LODI, Calif., Aug. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards kicked off its 2016 harvest, following an early, warm spring and consistent summer temperatures in the Lodi Viticultural Area. The beginning of harvest signals the busiest and most stressful time for the industry, as winegrape growers keep one eye on their work in the vineyard and the other on the weather, as fall, and the threat of rain, approaches.
"The extra sunshine and consistent heat were great for this year's vintage," said Aaron Lange, director of viticulture operations at LangeTwins and chairman of the California Association of Winegrape Growers. "Our grapes are ripening early, so we've been able to get a head start on harvest for our sparkling wines, and will hopefully be able to let our bold reds, like Zinfandel, develop a little more before fall weather heads our way."
Nearly all of the vineyards in the central valley will begin harvest by the end of August. The season is expected to last eight to ten weeks for larger operations like LangeTwins. The decision to begin harvest is a combination of science and experience, as growers pay close attention to the weather; predictive measurements like Brix level (a measure of sugar content) to identify the potential flavor of a grape; and records from past vintages to produce the most consistent, quality grapes for winemaking.
"It's difficult to predict our harvest this early on," continued Lange. "Our goal is to make the best decisions we can with the most information available, but it ultimately comes down to the weather's cooperation down the stretch."
Fourth and fifth-generation growers like the Langes have worked to transform the Lodi appellation from a supplier of grapes to a world-class wine producing region, with more than 750 winegrowers, 80 wineries, over 100 varieties of wine and Wine Enthusiast's 2015 Region of the Year Award to show for it. Lodi is the largest appellation in the U.S., with more acreage than both Napa Valley and Sonoma County. It's also the Zinfandel Capital of the World, with 17,873 acres dedicated to California's original winegrape. The region's dry climate is ideal for growing Zinfandel grapes, as half an inch of rain is enough to ruin an entire crop late in the season. Heavy rain will cause grapes to over-ripen and rot on the vine, costing vineyards thousands in losses.
"Zin is usually one of the last grapes off the vine in September, because the flavors need more time to develop," shared co-founding twin, Randall Lange. "We're always holding our breath this time of year, but the pressure usually makes for an adventure all its own – and what's wine without a good story?"
About LangeTwins Winery and Vineyards
For five generations, the LangeTwins' family has been a sustainable winegrape grower in the Lodi appellation of California. In 2005, LangeTwins broke ground on a winery just 90 miles east of the San Francisco Bay Area, and in 2006 was ready to showcase their passion for growing quality wine grapes and creating exceptional wine. The LangeTwins Winery produces wines for its collection of brands including LangeTwins Reserve, LangeTwins Estate and newly released label, Caricature. LangeTwins believes that "To be generational, we must be sustainable," and practices this commitment every day through sustainable winegrowing, habitat restoration projects and using renewable energy throughout the winemaking process. LangeTwins is the recipient of the 2014 International Award of Excellence in Sustainable Winegrowing Competition, honored by the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.
SOURCE LangeTwins Winery and Vineyards