Duckhorn Vineyards Tweeted, "Veraison is progressing quickly at Three Palms Vineyard." Photo: Duckhorn Twitter feed.

Reports are pouring in all over the place today — email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagramweb sites — that harvest in Northern California is underway.

If true, this would be the earliest wine country harvest ever. Typically harvest begins in August, though in recent years we’ve seen that happen as early as late July.

It’s not entirely surprising, however.

Bud break came early this year, and, it seems to be happening with regularity — climate change? Many in the press have been predicting an early harvest. And Spectator’s Tim Fish wonders if “uncertainty is the new normal.”

Records broken in Napa with early harvest
Harvest begins at Mumm winery in Napa. Photo courtesy Mumm Napa.

“So far, this year’s growing season has seen alternating weather patterns of warm and cool temperatures, resulting in an early bud break, followed by a long, relatively cool flowering and fruit set period and culminating in what looks to be one of the earliest harvests in recent memory,” said the Napa Valley Vintners trade group via email.

Cabernet Sauvignon veraison at the Home Ranch in St. Helena. #veraison #napavalley #napaharvest #josephphelps #napa

A photo posted by Joseph Phelps Wine (@josephphelps) on

Harvest usually lasts a few months, before heading into “crush” season (a wonderful, cooler time to visit Napa).

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Mumm Napa (Rutherford, California) also confirmed that it began picking grapes for their sparkling wines today, and it was their “earliest harvest on record.”

“We expect the first load of grapes to arrive at the winery around 9:30/10:00a.m., coming straight from Game Farm Vineyard which will be harvested early that morning.”

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