Quick Take:

Santa Cruz County vineyards are getting into the heart of harvesting season — beginning with pinot noir. Despite a delayed start to this fall’s harvest, local winemakers say it’s a shaping up to be a great year.

Grape harvesting season is officially in full swing for vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The harvest is running several weeks behind the typical schedule because of this year’s cool, moderate weather.

At Lester Family Vineyards in Aptos, the harvest began Sept. 20, about a month later than past years. The vineyard, which was started in 1998 by Dan and Pat Lester, produces award-winning pinot noir, syrah and chardonnay.

Lookout photojournalist Kevin Painchaud got to spend several hours Oct. 2 with the crew of around a dozen workers as they carefully harvested the vineyards’ pinot noir grapes.

Click here to read his full story and photo essay.

Kevin Painchaud is an international award-winning photojournalist. He has shot for various publications for the past 30 years, appearing on sites nationwide, including ABC News, CBS News, CNN, MSNBC, The...