Dry Creek Valley Reflects on 2017 Harvest: A Challenging Season Yields Quality Fruit

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From Heavy Rain to 100+ Degree Heat, Dry Creek Valley’s Growers and Grapevines Worked Hard to Produce an Impressive Vintage

2017 Harvest workers at Famighetti Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County

Harvest at Famighetti Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley

We're looking forward to some great 2017 wines. The quality of the grapes is high, and remembering all that our North Bay community has weathered will make tasting this vintage even better.

With fermentations almost complete and wines going into barrel, Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley (WDCV) are finally catching up on some much-needed rest after a tumultuous 2017 harvest season. This year began with heavy rain in winter and spring, but the summer’s 100+ degree heat spikes meant that almost all grapes were harvested before the wine country fires. Yields are somewhat lower than average, but quality is reported to be excellent -- in particular for Dry Creek Valley’s renowned zinfandel.

Mark Farmer, who grows seven acres of grapes at Famighetti Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley, reported 43 more inches of rain than 2016, but a comparable yield size. He harvested all four varieties he grows by September 15, citing the 15 days of 100+ degree weather between June 1 and October 1. Farmer says, “All in all, I would say we were happy considering the weather extremes we have seen in 2017 here in Sonoma County. Fruit quality is as good or better than last year.”

David Mounts of Mounts Family Vineyards relies on heat for flavor development in his grapes. He says, “A warmer summer like this year’s helps the flavors in the skins to develop riper flavors at low sugars.” He explains that, as long as the heat is contrasted with cool nights, the grapes retain good acidity. Mounts approached this vintage with a unique style, separately picking and vinifying blocks with grape clusters that set well from those with shatter, then blending them together.

At Segheshio, Head of Grower Relations Ned Neumiller confirms, “Shattered clusters normally lend themselves to high quality wines.”

“Dry Creek Valley wineries were not evacuated during the fires that swept Sonoma County, so our winemakers are relieved that they got to tend to their wines on basically a normal schedule in the cellar,” says WDCV Executive Director Ann Petersen. “We're looking forward to some great 2017 wines. The quality of the grapes is high, and remembering all that our North Bay community has weathered will make tasting this vintage even better.”

For information, image or interview requests, contact Chelsea Kurnick at chelsea(at)mccuecommunications(dot)com or 213-985-1011.

About Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley:

Dry Creek Valley is a premium winegrowing region in northern Sonoma County, California, anchored by the charming town of Healdsburg. Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley® (WDCV) is a 501c6 non-profit trade association of over 60 wineries and 150 winegrape growers. Formed in 1989, the association represents a multi-generational family community of vintners and growers committed to growing high-quality fruit, producing world-class wines, and welcoming visitors to experience Wine Paired with Life®. Being good stewards of the land means that we are preserving the quality of our wines and the unparalleled beauty of Dry Creek Valley for future generations to discover. For more information, visit http://www.drycreekvalley.org.

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Chelsea Kurnick

Ann Petersen
Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley
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