|Greetings from the Beautiful Napa Valley!
And welcome to the premiere issue of on press-trade edition. This is our chance to share with you, our partners in the wine trade, information from an insider's point of view about our wines, our vintners and our community. The roots of this publication come from our on press newsletter to Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) members, so it truly is an insider's view. With a membership of more than 270 wineries, we have a lot of great information that you can use to keep informed about Napa Valley wines, train your staff and generally use our organization as a resource for promoting and selling great Napa Valley wine.
We will publish this newsletter for the trade on a quarterly basis, printed and electronically at first, with a goal to send this to you via email-only in the coming months. Please visit us at www.napavintners.com and click on "Tools for the Trade" to subscribe to on press-trade edition. As an incentive to subscribe to the on line version, when you sign up, your name will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a beautifully framed map of Napa Valley's appellations.
The vines may be dormant this time of year, but we're busy as ever, promoting and protecting the Napa Valley Appellation: we're heading out on market visits across the U.S. and around the world, hosting two world-renowned auctions here in our own backyard, plus continuing to educate about what makes the Napa Valley so unique and why we work so hard to protect our name and our heritage.
U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Napa Valley Vintners
The case brought to the U.S. Supreme Court by Bronco Wine Co. was a request that the court hear an appeal of the California State Supreme Court's denial of an appeal to its ruling against the wine conglomerate. The long-running legal battle stems from a California truth in wine labeling statute (25241) that was signed into law in 2000 whereby wine brands could not promote themselves to be something they are not. Specifically, wine brands cannot represent themselves as appearing to be produced in Napa Valley from Napa Valley grapes when they are not. The California court unanimously ruled against Bronco in April 2005 and in August 2005 refused to hear an appeal.
Linda Reiff, executive director, of the NVV, said: "Those who have been misusing the Napa name have been on notice since the California law was passed in 2000, and today that notice has come due. Our goal has been unwavering from the start: if it says Napa on the label, the wine in the bottle better be from Napa."
The controversy stems from wine brand names that use Napa place names, yet intentionally produce wines from grapes grown outside the Napa appellation. This undercuts the reputation of Napa Valley-grown products while trading on the cachet of the renowned wine growing region. The issue at hand is that these "value" wines specifically seek sales by misrepresenting to the consumer that they are seemingly from high-profile, quality-associated brands. Napa's growers and wineries have worked diligently for over 150 years to be second to none as world-recognized leaders in fine wine production.
February 25, 2006
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Initial Results Find Vintners All Smiles!
The cool weather continued, with a pleasant summer with few heat spikes. As September approached, growers had concern that the larger than normal crop on the vine would not fully ripen as fog prevailed well into when warm temperatures of Indian Summer typically prevail to harvest. Eventually, though later than normal, the warm days arrived, building much-needed sugars, especially in the red varieties.
"From a vintner's perspective I've never seen the vines look healthier," remarked Craig Williams, senior vice president and director of winemaking for Joseph Phelps Vineyards, as harvest neared. "This year's harvest seemed late compared to years like 2004 and some growers were getting anxious, but it wasn't really all that late compared to older vintages," said Jon Ruel, director of viticulture for Trefethen Vineyards.
As harvest began, growers had the best of scenarios; an extended hang time with perfectly balanced sugars and acids. Colors in red wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, were intense, inky-dark and opulent. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir producers were equally happy with the vintage as the extended time on the vine provided wonderful aromatics that should translate into the final bottling.
Some wineries were taken by surprise not only by the incredible quality that they were seeing and tasting at harvest, but also by the consistency and abundance of the crop. Winemakers were scrambling to find as much tank and barrel space as possible as it was unfolding as one of those vintages to write home about.
There's nothing more romantic than wine, and we've got the cold, hard facts to demonstrate what makes Napa Valley second to none in growing the world's finest wine grapes. It's all in an easy-to-use seminar created by the NVV that you can use to educate yourself, your staff and your clients.
Presented in a downloadable PowerPoint presentation, the program explains Napa Valley's unique geologic history, diverse soils, micro-climates and appellations, and brings home the importance of place to wine. Find the romance and the science at www.napavintners.com and click on "Tools for the Trade."
Napa Floods: 'Wringing' in the New Year
High water and flooding did occur in the vineyard land in the valley, but most vines were spared damage due to state-of-the-art, sustainable agricultural practices. Cover crops, such as fescues and rye, are planted between the vine rows to keep the top soil from washing away during the rainy winter months. The regions first rains arrived in early November which provided moisture to activate the dormant grasses. By the time the heavy storms arrived at year's end, the cover crops were able to stabilize the soil and prevent extended damage.
Some trellis systems were affected as high water swept by, but with the exception of some levee breaks along the Napa River that created surging water, most vineyards survived well intact. Grapevines are dormant this time of year and are largely unaffected by excessive moisture.
Most growers have done extensive stream bank restoration over the years and this hard work paid off. Phillip Blake from the U.S. Department of Agriculture said: "We are seeing some real flood damage reduction benefits from the extensive riparian restoration work and use of sustainable farming practices such as cover crops."
Taste Napa Valley Coming to a Town Near You!
If you would like to host an in-store or on-premise tasting with our winemakers as part of Taste Napa Valley, contact Kim Wiss, marketing director, at 707-968-4201 or via email at email@example.com. Look for us from here to Shanghai! Check our calendar for cities and dates.