Napa Vintners Gather to Celebrate Coming Harvest


8/31/2009 - St Helena, CA--Members of the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) non-profit trade association from the legendary American wine region gathered at Beringer Vineyards in St Helena Thursday for a night of celebration as they prepare for the 2009 harvest season to come into full swing.

When the trade association began in 1944, they were known primarily as an eating and drinking group and though today they are collectively the essential organization charged with promoting, protecting and enhancing the Napa Valley appellation and its wines around the world, they still begin the harvest season by gathering to eat and drink before the busy time begins in earnest. From those founding seven vintners, today the trade group celebrates its 65th year and the milestone of surpassing 350 wineries in its membership.

"The collaborative efforts and the camaraderie of our members is always an inspiration. I don't know of anywhere in the world where winemakers work so closely together as we all do here in Napa Valley," said Bruce Cakebread of the NVV's Board of Directors, who offered a toast at the sold-out dinner.

"So far, despite what's happening in the economy, the 2009 crop looks to be yet another 'vintage of the century', " said Cakebread with a wink, continuing, "But in truth, the weather has been perfect throughout the growing season and if it keeps up it will be a terrific, well-paced harvest. Grapes for sparkling wines began in the last ten days or so and the early ripening whites like Sauvignon Blanc will gear up in the coming days. Cabernet is many weeks away from its start, but with the diversity of micro-climates and soil types, Napa Valley isn't just Cabernet Sauvignon--so look forward to Riesling, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and other white varieties to come in through September with other reds like Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, Cab Franc and so on to start to fill the cellars as well."

Hundreds enjoyed the warm summer evening under a massive ancient walnut tree at the historic St Helena winery, Beringer which was one of the founding seven members of the association. To the dinner, everyone brings a bottle of wine to share, and everyone comes equipped with a story or two to share as well. These vintners are continually marketing their wines across the country and around the world and many greeted each other with reminiscence of a recent group event in New York or Bordeaux or Florida. Yet the real sprit of community comes as they talk about their children, their land or their wine, or perhaps a follow up to the conversation they had last week at the local grocery store.

The cool evening breezes came as they do in the valley, and as the local Zydeco band brought their music to a close, vintners filed out wishing one another a Happy Harvest and a hope for better times ahead when corks are eventually pulled on the 2009 vintage.

About the NVV
The Napa Valley Vintners is the non-profit trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region. The organization celebrates its 65th anniversary this year. From seven founding members in 1944, today the association represents more than 350 Napa Valley wineries and collectively is a leader in the world-wide wine industry. To learn more about our region and its legendary American wines, visit

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Contact: Terry Hall, Communications Director 707-968-4217