In the 2001 growing season, we successfully harvested 20 Mediterranean wine grape cultivars planted in an experimental vineyard at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center (UCHREC). Small lots of experimental wine have also been made, and are in process. Phenological data (budbreak, bloom, veraison and harvest) were taken. Harvest data included yield per vine, number of clusters per vine, and average cluster weight. Fruit measurements included average berry weight, total acidity, pH, and sugar expressed in percent brix. Most cultivars ripened adequately, but it is still difficult to fully ripen Montepulciano and Aglianico under our conditions.
Comprehensive final reports were written for the Lake County Mediterranean Wine Grape Cultivar plots (see attached). In general, the cultivars being evaluated in Lake County did well in the trial at Red Hills, where the soils limited the vines to more modest yields, and there was sufficient heat to ripen everything. In the Highland Springs plot, few of the cultivars were able to adequately ripen due to large crops and cooler weather conditions. Data were presented at the Lake County Annual Wine Grape Day on December 7th, 2001. Sample wines made from the plots were also tasted, and it is clear that there is potential for high quality wine to be made from these selections, especially Syrah, Sangiovese, Barbera and Dolcetto.1