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Early Spring at BELL

The water level has been THE story of the last several months, but with the end of February, Premiere Napa Valley takes center stage.  This two part picture displays the difference an hour can make, taken just as the doors open and again, at mid-morning this last Saturday, in the Read More…

SUN is here today

Welcome to 2017!  This is being sent while we have a sun break, before the rain returns in earnest for the weekend.  Napa has had almost 20 inches of rain by New Year.  As you can see in this picture, the little slough behind our winery is over half full.  Read More…

2017 is on the Horizon

It’s the last week before holidays command everyone’s complete attention.  We are busy closing annual files, making last additions to wines in barrel, and tracking errant shipping orders.  Temperatures have dropped.  My thermometer was under 30 for the first time this season.  Our fence posts were thickly frosted with white Read More…

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…