thumbnail-SWC-redThere’s been lots of talk up and down the West Coast about the early wine grape harvest this year due to a warm spring and hot summer temperatures.  Like California and Oregon, Washington State’s harvest is coming on fast, and Novelty Hill’s estate vineyard, Stillwater Creek is ripening quickly too.  Harvest began in August here on the Royal Slope of the Frenchman Hills for the first time since the vineyard’s first harvest in the early 2000s.

Vineyard director Ed Kelly offered up a few interesting stats to put the season in perspective.  In 2011, Stillwater picked its first block of Merlot on Oct. 7; in 2013, the vineyard harvested its first Merlot grapes on Sept. 18th; in 2014, the vineyard picked the first load of Merlot on Sept. 16th.  This year, Stillwater Creek harvested its first bin of Merlot on Aug. 28th, an astounding 41 days earlier than 2011.

The season’s been a blur, so we are particularly appreciative of our friends at HOOT Studios who visited Stillwater Creek on Sept. 7th to capture some beautiful pictures of the site just before harvest kicked into high gear.  View photos on our Facebook page.