2011 Harvest: #winechat with Craig Camp

Craig Camp General Manager and Managing Partner of Cornerstone Cellars was our special guest this past week on #winechat.  We were talking about the 2011 harvest in California and Oregon.

Here are some of the things that Craig shared with us, based on his experience:

  • What happened in 2011? Cold and rain at flowering killed the fruit set then one rain storm followed by several humid days pushed rot
  • Napa whites are stellar but quantities are way down – up to 60% for him
  • Napa reds are down 20 to 30% on valley floor; in Howell Mountain, yields are down only 10% because of later flowering
  • Merlot did well due to its early ripening; chardonnay was hit hard in both Oregon and Napa. Oregon Chardonnay was hit with rot but hand sorting removed the bad grapes from his lines
  • Everyone had their breath held for the Oregon harvest but two weeks of perfect weather at the end brought in some nice fruit
  • In Craig’s opinion, the quality of 2011 wines will be excellent and balanced, and is not a vintage for so called “fruit bombs” because of the lack of sun

Overall, the sentiment was that 2011 may be the year that leads California back to more elegant, less jammy, more well balanced wines.

For more reading on Craig’s experience with the harvest, check out his blog here:

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