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Despite Extreme Weather, 2019 Is a “Perfect Storm” Vintage for Wine

The harvest was “near perfect” in Napa and Sonoma—and in some places in France, where lower quantities will make bottles even more sought-after. But not everyone is was left with a good taste in their mouths.

The Château Angelus team in a vineyard in Saint-Émilion, in Bordeaux, France

The Château Angelus team in a vineyard in Saint-Émilion, in Bordeaux, France

Source: Château Angélus

On Sept. 20, pickers for Sonoma’s Kistler Vineyards headed out to chardonnay vineyards at 2 a.m., their headlamps lighting the way. Night harvesting when it’s cool maintains acidity in the grapes, which gives the winery’s cult whites zing and verve. By 9 a.m., grapes were on the crush pad, already being turned into wine.

I thought they tasted delicious. But as in every wine region during the stressful harvest season, the questions are: How big is the crop and how good will the wines be?