On Sept. 20, pickers for Sonoma's Kistler Vineyards headed out to chardonnay vineyards at 2 a.m., their headlamps lighting the way. Night harvesting when it's cool maintains acidity in the grapes, which gives the winery's cult whites zing and verve. By 9 a.m., grapes were on the crush pad, already being turned into wine.
I thought they tasted delicious. But as in every wine region during the stressful harvest season, the questions are: How big is the crop and how good will the wines be?..