That I'm writing my harvest column a month earlier than last year, which featured winemakers talking about the surprisingly early 2014 harvest, is a hint something historic is afoot. Welcome to Drought Does California, 2015 edition.
Up in the Santa Lucia Highlands, long-time grape-grower Rich Smith (a veteran of 42 harvests) said a week ago, "We've already got hang-time. We've got color in syrah which is usually still green. That means low yield and smaller berries, so the skin-to-volume ratio goes up, which makes winemakers happy and growers not so much."