The 2019 wine harvest presented many hurdles to local vintners. However, plenty of winemakers in the Santa Clara Valley are optimistic about the product of a wet winter followed by a long summer, which stretched well into the fall.

The late and protracted season led to a later than usual harvest in many of the state’s winegrowing regions, including the South Valley. But as December rears its head, the season seems to finally be over—ending just as the first major storm of the year rolled in to lash Northern California with wind and rain.

Prudy Foxx, a viticulture consultant familiar with the terroir of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Santa Clara Valley says that 2019 looks good overall, even if late heat waves caused some cluster shrivel across the region.

“I think the whites are fantastic this year,” she says, adding that “some of the heavier reds, like cabernet and Rhones, really benefited from long hang time and slow ripening.”

John Aver of Aver Family Vineyards in Gilroy finally brought in cinsault, mourvedre and petite sirah. “I like the quality of the fruit, and acids and sugars seemed very balanced for the most part, but our yields were down slightly,” he says of 2019.

Vic Vanni of Solis Winery—also based in Gilroy—shared Aver’s positive outlook. Vanni picked his last cabernet and sangiovese on Nov. 1. “The crop is about 30 percent more than average and great quality,” he says. “We had a relatively cool summer and mild fall with unusually cool nighttime temperatures the last couple of weeks.”

Sandy Moller of Satori Cellars is also looking forward to her 2019 vintage. “It was a little lighter harvest than times past,” she says, “but the quality of the fruit was outstanding. We picked each varietal at its perfect balance.”

And while Kim Englehart of Lion Ranch Vineyards & Winery in San Martin had a bumpy season on account of equipment issues, she is excited to introduce some new varietals to her winery’s lineup.

“We heard from some in the area about high mildew pressure, but we’ve had no issues using our organic schedule,” Englehart says, adding: “We now grow all eight of the red Chateauneuf du Pape varietals.”