It's a day that wine growers, wine makers and wine drinkers all look forward to. This year the wait for that day was longer than usual. Cool summer temperatures pushed back the beginning of harvest by nearly two weeks. I visited one of the first wineries in Napa Valley to start picking grapes this year, Mumm Napa Winery. Workers began in the cool, pre-dawn hours at nearby vineyards picking Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris grapes for sparkling wine.
About 9:30am the first trucks rolled in loaded with yellow bins filled with grapes. Once a vineyard starts picking grapes, it's really a flat-out process to get everything off the vines. At Mumm, it was expected that the first day of harvest would bring in more than 60 tons of grapes. Tomorrow, Mumm will ratchet that number up to 180 tons. Workers wore powder blue t-shirts that said "Endless Summer" on the back as a way to describe just how long vintners in both the Napa and Sonoma wine countries have been waiting for harvest to begin.