The Crush November 2023 - 1

Volume 49 | Issue 11 | November 2023
Article by Ted Rieger
California's 2023 winegrape harvest will continue
well into November, running two to four weeks later
than in recent years as a result of weather factors
that led to a later and longer growing season.
Although plentiful winter/spring precipitation
statewide was a welcome relief after multiple
drought years, helping to restore and promote vine
health and growth, later season growing conditions
created either challenges or benefits depending on
vineyard location and the grape variety.
Allied Grape Growers President Jeff Bitter believes
harvest could continue for some locations up to
Thanksgiving, but the longer grapes stay on the
vine, the more susceptible they are to weather
factors and the less likely they may be picked. Low
temperatures into the 20s already occurred in late
October in locations such as Paso Robles, and Lake
and Mendocino Counties. Although a short period
of freezing temperatures may not damage grapes,
it can shut down leaves and canopies to prevent further
While the size of the grape crush is still unknown, and
more difficult to estimate this year, Bitter observed: " My
guess at this point is that total crush tonnage may not be
much different than last year (3.376 million tons based
on the Final 2022 Crush Report), not because we had a
short crop on the vines, but because a significant amount
did not or will not make it in, either because of losses
from rot or mildew, or it did not ripen enough to get
picked, or it was unsold and left on the vine. "
The wet winter with mild spring temperatures
resulted in higher mildew pressure statewide during
the growing season. Later season
rainfall of 1 to 2 inches in mid-August
from the remnants of Hurricane Hilary
Winegrape Harvest 2023 is much later than recent years leading to
additional challenges for growers.
in the southern San Joaquin Valley led to impacts from
Botrytis and sour rot. This took a toll on early season
varieties such as French colombard, chardonnay, and
chenin blanc. Zinfandel, with its tight clusters, was
the most impacted variety from August rain and rot in
the Interior and Valley from Bakersfield to Lodi, with
significant crop going unpicked and grapes rejected by
However, high precipitation early in the year contributed
to healthy vines and canopies, and a cooler growing
season provided benefits for some varieties in the right
locations. As Bitter explained: " Those growers that were
not impacted by mildew and rot issues and that had
grapes that made it to optimum Brix levels are reporting
very good quality, and good yields this year. They
benefitted from a milder and longer growing season,
without major heat spikes as in recent years that can
negatively impact color and flavor. "

The Crush November 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Crush November 2023

The Crush November 2023 - 1
The Crush November 2023 - 2
The Crush November 2023 - 3
The Crush November 2023 - 4
The Crush November 2023 - 5
The Crush November 2023 - 6
The Crush November 2023 - 7
The Crush November 2023 - 8
The Crush November 2023 - 9
The Crush November 2023 - 10
The Crush November 2023 - 11
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The Crush November 2023 - 14