Napa Valley Vintners Harvest Report 2010

Exceptional Wines from Unusual Growing Season


10/20/2010 - San Francisco, CA -- The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) presented its annual report on the Napa Valley wine grape harvest to top media and wine trade today in San Francisco.

On the morning of the day when the City was abuzz awaiting the afternoon playoff game, just a couple of blocks north of the ball park at Epic Roasthouse, winemakers offered an in-depth report on the current year. Some years winegrowers feel like players in the batting cage swinging at whatever Mother Nature throws their way. But now vintners are rounding third, feeling good and ready to slide into home.

With few exceptions, this year was slightly cooler than normal overall with healthy grapevines appellation-wide. Additionally, the region's comprehensive green initiatives and innovative farming practices mitigate much of the season-to-season variations, ensuring top quality wines year in and year out from the Napa Valley.

"We are in the final days of harvest for 2010 and every winemaker I've talked with is thrilled at what they are tasting in the initial stages - all across the board," said Napa Valley Vintners Board President Bruce Cakebread of Cakebread Cellars.

Cakebread continued, "This decade has had some drier than normal years, some wetter than normal years but what that really says is that every year is just a little different from the next. Winegrowers take it all in stride and with how we farm in Napa Valley, vines are continually healthy."

Vintage 2010 welcomed the return of rainfall to the region with annual precipitation averaging about twenty percent above average, but without any incident or flooding. But every growing season has its challenges. "This year was the year of the tiger," said Michael Silacci of Opus One. "We had to be on our paws or claws."

Napa Valley Grapegrowers Board President David Beckstoffer noted "In the Napa Valley, we have the best vineyard managers and the best field crews in the world--they know what to do and they can handle anything."

The only lament from winemakers is that tonnage is off in some sites by as much as twenty percent, though the yields vary site-to-site appellation wide. Final yields will be tallied in the annual crop report published in spring 2011.

Read the full 2010 Harvest Report below

Unprecedented Ten-year Vertical Tasting Showcases Renowned Wine Region, Illustrates High Quality Decade

As 2010 caps the first decade of the new Millennium, the NVV assembled four of its members to offer an unprecedented ten-year vertical, or vintage perspective, tasting. The goal was to get a good sense of what is being tasted, the flavor development in the new wines as the harvest comes to a close, and to learn how the vintage stacks up to what has been a decade of lauded vintages.

Vintages 2001 to 2008 in finished final blends and already bottled were tasted along with barrel samples of 2009 and freshly pressed juice from 2010. Bruce Cakebread of Cakebread Cellars, Cathy Corison of Corison Winery, Dirk Hampson of Far Niente and Michael Silacci of Opus One presented their wines side-by-side in two seated flights. The purpose was to taste and explore vintage-to-vintage trends or nuances, not to critically review the producers one to the next.

"We find that this last decade in Napa Valley has been largely focused on finesse. I think what you see and taste in this vertical is the shades of variations from vintage-to-vintage," said Cathy Corison.

The winemakers agreed that their experiences and knowledge sharing has led to wines that continue to raise the bar.

"Thirty years ago, we looked to France for greatness--now we look to our neighbors," said Dirk Hampson.

The NVV hosts more than twenty years of vintage recaps and vintage charts on its website,, and the site is also where consumers, wine trade and media can explore the lush library of information on the Napa Valley appellation.

San Francisco Mayor Praises Napa Valley's Wine Industry

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom recognized the importance of Napa Valley's wines and the wine region's relationship to the residents and visitors of the city proclaiming today Napa Valley Vintners' Day. Read proclamation below.

San Francisco is the gateway city to Napa Valley and together represent the American wine industry in the Great Wine Capitals (GWC) Global Network, a group of nine prestigious winegrowing regions--only one from each country--that collectively work on shared strategies for the global wine industry. The collective will meet in early November in Christchurch, New Zealand Learn more about GWC at

About the Napa Valley Vintners
The Napa Valley Vintners is the non-profit trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region. From seven founding members in 1944, today the association represents nearly 400 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

Click here to read the 2010 Harvest Report

Click here to read the Mayor's Proclamation

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