Opolo Harvest 2023

Harvest 2023: That’s a Wrap

The harvest and the holidays nearly collided this year with one of the latest, and greatest, growing seasons in recent memory.

The very last of our fermentations—a tank of Zinfandel from Zurita Vineyard in the Adelaida District—was pressed off on November 29.

“We almost made it to December,” cracked Winemaker James Schreiner, who was joined by Winemaker Chris Rougeot, Assistant Winemaker Skye Bruce and Cellar Master Ernesto Bustamente Jr. for some weekend pumpovers on the weekend after Thanksgiving—a rare dose of post-holiday weekend duty for the winemakers.

All of the effort is paying off, as the quality of the young wines is off the charts. The color intensity of the reds is extremely high. Acidities and phenolics are just right, and the fruit flavors are defined and abundant.

“Hands down, this is one of the best vintages we’ve ever seen at Opolo,” James says.

However, it was not the easiest vintage from a logistical standpoint. Whereas our warmer eastside sites typically ripen two to three weeks ahead of our cooler westside estates, this year they all seemed to reach peak ripeness at once—a result of the long, extended growing period this year. This meant that the cellar was virtually overflowing at times.

“Let’s just say we had a very busy October,” James says. “But now it’s officially in the books and we couldn’t be happier.”

Grapes at Opolo Vineyards