Welcome to the John Anthony Vineyard Blog
After a wet winter and cool spring, things are finally heating up across John Anthony’s Napa Valley estates. All signs are pointing to a later harvest and phenomenal grape quality.
The historic rains of 2023 have created healthy, vibrant vine canopies. Bud break and bloom came later than usual, while warm July weather helped keep cluster development on track. Additionally, veraison started a few weeks later than typical, with our Cabernet Sauvignon fruit just now starting to show color. If we extrapolate these trends into fall, we can expect an extended growing season with excellent hang time—especially if we can avoid any October storm fronts.
“If it unfolds as predicted, we will have an excellent vintage on our hands,” says Sander Scheer, John Anthony Vineyards Director of Vineyard.
The John Anthony vineyard team is staying busy as we head into the second half of summer. In late July, they spent considerable energy on the process of “leafing”—removing vine leaves to bring dappled sunlight into the fruiting zone. They are now carefully culling clusters from the vines in order to (1) create balanced yields; (2) remove under-ripe fruit; and (3) put the remaining fruit in position to fully ripen.
These tasks require skill, intuition, and insight. Some decisions come down to judgment calls. This is where vintner John Anthony Truchard’s more than 30 years of Napa Valley wine-growing experience makes all the difference. He has assembled one of the most talented vineyard teams in the industry.
The excitement for the 2023 vintage extends across our various estates, such as Church Vineyard, Los Carneros AVA; Coombsville Vineyard, Coombsville AVA; and R/D, GnR, Epps, and Crane Vineyards, Oak Knoll District AVA.
With the rains replenishing the groundwater and reservoirs, we could not have asked for a better winter. As long as the weather stays steady, the later growing season will remain in our favor. For our Cabernet Sauvignons in particular–we believe that this could be a vintage for the ages. After 20 years, we remain in awe of what the incredible Napa Valley is capable of achieving.