Looking back at the 2012 grape-growing season

The 2012 growing season in the North Coast was, in many respects, nearly perfect. Shot in vineyards across Napa Valley, Lake County, Mendocino, and Sonoma County, this is what it looked like. After a dry winter, much welcome spring rains saturated the soil and filled reservoirs. The primordial clusters that were nestled in so many [...]

Primordial Clusters, From Galaxies to Grapevines

Hubble primordial clusters courtesy NASA

In January, 2012 NASA researchers made a very important discovery. The furthest protocluster of galaxies ever seen. Thirteen billion light years from Earth, scientists, with the help of a little guy named Hubble, saw a cluster of five galaxies just beginning to form. They referred to the galaxies as primordial clusters and predicted that they [...]

Zen and the Art of Pruning

Felco shears

It’s late morning in the last week of February. I can feel the morning sun just beginning to penetrate the fog — and my sweater. I’m standing in front of a grape vine in a small vineyard just east of the town of Napa. The vine is in what we like to call dormancy, even [...]

Vineyard Report: Eraser Tips and Early Bud Breaks


The vines are waking and early budding vines are beginning to show themselves across the region.

Pruning Old-Vine Sauvignon Blanc


Pruning old-vine sauvignon blanc vines can be a dizzying experience. The above pictured vines are in a valley floor vineyard in Napa.