Santa Barbara- S County

Drought Impacting Harvest For Local Winemakers

Earlier harvest means shorter time for bottling 2013 collections

Drought Impacting Harvest For Local Winemakers

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Mother Nature has made it a busy time for some local wineries as they rush to get their 2013 wines bottled to make room for the 2014 harvest.

We talked to Bruce McGuire from Santa Barbara Winery during bottling week.

"We're bottling our 2013 SRH Lafonde Chardonnay," McGuire said.

But while it's a necessity before the new harvest season begins, McGuire said it's a little more stressing this season.

"I am under some pressure this year because we are picking early," he said.  "It was very dry this winter.  It was very warm in January.  And the vines keep growing based on ground temperatures."

Before winemakers can bring in the new grapes, they have to bottle the supply from last harvest. 

That's when they can officially begin the processing of the 2014 wines and watch what Mother Nature brings the crops next season.

"Unlike last year there was an unusually large crop.  This year looks to be a little bit more balanced.  We're not having to take off as much.  We're not having to take off as much fruit as we did last year."

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