Sierra Starr: “Good yields and great quality” in this year’s harvest

Editor’s note: Sierra Starr Vineyard in Grass Valley filed this harvest report, further boosting our optimism for this year’s wine crop:

“The 2013 harvest was a good one for Sierra Starr Vineyard. We experienced our first signs of version seven days ahead of 2012, so we knew that harvest dates would be in the area of normal to early (a welcome change from the 2010-11 vintages).

“Due to near perfect weather our harvest began 10 days ahead of 2012, with a Sauvignon Blanc pick on August 23. The fruit was ripe and balanced, with acidity that will ensure a style we are striving for.

“The Zinfandel harvest (our biggest crop) began September 11, a full 21 days ahead of 2012. The flavors and color from our Zinfandel looks to be quite good. Our final block of Zinfandel was picked on September 20, a full 30 days ahead of 2012 — and boy do we like this year’s schedule!

“The reasons for our early 2013 harvest is two fold:

“First of all (and probably most of all), we experienced some spectacular weather in the vineyard. A warm, dry early start to the season, no exceedingly hot, cool or wet weather throughout the summer, and picture perfect warm days and cool nights through the harvest period.

“A rainy day in early September was really the only hiccup we experienced.

“Second, rigorous attention to our vineyards this year really paid off. An extremely balanced crop load and meticulous attention to irrigation and nutrient needs lead to a vineyard canopy that has perhaps never looked better.

“As far as yields are concerned, we saw about average crop loads. Our Zinfandel tonnage remained more or less the same as 2012, as well as our Sauvignon Blanc. Our Cabernet Franc numbers were down about 20 percent, due to a frost issue in the spring, and our Petite Sirah numbers were up roughly 20 percent.

“So overall we are quite pleased with our crush this year. Good yields and great quality make for some pretty darn good wine. If you have any questions about any of the above information or have any further questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

—Phil and Jackson Starr

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