Viticulture Association of the Santa Cruz Mountains
Map with permission of
Following the exceptional 2012 season, the winter rains have already charged the soil with nearly the average annual rainfall. This bodes well for the coming year. Pruning has begun in some vineyards depending on variety. Weed control, trellis repair, brush clearing, equipment maintenance and other off-season tasks are being attended to.
Spring/Early Summer 2013
With virtually no rain this spring, some vineyards are supplementing the late fall rainfall with early irrigation. Bloom and early set have enjoyed near ideal weather and another bountiful year is cautiously possible. One nice consequence of no spring rain is less weed pressure to contend with.
Most vineyards enjoyed a spectacular fruit set and as veraison begins, harvest prospects are optimistic. With consistent heat units since bud break, some vineyards will be harvesting a bit earlier than normal.
The Santa Cruz Mountains saw an early harvest this year. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay started coming into wineries in late August! The ripening is exceptional this vintage and yield is high. By early October, most of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay was in the wineries with other varieties still coming in. The near-perfect weather throughout the growing season produced one of the best vineyard years many have ever experienced. This follows a spectacular 2012 to compensate growers for the very challenging vintages of 2010 and 2011.
Because there were no weather extremes, particularly temperature and mid-season rainfall, the vines developed at maximum potential, never shutting down temporarily due to Mother Nature. Accordingly, many vineyards achieved target ripening up to 2 weeks earlier than a "normal" year. We also saw higher Brix development without dehydration due to the plants having plenty of reserves to drive their ripening processes.
See this article in
Wines & Vines Magazine about harvest in the Santa Cruz Mountains:
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