Crush Time: Napa's Harvest of Wine Grapes Begins Early

The first grapes for vintage 2013 are off the vine.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The first grapes are off the vine in Napa.

    Time to start the winemaking for vintage 2013.

    The grape harvest began early in Napa this week, with the first grapes cut from vines this year pinot noir grapes for Mumm Napa sparkling rose, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

    Growers say a dry spring led to an early harvest.

    Some 46 men picked 15 tons of grapes, the first harvest in the North Coast region for 2013, according to California wine country's biggest newspaper.

    The harvest began about a week before normal -- thanks mostly to the 2013 weather. It's been "not too hot and not too cold," according to Ben Vyborny of Vyborny Vineyard Management, which bodes well for the 2013 vintage.

    A mild spring should aid the sugars in the grapes during the winemaking process, the newspaper reported.