Grand Valley Grape Harvest of 2022
Grapes Ripening at Carlson Vineyards
In the agricultural areas of Western Colorado, we celebrate many different harvests. From cherries in spring, to peaches in summer, to apples in fall, you can almost always find fruit in season. The Grand Valley grape harvest of 2022 may be the sweetest celebration of them all as this is the first grape harvest in three years!
In October 2019, a devastating freeze severely damaged nearly all of the grapevines in the Grand Valley. Older vines damaged by an early hard freeze can take several years to recover and younger vines must be replaced. Therefore, there was very little hope for any grape harvest in 2020. Another freeze in October 2020 resulted in no grape harvest in 2021 due to compounding damage to the vines from the previous two years' freezes. You can read more about this at our blog post: The Challenges of Grape-Growing in the Grand Valley and the Resiliency of Local Wineries.
A somewhat mild and wet spring and a very hot and dry summer produced optimal conditions for grapes in 2022. Thankfully, there were fewer wildfires in the surrounding areas eliminating risk of smoke taint damage to the grapes, which can make wine taste like drinking out of an ashtray. All summer long, grape growers and winemakers were carefully monitoring the grapevines. Although many of the grapevines were still recovering from freeze damage, growers were cautiously optimistic for the grape harvest this year. In general, the 2022 grape yields are less than 2019 but some grapes are definitely better than no grapes at all.
Grape Harvest at Sauvage Spectrum
Typically white grapes ripen and are harvested first; Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and some cold-hardy and American hybrid varietals were starting to be harvested in late August. On September 2nd, Colterris Winery celebrated their first grape harvest of the year. Owner Scott High always marks the first grape harvest with the blessing of the grapes and a champagne toast to commemorate the occasion and give thanks for all of the hard work growing, harvesting, and transforming the grapes into wine. Regarding this year’s harvest he said "It feels normal, which is good." Now all of the winemakers in the Grand Valley are reveling in the normalcy of the hustle and bustle of the grape harvest that will continue 24/7 through the end of October. We all are looking forward to the 2022 vintage! Cheers!
A Tour Group Appreciates the First Grape Harvest at Colterris Winery