Napa Valley Vintners Expect Outstanding Wines from 2009 Vintage

Love is in the Air


10/12/2009 - Today the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) non-profit trade association presented its annual harvest report at Waterbar in San Francisco to both media and top wine trade.

In Napa Valley, Mother Nature is once again a super-hero, providing winemakers lush, beautiful grapes for great wine. The news all year has been so focused on the woes of the world, that many outside of Napa Valley didn't realize that the 2009 vintage in America's most renowned wine growing region is producing outstanding fruit that looks and tastes to be a spectacular vintage. Initial reports all the way around are finding vintners and growers delighted with 2009--from Albarino to Zinfandel to everything in between, as presented by the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) non-profit trade association representing 370 wineries in the appellation.

Napa Valley Harvest"We are rocking and rolling, having a great time making wine in the Napa Valley," said Doug Shafer of Shafer Vineyards to the group, continuing, "The pace of the 2009 harvest has been terrific--even, steady, time for you and your crew to spend time with family--this has been a phenomenal year in the vineyard and in the cellar."

The report was presented as the kick-off to the annual week-long Napa Valley Harvest Celebration in San Francisco where wineries will pour their wines at winemaker dinners, in-store tastings and more. Trade were attending as part of the industry program known as Battle of the Palates.

Judd Finkelstein of Judd's Hill also presented and said, "From our freshly pressed wines and the many winemakers I talk to each week, we are unanimous in our tasting of exceptionally bright flavors across all varieties this year. Neither the grapes nor the vines experienced any stress--no raisining, no sunburn--just great hang time, balanced sugars to acid all around. We got to make wine this year with a lot less stress and lot more love in the air. The pace was so even and relaxed I even got to take my daughter to the circus."

"One challenge of a mild season is that there has been nothing forcing the picking decision...not too hot, there are tanks it just means lots of sampling and mulling things over, checking out the moon phase or my horoscope," said Honig Vineyards Winemaker Kristin Belair. "This harvest was drama free--I even got to see the Giants beat the Dodgers in person," she added with a smile as she rounded out the presenters today at the event.

Overwhelmingly, comments from winemakers note the presence of forward, bright fruit with pure varietal character and the much-favored extended hang time has not come with excessive ripeness. Finkelstein says, "Because we had no real heat spikes, we are seeing phenolic maturity and ripeness without excessive sugar."

A blind tasting of red varieties in various stages of juice to fermentation were included in today's presentation. Attendees were challenged to identify grapes and grapevine leaves, as well. The top scorer was Gillian Balance from the PlumpJack Restaurant Group.

Click here for full harvest report.

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 370 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

Check out Unfiltered, the Napa Valley Vintners' Harvest Blog featuring reports from nearly fifty winemakers, vineyard managers, owner, interns and more

Click here for harvest and Napa Valley photo gallery.

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