Empty bottles stacked on the crush pad for tomorrow.

Empty bottles stacked on the crush pad for tomorrow.

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 and then we are off to the races.  Our Sauvignon blanc will go into bottle along with the Syrah and a newRed Blend on Friday, then they will rest several months in bottle before release later this year.

In the vineyard, budbreak!  Chardonnay has unfurled while Merlot is still a tight leaf bud.  We’ve had plenty of recent rain in Napa Valley the spring, perfect timing for this explosion of new growth.  Today promises to be up in the seventies, delightfully summer-ish weather, and this trend will continue through the weekend.  No doubt we’ll have folks pretending it’s truly summer and play bocce – and the patio will be busy with those who love a glass of wine with their sun.

The next several weeks will find us busily getting all the details taken care of to leave the winery for Lyon, France.  Our trip down the Rhone with a half dozen couples from the wine club begins on the 28th, and we return from Marseilles on the 8th of May.  The wine regions of Burgundy, Beaujolais and Provence are all strung along the river like pearls on a necklace.  Neither Anthony nor I have ever done this before and we are looking forward to the entire experience, (except the jet lag of course).  We’re so excited that we’ve decided already to lead a tour to Bordeaux next April!  Here are the details on the 2017 trip.