Friday, September 16, 2011

Amador County - Brief Harvest Report from Grower's Association Member

Brian Miller, director of the Amador County Wine Grape Growers Association, sent a brief overall report:

"I've spoken with people and have a general feel for the Amador harvest this year.

Generally: Late and light. 2-3 weeks late, 20%+ light (with many saying 30%-40%).
Spoke to one Barbera grower that will get 3 tons off of a vineyard that usually yields around 27."
Brian has encouraged Association members to send more detailed harvest reports, so watch this space...
About Amador County Wine Grape Growers Association
Amador County Wine Grape Growers Association represents almost 20  growers among its 95 members.  Notes the website:,  "More than 60% of Amador's production is delivered to wineries outside the county.  Amador County’s wine grape industry is flourishing with a substantial amount of new acreage planted each year.   The premium wines that are produced from Amador County grapes are consistent medal winners, and are gaining major recognition throughout the wine industry.   Members grow more than 30 different varieties of grapes. Amador County vineyards are now also producing world-class Rhone, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese varieties"    For a list of grower members, click here.
Also from the website:  Appellation and Terrain

"As diverse as the wine grape varieties planted, so are the conditions in which they are grown. Amador's vineyards range from an elevation of 250 feet in the western foothills to 2900 feet in the east. Summer daytime temperatures range from the eighties to more than one hundred degrees, while nighttime temperatures dip into the fifties and sixties due to breezes from the Sacramento Delta and the Sierra Nevada mountains. Such a diurnal temperature shift is good for the grapes because the sunshine produces high acids and high sugar content while the temperature drop stabilizes the acid balance in the fruit.

Another factor that differentiates the grapes in Amador County is the jumble of the soils, from alluvial to decomposed granites, fertile to not-so-fertile, level to steep, and fine to coarse-textured. Amador County's diverse growing conditions have been acknowledged by the designation of one appellation of origin - Amador County, and two American Viticultural Areas (AVA's) - the Shenandoah Valley of California AVA and the Fiddletown AVA."

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