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2019 Harvest Begins in Napa Valley

Posted on August 13, 2019 by Admin

Photo credit: Sarah Anne Risk

Average crop size and spectacular quality anticipated from 2019 growing season

Napa, CA (August 13, 2019) – The Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) is pleased to announce that harvest has begun in Napa Valley. As is traditionally the case, harvest typically begins with the sparkling wine producers and Rodgers Vineyard will begin picking Pinot Noir for Mumm Napa Valley today. Throughout Napa Valley most white varieties will be harvested through the end of August, while the Cabernet Sauvignon harvest will likely begin mid-September.

“We have had favorable ripening conditions in Napa Valley over the past 30 days,” said NVG President Paul Goldberg, who is also president of Bettinelli Vineyards. “The very mild, early-season temperatures have led to an incredible growing season.”

Heavy rains in March and April cultivated robust cover crops, which organically enriched the soil with an abundance of nutrients. The heavy rain also delayed pruning and bud break by a few weeks in some parts of Napa Valley, but that hasn’t had any effect on the overall crop. The rain in April created a bit of shatter in Chardonnay clusters during bloom but didn’t significantly reduce crop size. Growers compare it to the same amount of reduction that occurs normally during crop thinning and they call the April rains “nature’s way of thinning.” Fruit set was right on course during the spring for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. Napa Valley received more rain in May, followed by a heat spike in June, which sparked canopy growth. Since that initial short heat wave, the weather throughout the summer has been moderate and veraison has been “beautiful and even” according to Goldberg. Veraison is an exciting time in the ripening cycle when white grapes transition from green to gold and red grapes transition from green to red, a sign that harvest is just around the corner.

“With the late-season rains, vine growth took off, so crews were still leafing and hedging the vineyards when – boom – it was time for harvest,” added Kendall Hoxsey-Onysko, a Napa Valley Grapegrowers board member and the business manager for Yount Mill Vineyards. Yount Mill Vineyards grows five varieties for Mumm Napa Valley: Pinot Meunier; Pinot Noir; Pinot Blanc; Pinot Grigio; and Chardonnay and will harvest their first fruit for Mumm this Saturday, August 17th.

Each year, the Napa Valley Grapegrowers hosts the definitive summary on the valley’s harvest and streams it live for thousands of viewers world-wide.  This year’s Harvest Press Conference will be aired on Facebook October 15th.  A media alert will be circulated with timing and other details.

About Napa Valley Grapegrowers
NVG is a non-profit trade organization that has played a vital role in strengthening Napa Valley’s reputation as a world-class viticultural region for over 43 years.  Its mission is to preserve and promote Napa Valley’s world-class vineyards.  NVG represents 725 Napa County grapegrowers and associated businesses.

For more information, visit www.napagrowers.org Follow Napa Valley Grapegrowers on Facebook and Instagram

Article courtesy of Wine Industry Network

Spring Festivals in Sonoma, Napa & Mendocino Counties

Posted on April 09, 2019 by Mark Stevens

The spring season is filled with opportunities to celebrate and savor the exquisite vintages, flavors and beauty of wine country. Discover a few of our favorite upcoming festivals and celebrations you won’t want to miss!

Sonoma County

Sebastopol: 72nd Annual Apple Blossom Festival, April 13 – 14

Sebastopol celebrates the coming of spring with a parade on Saturday and two days of festivities. Come see the diverse and colorful parade floats, complete with old cars and Dachshund troops. The festival includes delicious food and fun craft vendors, as well as microbrews and local wines. Two stages will feature nonstop music both days!

Petaluma: Butter and Egg Days Parade and Festival, April 27

This year’s festival celebrates the 100th anniversary of National Egg Day. Celebrate Petaluma’s rich agricultural history with a full day of contests and music, as well as a parade in the afternoon. There are plenty of food and craft vendors to explore, plus two beer gardens.

Santa Rosa: Luther Burbank Rose Parade and Festival, May 18

With a theme of “Celebrating 125 Years!” this years parade and festival is an opportunity to come together and celebrate the new season. The parade will open the day and a fun-filled festival will follow. Come out and join this resilient community for a day of fun and celebration!

Napa County

Bottlerock Napa Valley, May 24 – 26

With nearly 100 incredible bands featured this year, BottleRock has something for everyone. Enjoy a weekend in the sunny wine country with an abundance of wine, beer, food, and cocktails.

