The 2016 growing season saw the welcome arrival of El Nino, the lauded Pacific weather pattern that forecasts a wetter-than-usual winter and spring for California. After the preceding several stressful years of pronounced drought in Napa, the rains brought the welcome sights of reservoirs filled to the brim and local creeks running at capacity. Though bud break was not as early as in 2015, the vines awoke from their winter respite about 10-14 days earlier than average. There were a few mornings that saw vineyard managers up combatting frost, and a small wet weather system moving through during bloom resulted in light sets in some Napa Valley vineyards.
Early summer 2016 was temperate, with fewer days of triple-digit temperatures than Napa Valley has come to expect. August delivered heat per the usual, and the vintage continued to track in the 10-14 days early range. September dawned with a classic Indian Summer weather pattern - lovely warm days with dry breezes and cool nights - the epitome of perfection for grapes finishing their journey towards ripeness.
Overall the vintage was characterized by excellent flavors and balance, in a crop that was smaller and earlier than usual (though not as small, nor as early, as the 2015 vintage). Wines created in 2016 should develop beautifully in the winery, and have excellent potential for aging in the bottle for years to come.