Winemaking. Life. The Dirt. Alison Crowe is a Winemaker Based in Napa.

Ghoulishly Short 2015 Grape Harvest Explained









All over California, Harvest 2015 was a spooky one.  Rumors of Sauvignon Blanc mysteriously vanishing were rife.  Grapes were disappearing left and right.  Winemakers tried to blame the viticulturists for poor crop estimates.  Viticulturists tried to blame the weather.  This, however, is the real story behind what happened……


In days of yore the Harvest lore

Was all ‘bout tons redundant

Ample flows, wines white and rose

Cheered us with yields abundant


Alas, ’15, with yields obscene

Doth make me scratch my head

Could it be our Cab and PV

Were pillaged by zombies instead?


One harvest night in full moonlight

A zombie horde I spied

In lieu of brains & bloody remains

My precious tons they triedzombie-499924_1280


With bloody paws & dripping maws

They gobbled with wild delight,

And so instead the crazed undead

Left nary a berry in sight!


Oh what a pick and such a trick

This grape massacre unforeseen.

Though ‘tis delish and you I wish

A most Happy Halloween!


Zombies ate my grapes.  For real.  OK, maybe only in Paso…..

There indeed was a “perfect storm” of causes all over Coastal California:  long-term drought effects, extended bloom, poor set due to weather, sporadic frost damage, the odd freak summer rainstorm during bloom… but the great news is that what we have is looking great.  2015 is set to be a distinctive and delicious year.  Small berries, great color on the Bordeaux varietals, concentrated flavors and extremely fruity wines all are making me grateful that one bad trick has provided many treats this Harvest!









Alison Crowe is a Napa-based winemaker with projects that include Garnet Vineyards, Picket Fence Vineyards, and Back From the Dead Red.  She works with grapes from Napa, Russian River, Carneros and the Central Coast so saw a wide range of yields in 2005.  She is an award-winning blogger and winemaker and is the author of The Winemaker’s Answer Book.


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