A guide to the 2016 harvest: USA and Canada

hARVEST SCENES IN CAMADA AND usaThe US escaped the brunt of adverse weather conditions that threatened Europe, resulting in bigger yields than last year. In California, the 2016 harvest was early, with a mostly normal yield and exceptional quality fruit throughout the state.

Here is a round-up of the harvest from some of our producers in California and Canada:



Santa Lucia Highlands, California

Yields were slightly lower this year in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation, with indications of another high-quality crop. Morgan’s Double L Vineyard is one of the northernmost in the appellation and owner Dan Lee says, “The crop is fairly light again this year, but we’re on the right curve with phenolic and flavour development versus fruit ripeness.”


Carneros, California

Anthony Truchard explains that it was a relatively uneventful year, “if you could ever describe harvest in those terms”. He says, “There were no big heat waves, not much rain in the summer or during harvest, with sunny California days and cool coastal nights here in Carneros. All this added up to a great vintage – quality looks superb and the quantity was right on track with a normal year. With farming so weather dependent, we are grateful that Mother Nature once again blessed us in 2016.”


Walter Hansel
Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California

“The 2016 vintage came in fast and furious,” says Stephen Hansel. “Yields were slightly below average, but considerably higher than the last two years. The weather was mild through most of the harvest, allowing for fully ripened fruit with slightly larger berries than some previous years.”



Niagara, Ontario

For Charles Baker, 2016 was a promising vintage from the start, with an early and dry spring. “Dry conditions continued through the summer, which also saw higher than average heat units. Some rain at the end of August and through September, prior to the grapes ripening, helped allay fears that a drought might lower yields.”

“Our picking dates were similar to 2015, with the exception of Riesling, which came in three weeks earlier. Chardonnay for sparkling and Sauvignon Blanc were harvested with good acidity levels. November’s warm temperatures meant we were able to patiently wait for exactly the right maturity, without compromise. Ultimately, vintage 2016 fulfilled its early promise and is going to deliver a collection of outstanding wines.”


Find out more about the 2016 harvest across the rest of the Northern Hemisphere here. Or sign up to our regular newsletter for more from Bibendum and our producers:

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16th December 2016

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