Mendocino County

Boonville: 22nd Annual Legendary Boonville Beer Festival, April 27

The Boonville Beer Festival will feature over 80 breweries, including Boonville’s iconic Anderson Valley Brewing Company. There will be tons of delicious food to soak up all that beer, and fun vendors to explore. Ages 21 and up.

Potter Valley: 72nd Annual Spring Festival & Rodeo, May 24 – May 27

Head to Potter Valley for a parade, sanctioned rodeo events, BBQ, axe throwing competitions, a raffle, and plenty of vendors that will keep you sated and happy.

Ultimate Guide: Wine Caves

Posted on December 10, 2018 by Admin

Visiting wineries in Napa and Sonoma Counties is a bucket list experience that draws wine enthusiasts from all around the world, but wine tasting is really just the tip of the iceberg. Top your visit off with a visit to a wine cave for a truly memorable—even magical—experience.

The cave is where perfect temperature and humidity allow wines to age gracefully and transform from goodto award-winning. Caves provide the ideal storage environment for wine. The temperature remains constant—usually around 58℉ in California—and the humidity is relatively high. This, in turn, minimizes evaporation of the wines as they age.

The Soul of the Wine

There may be something intangible that caves add to wine as well—this is where the magic comes in. Martha McClellan, the winemaker at Sloan Estate, suggests the caves add to the soul of the wine. In her own words… “The cave’s purpose is to provide a tranquil, peace-filled atmosphere for the wine to rest and age for two or more years. In the end, this beauty contributes tothe soul of the wine, nurtured from vine, to tank, to barrel and ultimately to bottle.’”

Benefits of Caves

The constant temperature and humidity is not only good for the wines, it is good for the wineries and our world at large. By utilizing the stable cave climate there is no need to use expensive and energy intensive equipment to store wine. And by building underground, wineries leave the valuable real estate above ground available for planting.

Then to Now: The Evolution of Gourmet Caves

Caves were constructed in Sonoma and Napa Counties beginning in the 1870’s, but the caves that are built today are a far cry from their predecessors. Today’s caves are used for much more than just storage—they are designed to play a vital role in the hospitality of the wineries. Caves are used for tasting rooms, retail shops, office space, special events, private dinners, and even music venues.

This diversity of functions is great news for visitors, because the magic of being in a wine cave is an experience that you will not want to miss!

Go Deeper

Check out this fabulous guide to caves in Northern California that you can visit today!

Want a cave of your own? We are offering a well established winery off the iconic Silverado Trail with a 4500± sq. ft. cave of its own. LEARN MORE

 

*Quote from Martha McClellan courtesy of californiabountiful.com

*Featured image courtesy of Far Niente Winery

 

 

Yorkville Highlands Appellation: A Hidden Gem in Mendocino County

Posted on November 14, 2018 by Admin

A Hidden Gem…


The Yorkville Highlands American Viticultural Area (AVA) is located in Mendocino County along Highway 128, perfectly situated in the heart of Northern California’s world-renowned wine country. 
Northwest of the Yorkville Highlands lies the Anderson Valley AVA, famous for its Pinot Noir; and to the Southwest is Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley AVA, known for its Cabernet Sauvignon.

Superior Red Wines


Comprised of 40,000 acres, the Yorkville Highlands AVA is known for its red varietals—a departure from the rest of Mendocino County, where Chardonnay reigns supreme. 
Over 20 different varietals are grown in the AVA, but the largest plantings are Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Merlot.

Distinctive Micro-Climate


The vineyards of Yorkville Highlands are planted on bench land that ranges from 1,000 feet to 2,200 feet in elevation.
The higher elevation creates a unique micro-climate defined by night time cooling trends and a moderate climate. The moderate climate allows for an extended and even growing period.

Winter rainfall in the Yorkville Highlands can be quite high, with typical years averaging nearly 68 inches. Fortunately, there is rarely rain during the growing season.

Long Harvest Season & Complex Robust Flavors


The Yorkville Highlands AVA benefits from a long growing season.
Most years, grapes are harvested later than the surrounding AVAs.

The long ripening process yields fruit that has higher acidity and robust flavors, while still maintaining balance and structure. For red wines, the resulting flavor reveals complex tannins that are not overpowering.



Excellent Soils, Distinguished Fruit


The soils in the Highlands have superior drainage with a high gravel content. 
This distinctive soil type encourages the vines to root deeply. This, in turn, leads to hardy, low vigor plants. The vineyards of this region produce exceptional fruit with highly concentrated flavors.

