Warm Weather Means Early Wine Grape Harvest

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (July 27, 2013)—In recent years cool temperatures slowed ripening and kept grapes on the vine until fall, but this year growers in the nation's premier wine region are facing a heat wave making for one of the earliest harvests in recent memory.

Weather hasn't been this warm across the Napa Valley since 1997, a year that produced a highly regarded vintage.

If the heat continues as expected this year it could mean fruit-intensive wines from an early and abundant crop.

Wine grapes are one of California's top commodities, a crop worth $3.2 billion on the vine last year that created more than $34 billion worth of wine.

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