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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

California gearing up for low yielding 2021 harvest

With the 2021 harvest in full swing in California, winemakers are reporting a high quality but low yielding vintage after an extended period of drought.

As reported by, California is on track to harvest approximately 3.6 million tons of grapes this year, down from a four million average.

Water issue continue to plague California growers, with some winemakers in the Russian River Valley having their water allowances curtailed since May.

Yields at vineyards on the Central Coast are predicted to be average this year. The lower yields across the state are putting the vines under less stress, so the need for water is less, which is a blessing given the dry conditions this year.

In Napa, Matt Crafton of Chateau Montelena told the Napa Valley Register that while yields were “slightly below estimates” this year, the grape quality so far has been “”excellent to outstanding, with plenty of concentration”.

At Trefethen Vineyards in Oak Knoll, Jon Ruel reports that the Pinot, Sauvignon and Chardonnay crop is on the light side “but the flavours have been fantastic.”

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