 

We are thrilled to announce a rare opportunity to acquire 116± acres of premier vineyards in the heart of California’s wine country. LEARN MORE >>

 

Art Trails of Sonoma County – Like a Treasure Hunt (but better!)

Posted on October 10, 2018 by Admin

Sonoma County Art Trails goes onto my schedule, every year, twice a year, without fail.  And this isn’t just because I live next door to the talented Carole Watanabe.  Well, that could be part of it… but more so, Art Trails creates a great excuse to get out & about to new places in Sonoma County.  As we are driving down numerous hidden back-country roads toward our next stop on the Art Trails, we have the perfect excuse to stop off at a nearby winery or restaurant for refreshment and sustenance.  After all, looking at so much great art is sort of like an endurance race, requiring (delicious) food & hydration……

I am proud to call Sebastopol my home of many years. I love its progressive attitude and upscale down-to-earth vibe, among other things. So its no surprise that my town is home to the largest Art Center in California, north of San Francisco—Sebastopol Center for the Arts—responsible for creating this fun adventure known as Sonoma County Art Trails.

If you’re new to Art Trails, here’s a great way to take advantage of this event: Go to the Sebastopol Center for the Arts at 282 S High St, Sebastopol, CA 95472. They are open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10-4 pm and have extended hours over the weekend from 10-5 pm (10/13 & 14 and 10/20 & 21). Once there, you can pick up the Art Trails Catalog and Map, plus view the participants’ paintings throughout the gallery (each artist has one piece hanging in the gallery).  Or simply CLICK HERE for a digital version & print at your leisure.

Meanwhile, enjoy rambling around all the open art studios throughout Sonoma County….and have a great, art-filled weekend!

— Mark

 

Schedule for Sonoma County Art Trails

Sundays and Saturdays, October 13, 2018 – October 21, 2018

Upcoming Dates:

~ Saturday, October 13, 2018 – 10:00am to 05:00pm
~ Sunday, October 14, 2018 – 10:00am to 05:00pm
~ Saturday, October 20, 2018 – 10:00am to 05:00pm

Cost: Free

Location:

Various Sonoma County Art Studios
Sebastopol Center for the Arts
282 S. High Street
SebastopolCalifornia 95472

For More Information:

Contact: Sebastopol Center for the Arts
Local: 707-829-4797
Email: info@sebarts.org

 

*Featured image courtesy of sonomacountyarttrails.org

Sebastopol Highlight: The Barlow

Posted on October 02, 2018 by Admin

With the holidays around the corner, you may be looking for inspiration and specialty gifts for your loved ones. Look no further than The Barlow in Sebastopol. First opened in 2013, The Barlow is almost a town unto itself, filled with premier shops, tasting rooms, breweries, and restaurants. Set aside a few hours to drink, eat, picnic, walk and shop in this beautiful outdoor shopping center featuring some of the best products Sonoma County has to offer.

Shops

Scout West County has been called “The Barlow’s new modern general store.” They have a wide selection of clothes, homegoods, and gifts focused on sustainability and craftsmanship.
Sonoma Flower Mart brings wholesale flowers to the public. They work with 15+ local farms to source high quality flowers year-round.
Community Market is a full-service grocery store featuring organic and health foods. Stop in to fill your kitchen larder or enjoy prepared food from the deli.

Also check out: Adele Stoll, Tamarind Clothing, Gallery 300, Elsie Green, California Sister Floral, The Passdoor, and Soap Cauldron.

Dining and Drinking

Kosho is a new addition to The Barlow. They offer modern Japanese cuisine utilizing fresh, high quality ingredients.
Golden State Cider (coming Spring 2019) uses the finest west coast apples to make a selection of high quality hard ciders.
Barrio: Fresca Cocina Mexicana serves gourmet Mexican street food in a contemporary style.
Pax Wines is focused on making wines from Syrah, Chenin Blanc, Gamay, Carignan grapes with as little intervention as possible.

Also check out: Seismic Brewing Company (coming soon), The Farmer’s Wife (coming soon), Crooked Goat Brewing, Friedman Wines, Guayaki, Kosta Browne Winery, MacPhail Tasting Lounge, The Nectary, Spirit Works Distillery, Two Dog Night Creamery, Taylor Lane Coffee, Village Bakery, WM Cofield Cheesemakers, Woodfour Brewing, Zazu Kitchen + Farm.

The Barlow also has an event center that is available to host weddings, corporate events or private events celebrating any special occasion.

*images courtesy of thebarlow.net and www.fdc-comp.com