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Late Fall at Bell Wine Cellars

We can hardly believe it is the middle of November – the whirl of harvest and then traveling to work in the Florida market has us spinning.  While we were in Florida, Napa received several days of rain.  YAY!  See how deep green the grass next to our driveway is Read More…

2016 Harvest is a Wrap! Holidays are almost here!

Our first, drenching October storm is behind us, leaving one and a half inches of rain in Napa, twice as much in St. Helena.  We’ve wrapped up bringing in the fruit, and now all the action is inside the winery.  Over the last five years, we’ve gradually added new vineyards Read More…

Harvest is Happening!

It’s happening!  Harvest report from BELL Our Sauvignon blanc is in the cellar and is almost completely dry.  10% of the wine is in barrels, including a new one designed expressly for Sauvignon blanc, with a very narrow shape that is about 8 inches longer than our usual Bordeaux barrels.  Read More…

Harvest on the Horizon

Harvest is indeed around the corner, as veraison in the Merlot can attest to.  Chris Stewart, our newest member added to the cellar staff, and Aikaterini, our harvest intern from Greece, sampled the fruit in our Sauvignon blanc vineyard this week and found sugar levels exceeding 16 brix.  Next week, Read More…

Early Summer in Napa Valley

The early summer growing season is in full swing now – Chardonnay berries are the size of   peas and the Merlot, always a bit behind, is about the size of BB shot.  This week, we’ve had some typical summer weather.  Heavy fog in the early morning, gradually clearing by noon, Read More…

Spring, Bottling and Budbreak in Napa Valley

We bottle tomorrow and the crush pad is stacked with cases of empty bottles, huge plastic sacks of corks and the capsules that cover them, as well as the bottle labels.  The long semi that houses the mobile bottling line arrives today.  We’ll sanitize hoses, get the pumps set up Read More…

Early Spring at the Winery

The spring rainy season has us working inside this time of year, both taking care of the brand new wines from the 2015 vintage and getting the older wines ready for bottling.  The “getting ready” is a long process, and includes evaluating the corks that are the final touch on Read More…

January 2016 – Off to a Great Start

2015 holidays have receded in the rear view and we’re fired up for 2016.  Welcome rains have swept through many parts of California – here in Yountville they’ve brought the dry creek behind the winery back to life.  Leaving last night, I was serenaded by a very healthy chorus of Read More…

December 2015 – Napa Winter Beauty

The month of December is upon us, with all its attendant seasonal whirl.  Vines are shedding their colorful leaves as the weather changes.  Grasses in the vineyard  have sprung back to life with the recent storms.  The stony palisades on the eastern sides of the valley are still barren, but Read More…

November 2015 – Three Little Words

RAIN RAIN RAIN Those are the three little words I’m referring to – the musical patter of raindrops greeted us this last night as the first storm system of the late fall season swept in off the Pacific.  Often observed close to Christmas, “El Niño”, the weather system characterized by Read More…