To Pick or Not to To Pick? That is the Question


For all of September, harvest was happily humming along in most of Wine Country with truckloads of grapes arriving in the early morning hours at crush pads almost daily — chardonnay, gewürztraminer, pinot noir — and the smell of fermentation hung sweetly in the air. But in Napa Valley, there was one thing that wasn’t [...]

What’s in a Petiole?


Petioles, or the stems of leaves, can tell you a lot about the health of a vine. During flowering, vineyard managers collect petioles from throughout the vineyard and submit the tissue to lab for analysis. “Year after year these results influence our vineyard management decisions and give insight to vine status in terms of nutrient [...]

Auction Napa Valley: The Best Circus in Town


Thomas Keller is happy. Chugging from a large cup of Bouchon coffee, he seems almost jovial on this Friday morning the first day of June. Even his neatly pressed, blue-apron-clad staff is smiling — heads down of course — as they prepare tiny cones of things that will be served to 2,000 people — professionals, [...]

Playlist: Hazy Shade of Winter


Perhaps no song better sums up the long cold and rainy season in vinlandia than “Hazy Shade of Winter.” We’ve been lucky (or unlucky, depending on whether or not you are a vineyard manager) to have a surprisingly mild winter this year. But this week warm and sunny days gave way to our more typical [...]