a x r ▲ napa valley 2017
The 2017 vintage started with significant winter rain and flooding that made us predict a relatively large berry size. We had very early heat waves in April with some heat waves reaching 90 to 95 degrees that started stressing the vines reasonably early in the season. Late in the season, we had ten days of extreme heat with temperatures over 105-degree days in September. The growing season was able to stay in balance due to winter rain and vegetative growth combined with heat spells in spring and summer, which kept the vine in a stressful environment preventing the creation of large berries. We ended up with an average berry diameter which gave us a beautiful extraction. We harvested all of our fruit by the first week in October, which was lucky because on October 8th the big fires started. As we say in French, “without struggle; there is no glory.” In 2017, we had plenty of struggles, but the quality of the vintage is stunning, and we believe it is one of the most exceptional vintages since 2002.