2017 RILEY'S ROW CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NORTH COAST CALIFORNIA
In 2017 crop set was generally better than in 2015 and 2016. A severe heat spike in late August resulted in some damage to grapes….but thick skinned varieties like Cabernet were much less affected. People generally believe that a heat spike results in grapes that are riper. In fact, a heat spike like the one we experienced in 2017 shuts down the vines completely. Brix levels initially spiked due to desiccation but once things cooled down and the vines had a chance to recover Brix levels dropped back to where they were prior to the heatwave. In many vineyards we ended up harvesting at lower Brix levels than in 2016.