Learn more about 1989 North America
Not an easy vintage for Californianwine growers, with heavy rain in September seriously disrupting the harvest and the subsequent quality of the wines. Spring was fine and flowering took place in excellent conditions. The weather was consistently warm throughout the summer, although it was not baking hot, so, come September, the grapes were still not fully ripe.
The harvest began in Napa in mid September and a few days later the heavens opened with a vengeance and there followed 4 days of torrential rain. Many growers were then faced with the dilemma of harvesting unripe grapes before rot destroyed them, or waiting to pick grapes that might never shake off the side effects of dilution and rot provoked by the rain.
In Carneros Pinot Noir was generally picked before the rains and the quality is good. The Cabernet Sauvignon based wines of the Napa Valley fared less well, although producers who picked quickly and selectively produced very good wines.