Harvest underway in Paso Robles
–Harvest 2019 is underway in Paso Robles wine country. Local winery Vino Vargas announced the harvest of the Pinot Noir from the San Miguel, westside vineyard for its sparkling wine.
Such an early start of harvest was unheard of in Paso Robles where the big red wines dominate the wine scene. The popularity of sparkling wine has given rise to more wineries here making it. Sparkling wine requires more finesse so timing is everything, according to Vino Vargas. To make a nice, bright sparkling wine the grapes need a much lower sugar level (measured as sugar in water and called “brix”) and much higher acidity.
ETS Laboratories did the juice panel analysis for the Pinot Noir harvested on Thursday and confirmed this was the first sample of the harvest season for the Paso Robles location.
Vargas winery has produced Blanc de Blanc Brut Sparkling Wine from Chardonnay for the past 3 years. For that wine, harvest has typically begun the 3rd or 4th
week of August, so it was a surprise when the Pinot Noir was ready early this month.
“It’s been a mild summer by Paso Robles’ standards. That’s a good thing that results in slow, even ripening” said winemaker Pedro Vargas. “Fewer days over 100 kept the vines developing the fruit.”
“These Pinot Noir grapes are for our Blanc de Noir sparkling wine”, said Vicky Vargas owner and certified sommelier. “The San Miguel AVA is mostly drier and warmer than the other 10 sub-AVAs of the Paso region, but westside is always milder.”
Harvest is a wonderful time to visit Paso Robles and see winemaking in action at many of the area’s wineries.