BREAKING: Santa Barbara's Wine Grape Harvest is Underway

by Gabe Saglie, Senior Editor, Travelzoo
August 4, 2017

Doug Margerum, right, and his team

Winemaker Doug Margeum announced Thursday, August 3rd, that the 2017 wine grape harvest in Santa Barbara has begun.

"Low yields and a very steep rocky section at McGinley Vineyard resulted in perfectly ripe sauvignon blanc grapes," he tells me. McGinley Vineyard is in the Happy Canyon AVA, in the dependably warm eastern stretches of the Santa Ynez Valley.

"It's about the same time as harvest has been the last few years."

Norm Yost and Cooper





The crew at the Margeum winemaking facility in  Buellton, including winemaker Michael Miroballi and assistant winemaker Lucas Meisinger, toasted harvest's inception with bubbles, sipping on Billecart-Salmon Rosé, as they've done for the last 17 harvests.

Other winemakers will be following suit soon enough.

Flying Goat Cellars' Norm Yost, along with wife Kathleen and their dog Cooper, have been scoping out grapes at Bien Nacido Vineyard, which barely escaped the fast-moving Alamo Fire last month.

Yost expects to "pull the trigger" on pinot noir cone 115 next week -- grapes he'll use for his popular lineup of sparkling wines.

Willson Family Vineyards pinot

"We find no evidence of smoke taint," Yost's team announced in an email blast this week. "Bright acid and racy cherry flavors are expressed early in the fruit this vintage."

In Carpinteria, my friend and budding vintner Tyler Willson plans on picking his pinot noir next Tuesday. His lovely Willson Family Vineyard, located in Shepard Mesa, is planted to one acre of pinot noir, and the wine is made by Fabien Castel, assistant winemaker at Ojai Vineyards.

More to come, cheers!

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