Harvest 2023: A Tale of Patience and Reward

Growing Season: Slow & Mild

This winter brought an historic 70 inches of rain that refilled most reservoirs and lakes to full capacity and took Napa Valley out of the drought. Come budbreak this spring, the moisture in the soil had been restored, thereby reducing our need for irrigation throughout the summer months. This combined with cooler weather had slowed the development of the grapes, who took their time to beautifully ripen. 

Harvest: the Long Game

We kicked off harvest on the evening of September 7 in Carneros with Chardonnay for our sparkling wines, about three weeks later than average. Despite tracking behind schedule, this harvest shaped up to be a winemaker’s dream, in terms of both quantity and quality. 

Our Cabernet fruit is showing remarkable color and concentration and the Chardonnay remains pure and bright with beautiful acidity and structure. The weather has held up for our benefit, similar to the stunning 2018 vintage, with no rain or heat spikes while the grapes continued to mature on the vine.

The delay did result in a compacted harvest season in which our team worked quickly to fill then empty the winery once fruit started rushing in. But, we were eager to wrap up harvest on November 9 with Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon from Frank Family’s S&J Vineyard in Napa’s Capell Valley. The goal now is to get all the fruit pressed off before Thanksgiving to give our deserving team time to enjoy the holiday.

“The 2023 vintage in one word is exceptional,” says Winemaker Todd Graff. “It may have been a late year, but it was a great year and we cannot wait to taste the beautiful wine that will come from it.”


To us, being sustainable means protecting the soil, water, and air – all components that contribute to the vigor and flavor of our grapes, and ultimately our wines. In 2014, we accomplished a milestone achievement in sustainability when our winery became third-party certified by Napa Green, which we’ve maintained throughout the years. In 2022, Frank Family began powering our winery operations with 100% renewable electricity, allowing us to completely eliminate our electricity-based greenhouse gas emissions. This year, we announced that we’ll expand our impact even further by installing solar at our winery, which upon completion, will generate over 80% of our electricity demand.