Size does matter to winemakers

27 August, 2008
Page 11 
Barring a late season shift in weather, California's 2007 wine grape harvest appears to be textbook-perfect and should wrap up by the end of October, according to reports from the vineyards.

Due to a smaller berry size than normal, the crop appears to be lighter than expected - more in line with the 2006 harvest of 3.1 ­million tons.

A record -breaking 3.7 ­million-ton harvest in 2005 led to an oversupply of wine that is only just ­beginning to come back into balance - much to the relief of the whole industry .

Growers and vintners are pleased by the size of the 2007 harvest and the smaller grape size is also a positive sign since the smaller grapes are thought to produce more intense wine.

Nick Frey, president of the Sonoma County Wine Grape Commission, said when grape growers find nothing to complain about, it's very unusual.

H arvest conditions are "close to ideal ," he said.