Friday, August 2, 2013

8/2-Michael Jordan talks to Hugh Davies & Morgen McLaughlin

Hugh Davies - Napa Valley Vintners 
The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) trade association reports the first of Napa Valley's sparkling wine producers will start picking wine grapes on August 1st, just a week to ten days earlier than in 2012. Grapes for Napa Valley sparkling wines are the first to be harvested, capturing the bright acidity for which these wines are prized. 

After grapes for sparkling wines are picked, next up are a diverse spectrum of white wine grapes, then lighter red wine grapes such as those for Pinot Noir, with all roads then leading to the Cabernet Sauvignon harvest, which can last into late October or early November in Napa Valley's hillside vineyards.

"The 2013 growing season has been a very good year for all of our grape growers," commented Ludovic Dervin, winemaker for Mumm Napa, who will begin picking tomorrow. "It started with a very dry winter and spring, which gave us a bit of a scare as water reserves are very important to ensure a smooth growing season for our vines. But Mother Nature compensated with mild weather during spring so we didn't have to use much water for frost protection, and could wisely use it for the vine canopy growth. The crop looks good and healthy at this point, with yields slightly above average. It is not as big as 2012, but still on the high side. Overall, we are on track for an excellent vintage." 

Napa Valley's other leading sparkling wine producers, Domaine Chandon and Schramsberg Vineyards, will begin picking in the next one to two weeks.

Starting August 16, the NVV will chronicle "Harvest Napa Valley 2013: The Grapest Story Ever Told" at 

About the Napa Valley Vintners
The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) 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 more than 450 Napa Valley wineries and collectively is a leader in the worldwide wine industry. To learn more about our region and its legendary American wines.

Morgen McLaughlin - Exec Dir. Santa Barbara County Vintners' Association
Santa Barbara County, CA - Rarely do you find an appellation that is composed of fewer than ten vineyards with no tasting rooms and are all family owned and operated.  In an extraordinary union of winemaking passion, the wineries of Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara will be joining together Friday, August 9, opening their doors to industry guests to showcase the wines being produced in Happy Canyon.

Over the course of the day, Crown Point Vineyard, Grassini Family Vineyard, Star Lane Vineyard, Vogelzang Vineyard, and Happy Canyon Vineyard will be pouring their wines on their vineyards. 

Guests will have the opportunity at Star Lane Vineyard to see the 200 acres of vineyards that range in elevation from five-hundred to fifteen-hundred and fifty feet, as well as, tour their three story gravity flow facility and twenty-five-thousand (yes, thousand!) square feet of wine caves. At the sustainably operated Grassini Family Vineyard, guests will have the opportunity to tour an entirely solar powered facility while tasting wine in caves made entirely from reclaimed antique fir milled from timbers in Oregon.  Saunter over to Vogelzang Vineyard where tasting will be al fresco under the native oaks in the center of their seventy-seven acres of vines.  Further down the road at Crown Point Vineyards, the newest addition to the region, enjoy a special tasting flight in the redesigned cellar that will include barrel samples and limited productions wines. 

The day will conclude with an exhibition polo match at Happy Canyon Vineyard where guests will sip estate grown wines on a private polo field while watching the some of the world's top polo players and enjoying an Argentine BBQ cooked on open fire grills field side.
Located in the eastern most end of the valley, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA is the warmest micro-climate in the Santa Ynez Valley.  The rolling terrain, high slopes and varied soils of this region are best suited for growing Bordeaux varieties Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Sauvignon Blanc, creating rich, concentrated wines.   

The Happy Canyon AVA Open House will take place from 1-5PM and the polo/BBQ will go from 5-8PM.  This event is only open to industry guests and limited to 150 people and RSVPS are required.  We will be taking credit cards to hold the reservations. You will be charged $50 per person if you RSVP and do not attend.  The event is free.

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