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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…

October 2015 – A Stirring Conclusion to Early Harvest

Can you believe it?  Columbus Day and pumpkins galore are right around the corner.  This year, we will be completed with harvest before the holiday that bids summer farewell.  It’s true that we started the 2015 growing season early and therefore expected to probably end early too, but this is Read More…

September 2015 – Harvest Happens!

If its September, it must be harvest – Napa actually began harvesting grapes for the sparkling wine houses in July.  One of the earliest harvests in the last fifty years, it’s worth remembering that it began with an early bud-break this warm, very dry spring.  The relatively even summer temperatures Read More…

August 2015 – Harvest on the Horizon

It‘s hot hot hot – just right for August.  Unfortunately, some of the HOT is due to the concern about recent fires nearby.  On July 22, the Wragg fire, believed to have started by a car accident, quickly began sending up dark grey plumes one valley east of us, near Read More…

July 2015 Summer has arrived with the Best of Napa RED!

The 2015 California State Fair handed out their awards last week, and we couldn’t be more pleased.  Many BELL fans know we don’t send our wines out for review except the few retrospectives we participate in through Napa Valley Vintners.  In general, we’ve always felt that giving one person the Read More…

June 2015 Summer is almost HERE

Hay bales have appeared on the field next door so hold onto your hat – June is here, and summer always goes so quickly!  We have the big bottling of all our 2013 reds coming up, which will certainly keep us busy, and immediately after bottling, attention heightens in the Read More…