Chandon, producer of sparkling wines, has officially claimed the start of the 2021 harvest season.
Chief viticulturist Pauline Lhote celebrated her 16th harvest this year, but hasn’t lost sight of the magic of the first pick, even when that magic kicks in at 2 a.m.
“Chandon has a lot to celebrate and toast this year, including our wonderful team who are back together safely after quarantine,” she said.
The Yountville de Chandon estate produced around 32 tonnes of Chardonnay on August 4, which despite the challenges of the past year or so, Lhote is confident it will produce sparkling wines of exceptional quality.
“This vineyard and its fruits are special, so I always like to blend in a bit with our popular Chandon NV Brut,” she said, “But we are saving most of it for our Yountville Vintage Brut, which is a special version that tells a story about the place and year of harvest This year’s story will certainly be a story we will never forget.
Whites like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc continue to lead the Napa County harvest, with the first grapes ripening in early August. Growers have a tradition of good-natured competition to be the first to publicly announce the opening of the harvest season.
The county’s signature reds, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, ripen later, until fall, with a harvest that lasts until late September or early October, depending on weather conditions.