We were pleased that by harvest time our 2016 Sauvignon Blanc crop looked picture-perfect. When walking the vineyard a few days before harvest we discovered some clusters affected with SAD, which describes both the grapes and the vintner's response. Sugar Accumulation Disorder
occurs after veraison and causes low sugar accumulation; it was once named "sour shrivel", which accurately describes the taste and appearance of SAD-affected berries. The causes are not fully understood and no methods for control have been developed. Not all vines were affected, on affected vines not all clusters were affected and in affected clusters not all berries were affected. Our solution was to have the vineyard crew go through the field, vine by vine, look at and feel every cluster, then remove any flaccid cluster that had shriveled or was about to shrivel. It took us two days to locate and discard SAD affected fruit. We harvested the field over the next two nights, with a separate crew preceding the pickers, feeling and discarding any cluster that had turned SAD in the last 24 hours. From our many field samples, we had estimated the sugars and acids of unaffected clusters and were delighted when the harvested juice met our finicky expectations; a happy ending to a SAD story.
Removing Sauvignon Blanc leaves prior to harvest. At the 2017 Mendocino Crab and Wine Festival, the professional judges rated Navarro Savvy as the best Mendocino wine to complement crab