A guide to the 2015 vintage: North America

North AmericaDrought, wildfires and more drought. The story of California’s growing season was eventful to say the least. But it takes more than a few near disasters for the vines on America’s west coast to give up.

Further north, in the Pacific Northwest, it was a similar tale to Western Europe. A relatively warm year meant the harvest took place earlier than in 2014.


  • Although Napa Valley received nearly 75% of the normal precipitation over the past year, the relatively dry and warm winter resulted in small clusters of grapes with highly concentrated flavours.
  • The cool spring brought a long flowering period, followed by somewhat uneven fruit set.
  • The 2015 wines are expected to be of exceptional quality, with deep, rich flavours.


Washington State

  • The 2015 harvest in Washington State started with an early spring bud break and continued into a warm summer.
  • Although it started early and was a very warm year, autumn turned out to be long and temperate.
  • This resulted in great ripening of the grapes, with bright acidity, low alcohol and beautiful complexity.


  • A lot of heat meant that last year’s bumper crop – 39% up on the year before that – looks set to be broken again.
  • There wasn’t much water stress on the vines early in the growing season, so many growers were faced with a dream scenario of healthy grapes, and plenty thereof.


Want to know more about the 2015 vintage in the Northern Hemisphere? Check out our complete guide.

13th November 2015

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