Summer is just beginning its slow retreat and making way for my most favorite time of year in the Sonoma Valley, harvest. Harvest time is the first sign that cooler weather is just ahead, but even more importantly, in the very near future the valley will be filled with the intoxicating aroma of crush.
Fall in the Valley is nothing short of amazing. When friends from outside the area will ask me the best time to visit Sonoma Valley, my response is always the same…you have to come in the fall!! Now before I get ahead of myself, yes I am aware that hot summer days are still in full force, but my excitement is fueled by a familiar and comforting activity that is just now beginning here in the valley.
Grape Harvest 2014
The wine we all love and enjoy starts its journey from fruit to bottle over the next couple of months. I drive to San Francisco most weekday mornings. I leave Sonoma around 5:30am and even though the Golden Gate Bridge is pretty amazing, the most magical site along my morning journey this time of year is the glow of the vineyards. What glow you ask, the glow of the lighting that illuminates the vineyards for the night harvest. The dark morning skies give way to the tractors and crews of pickers, and as I round a turn or crest a hill along my path out of the valley I will always smile and want to somehow pull over so I can Instagram what I am seeing.
Night harvests are better for the fruit and better for the crews picking the fruit. Picking grapes in a dusty vineyard on a 100 degree day is a no win for anyone, so bring on some lights and you have yourself a site to see in the valley during harvest.
Yes, living in Sonoma Valley is amazing, and experiencing harvest and crush is at the top of my list. Sure getting behind a grape truck as I’m trying to hurry out of town may slow me down from time to time, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. Cooler days and cloudy nights get me thinking about a nice bottle of cabernet and warm fire. Ok, now I really am getting ahead of myself..:)