Napa Harvest 2021: From Fears To Cheers For Caspar Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Harvest season is always an exciting time in the valley, and Napa Harvest 2021 is no different. Anxious growers and winemakers alike literally sleep in the vineyards, waiting for the grapes to hit that perfect brix. Then boom! Field hands rush to the vineyard and, like a well-oiled machine, pick the fruit and rush it off to the winery.

This year, the California drought combined with seasonable high temperatures brought an early start to Napa’s harvest season. Some vineyards reported harvesting sauvignon blanc as early as July 3rd. At Caspar Estate, our sauvignon blanc harvest took place on August 23rd, right around the time the bulk of the SB harvest was happening.

A farm worker smiles at an abundant crop of Sauvignon Blanc grapes during Napa Harvest 2021

A Collective Sigh For Napa Harvest 2021

Frankly speaking, growers were a little on edge for this year’s harvest, with California in a severe drought and the specter of wildfires still looming from 2020. The conventional wisdom was that yields would be lower than normal, with smaller berries. In addition, if August was as hot as July, the fruit may not get a chance to fully develop.

But as August came around with milder temperatures—and no wildfires in sight—an air of optimism descended over Napa Valley. Growers began to relax and even allowed themselves to think that 2021 could become another stellar vintage.

At Caspar Estate, our excitement for Napa Harvest 2021 was overwhelming the moment we began picking. 

A woman discusses the napa harvest for 2021 with a field worker in the vineyard
Caspar Estate’s Deborah Evans is always excited to be on-hand for harvest!

 

An Abundant Harvest

It was apparent from the moment we began picking sauvignon blanc on that cool August morning that our Caspar Estate fruit was in stellar shape. The berry size was normal, brix levels were perfect, and ripeness was right on target. Kudos go to Luis, our Vineyard Manager, and the whole vineyard team, for their incredible skill in nurturing the Caspar Estate vineyard.

We harvested 5.3 tons of gorgeous sauv blanc fruit from our one-acre vineyard plot that morning. That’s right, just one acre. Our House Block North is where we planted our sauvignon blanc back in 2015, which yields enough grapes to make around 90 cases. 

We could have planted more acreage, but the soil, sun exposure, and drainage of this one block were better suited for SB than the other blocks. As a family vineyard, we aim to listen to what the land has to tell us. And we’ve been right this whole time. Both our yield and berry size were higher than average for the Napa Valley.

A forklift dumps a large hopper filled with sauvignon blanc grapes into the back of a truck

Coming Soon: The Cabernet Sauvignon and Cab Franc Harvest

In two to three weeks, we’ll be getting ready for the next phase of Napa Harvest 2021. This time, we’ll be picking cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. Though early September looks like it may have its share of heat spikes, we’re confident that our hillside vineyard will remain cool enough to help create another amazing vintage.

Our 13-acre vineyard is located in the hills above the Rutherford appellation in Napa Valley. Planted 600 feet above the fog line with an exposure 20 degrees off north, the vineyard sees the sun from early morning until late afternoon. This ensures the even ripeness of the grapes. 

Furthermore, cool nights help to develop firm tannins and fresh acidity, creating remarkable structure and balance in the finished wines. Our rocky serpentine soils benefit from a mineral deposit rich in iron and magnesium. This distinctive mineral deposit provides layers of complexity and flavor to wines unique to our site.

Want to experience the unique character of Caspar Estate wines yourself? Join the Caspar Estate Allocation! You’ll have exclusive access to these very limited wines in two annual shipments. You’ll also get personalized, guided tours and tastings in our estate vineyard. 

A tractor carries bins of sauvignon blanc grapes through the vineyard rows of Caspar Estate in Napa