Wine Country 'banana belt'

  • A vineyard tractor is pulled in to position early Friday morning August 1, 2008 as the first wine (champagne) grapes are harvested for Gloria Ferrer Winery at Hunter Farms in Glen Ellen. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)2008

The Robert Hunter vineyard seems to be a bit of an anomaly. The vineyard sits in "a little banana belt" east of Sonoma Mountain where the fog rarely reaches, Iantosca said.

Frey said he was a little surprised to hear harvest was beginning so soon this year.

"But there is such great variation from vineyard to vineyard that that can happen," Frey said.

Grape Harvest Begins


Most sparkling wine producers still say they are a week or two away from starting to pick. "I don't think it'll be a rush to harvest," he said.

Even Iantosca predicts that once he's done with the Glen Ellen vineyard Tuesday, he'll have a week or more break until grapes in Gloria Ferrer's cooler Carneros vineyards are ready.

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com.

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