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Eliza Frey
 
October 29, 2021 | Frey Winery Blog | Eliza Frey

Harvest Report, 2021

White grapes dumped into the crusher

Harvest started earlier than usual in 2021, due to the smaller than average crop.  Low yields were the result of an extremely dry year, but these low yields produce concentrated flavors.  Fruit quality was exceptional across the board, the fermenting wines smell and taste rich and fruity.  We had an all-star harvest team both in the field and in the cellar.

Crop estimates were low this spring and yields were down by around 50%.  We were lucky to start partnerships with more organic growers throughout the state who helped ensure we have enough wine for the season.  We are looking forward to a more bountiful harvest in 2022.

The weather was in our favor throughout the weeks of picking.  Early on there were some very hot days but the grapes held up and we had no damaging rains or frost before the crop was brought in. We were blessed with clear skies in our region all summer and avoided the threat of smoke taint from wildfires.

Since the harvest was small and quick there was plenty of time to finish spreading compost and planting cover crops before heavy rains fell in late October.  An atmospheric river washed over the lands, bringing several inches of rain, ending the threat of fire season, swelling dry creeks and filling ponds.  Now warm weather is ushering in a “second spring”; you can almost feel the grass growing.

We haven’t had a killing frost yet and are busy building this year's compost piles and tidying up for dormancy.  The vines have a chance to soak up sunshine and rain before losing their leaves.  They’re making good use of the wet and mild fall weather, storing carbohydrates in their roots for a strong bud break and full crop next season.

The olive crop was riper than usual and came in earlier than ever with a decent crop.  Oil is milled at the local olive mill in Hopland, the hub of olive processing in the county.  Growers large and small bring their olives to be pressed at the Terra Savia facility.

We thank the land for continuing to support us from the ground up, and are grateful for rains to hydrate soils and end the threat of fires for the season.  Aside from the drought conditions, 2021 has been an excellent year for fruit in Mendocino County. We look forward to sharing these wines and wish you all health and well-being.

A bin full of red grapes

Harvest machine in the vineyard

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