event center eveing 2011 300dpi Header Image

Harvest Wrap Up With Niki Wente

In about a week, Harvest will be wrapping up—we are estimating sometime between the 9th and 13th of November. This harvest started and ended almost identically to last year, which is interesting with different growing seasons! The last fruit we will bring into the winery are Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from Arroyo Seco.

This year’s harvest was unlike any harvest I have ever experienced. In a typical year, everything gets rips at the same time, making the winery incredibly busy and a little stressful! This year, most of the fruit was ripening at different times, which made for a mellow harvest with plenty of room at the winery and a steady flow of picking all season long. We still joke that harvest hasn’t really started yet, even though we are a week away from wrapping up. Thanks mother-nature for giving us a break this year!

Overall quality of the fruit is excellent. We are seeing a wonderful balance between color and tannins, which leads us to believe wines from the 2019 vintage will be elegant, balanced and refined. The flavors of the berries have been vibrant and expressive! I am particularly excited about the Riva Ranch Pinot Noir. The berries are textbook A+ quality—we couldn’t have dreamt a more perfect crop. I am incredibly excited to taste the 2019 Riva Ranch when it’s made, as well as my 2019 Pinot Noir Rosé.

As I write this, I am aware that my harvest experience has been different than what our friends in the North Bay are experiencing. We are deeply saddened that wine regions in the North Bay are affected by more devastating fires. At this time, the fires have not spread to the Livermore Valley or Arroyo Seco. There is minimal smoke in the air and all of our thin-skinned varieties were brought into the winery prior to the fire outbreak. We are hoping for swift fire containment and wishing safety for all families and winery personnel affected. We are doing everything in our power to support wineries affected, including lending our winemaking facility to some of our neighbors who need to move their fruit out of the endangered areas.

Thank you for your support and friendship, I look forward to sharing these wines with you.


Niki Wente

Viniculture Manager & 5th generation Winegrower