Jared Brandt, the co-owner and winemaker of Donkey & Goat on Fifth Street in Berkeley, isn’t getting much sleep these days. It is harvest time all around California, and Brandt and his co-workers have spent hours driving to El Dorado and Mendocino Counties to help harvest Syrah and Pinot Noir grapes. Once the grapes are trucked back to the winery, they are sorted, some stems are removed, and then the whole clusters are put into barrels to ferment, just a few steps on the long path to becoming some of the winery’s award-winning wine.
“The next two weeks are going to be hard,” said Brandt, who owns the winery with his wife, Tracey. On Friday, Sept. 27, the winery processed four tons of grapes.
Many experts believe that the 2012 harvest will be the best in many years. The weather in northern California has been perfect, with hot days, cool nights, and a relatively dry spring.