The growing season here is the longest in California. Yet,
even though winegrowers enjoy consistent weather patterns each year,
vintages do differ
year to year. Here's a brief synopsis of some past vintages
from viticulturist Jeff Newton of Coastal
The 2012 season was a long sunny year, with normal rainfall amounts during the winter months, minimal frost and mild wind during bloom-time. Warm temperatures starting in mid-July and continuing through early October helped ripen the plentiful crop load. This also made harvest for both winemakers and grape growers more intense as many varieties ripened very close together.
The 2011 season was challenging for growers. The spring time
began with a damaging freeze which lasted
for multiple days. Later cool, windy, and rainy
weather at bloom further reduce the crop. The spring
and summer weather was mild, creating
high mildew and botrytis pressure. The growing season
included unseasonable light rain events throughout the spring,
summer and fall months. With the exception of a couple of light
rain events, the
harvest season was warm.
2010 proved to be the coolest season in memory marked by reduced
vine growth, low yields and delayed ripening.
Both the spring and summer were
unseasonable cool with the exception of a significant
heat spike in late September followed by early
rains during harvest season.
Drought continued for the third year in 2009 leading to both
low vigor and low yields. The spring and
summer were mild and cool but a late September
heat spike pushed the sugars up. The harvest season was
challenging due to the October rains which were
followed by 90 degree weather.
2008 was a tough year with less than 10 inches of rainfall
and a late April freeze that contributed
to low yields. Summer was mild with the exception
of a late August heat spike. This heat spike lead to
an early harvest which was marked by
an early October freeze occurring before the completion of harvest.
2007 began with below average rainfall and cold winter temperatures,
which in turn lead to late budbreak. Bloom
time was cool, followed by an unpredictable
summer with multiple heat spikes. The weather created a long hang time and an extended harvest season.
2006 was the second year in a string of wet winters. The spring
bloom time period was wet and windy
as well. The summer continued to be very mild
creating a long growing season with a later than usual
An especially wet winter created large canopies and a heavy
crop load. The mild and cool spring
was followed by a hot early summer and finally settled
into cool late summer and fall season. This created a
long maturing process
for the grapes, allowing the pH and sugars to be balanced.
The 2004 season began beautifully with a warm spring which
was followed by a mild summer. However
a significant heat wave in September accelerated ripening
and lead to an early harvest. Early October rains posed a late
Early budbreak marked the beginning of the 2003 season, followed
by unseasonable spring rains during
bloom which impacted fruit set. The light crop
was pushed to early maturity by a significant heat spike in
The 2002 season began with average winter rainfall and a cool
early spring. The cool weather continued during bloom
leading to poor fruit set. Summer and fall continued
to be cool, creating a long mild growing season allowing the light crop to hang and develop slowly.