STOMP last ten tickets
Our annual October STOMP party is almost filled to capacity; there are ten tickets left. If you’re interested in a Napa afternoon with good music, good food and some GREAT wine, we’re having a party that will feature a hop into a barrel filled with grapes. Re-enact your favorite “I Love Lucy” episode with some friends and marvel at how smooth your feet are after a minute of stomping. Who needs a $100 pedicure?

Quake Update
The Valley has not only been dealing with the annual madness that is harvest, we’ve been wrestling with the damage done by the recent earthquake on August 24th. The most recent wine industry damage estimates come to about $80 million as estimated by Silicon Valley Bank. About 60 percent of the wineries experienced damage to varying degrees. We lost power and our refrigeration during fermentation, as well as lots of bottles. Red tape is still fluttering around many buildings downtown and a neighboring winery has enormous, new beams holding its historic building upright. One of the hardest numbers to quantify is the loss of business to the Valley in terms of no-show visitors. Returning from the East Coast last week, I sat behind a group happily discussing their upcoming California travel plans. When asked about visiting wine-country, one couple explained how they had re-focused their trip, cancelling the entire Napa/Sonoma segment due to “the expected aftershocks”. Certainly, Napa’s tourism has been affected greatly.

Harvest Update
This week promises to be CRUNCH time. Between harvest and bottling, we will, for the first time, have both grapes coming in and bottles going out. Either one of these operations requires extraordinary planning skills. Executing both operations simultaneously will require a new level of planning. It helps to have a well-developed sense of humor this time of year. That said, by the end of this week, we hope to be about half-way through picking. Our Sauvignon blanc is through fermentation, the Syrah from Canterbury is in barrel, Cabernet sauvignon from Mount Veeder is in tank and Chardonnay is coming in this week. In general, the vintage is showing the effects of a very warm, humid summer along with the stresses of prolonged drought, especially from the thinly soiled vineyard sites. Some grape seeds are still green, and phenolics are developing more slowly than the growers would like, as usual. There are some indications that rain may dampen everyone later this week, our favorite fall drama here in Napa. Stay tuned!