easy. Ask anyone in the Napa Valley about this 2015 growing season and two words come to mind. Remi Cohen from the Cliff Lede Vineyards said that climate change is absolutely on her radar.

For growers, inconsistency has become the consistent pattern. The year 2011 was the coldest on record followed by 2012, which was the hottest until 2015.” “The extremes seem more extreme, like the hotter hots, colder colds,” Alviso said.

Growers will tell you that this year the season began a month early and finished a month early with a yield about roughly 10 percent less than average, whatever average has become.

The reds they produced this year have higher acid and tannin levels. And, typical of people in the wine industry, insiders like Cohn see potential.

Image courtesy of abc7news.com

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