With the onset of veraison in much of the Napa Valley, I have written a basic primer on grape growth in the vineyard:
1) Grape growth in the early spring is started with BUD BREAK, this is defined as the first growth of green shoots at the growing position on the Cordon that was pruned in late winter. The Cordon is the stem that parallels the ground about 3 feet up.
2) The next month all the shoots or CANES have grown 3 to 4 feet up, then BLOOM will occur, this is when the flower is formed that later becomes a cluster of grapes. There is a 3 day window when we do not want heavy frost, rain or nasty wind, because any one of these three weather occurrences can damage the fruit set and make a mess of the future grape growing process.
3) After fruit is stable on the lower vine the cells in the embryo (each small green grape) begin to split and duplicate themselves resulting in a small growing stage, this lasts for 4 to 5 weeks.
4) Once the cells have finished duplicating the cell then gets fed from the vine and each one becomes larger and thus the grape gains in acid and carbohydrates, this can take 4 to 6 weeks. So the grape now gets even larger, this is when it is important to pull leaves off the vine near the grape cluster and near the cordon to allow sunlight to warm the grapes.
5) We now see the grapes begin to change color from green to light burgundy, this is called VERAISON and is the beginning of sugar forming in the grapes, derived from the remaining grape leaves and stems as well as the cordon. As sugar increases in the grape over the next 4 to 6 weeks the acid level decreases. Ripeness occurs when the winemaker determines the grapes are sweet enough and the pH level is perfect for making great wine.
Every year the Napa Valley Vintners put on an amazing event - Auction Napa Valley. This event generates needed funds for healthcare nonprofits in Napa County and we wholeheartedly support them every year!
We have donated an online auction lot that anyone can bid on (no need to travel to Napa Valley this weekend!). Our lot includes a case of Library wines, tours of the winery, lunch with Vic and a VIP barrel blending for 6 people. We will also be tasting some of Vic's favorite older vintages!
We hope you support this great cause - to place a bid, please visit: www.auctionnapavalley.org
Wine and golf - it is a match made in heaven! This past weekend, we had a great turn out for our annual Wildcat Golf Tournament and Fundraiser for American Canyon Middle School - the weather was perfect and the participants had a fantastic time!
We have another wine and golf event in August - Wine on the Links, at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Oregon. Three of Napa Valley's premier wineries are participating in this unique event: in addition to Bourassa Vineyards, Hendry Ranch Winery and Lamborn Family Vineyards will be on hand to make sure you enjoy the hours off the golf course just as much as the time on the course!
For more information, please visit Wine on the Links - we hope you enjoy your golf and wine as much as we do!
Vic is going to start using a great new invention in the cellar - oak nfused spirals that impart barrel characteristics into the wine in a shorter amount of time!
Spiral barrel packs replicate a barrel toasting gradient using a mix of four different toast levels. The result is a balanced quality on the nose and palate comparable to the aromas and flavors found in fine barrel-aged wines.
When inserted through the barrel bung hole the pack releases fresh, new-barrel, toasted oak aroma and flavor through its patented and space-efficient spiral-cut design with virtually all aromas and flavors fully extracted in six to eight weeks rather than eight to 12 months typically needed to extract from a new oak barrel. With continued contact in wine, flavors will further integrate into the wine and more rounded tannins will form.
Vic will be using both the Bordeaux Blend and Rhone type of spiral in his wines - and will be conducting taste tests for visitors between the wines - those that have received the treatment vs. those that have not! Want to get in on the test? Just visit the Tasting Room and ask to participate - we would love to hear your feedback!
We are thrilled to be celebrating our 10th anniversary this year - Vic Bourassa is kicking off the festivities with a Wine Dinner at Cuvee Restaurant in Napa on Saturday, January 21st. We will be featuring delectable dishes paired with our library Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux Blends and the prized Solera Port - seating is limited, so call us today for reservations!
We will be continuing the celebration throughout the year, so be sure to check back often for our new releases and updated event schedule. Thank you all for making us a favorite when you visit Napa Valley - and here is to another 10 years!
The Chronicle reported today that for the first time the United States has passed France as the largest wine-consuming nation in the world. Our larger population and growing interest in 'wine-and-cheese' culture are cited as reasons for this historic achievement.
America's oldest wine consulting firm, Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates, report that shipments of wine to the United States rose 2% in 2010 to 329.7 million cases compared with the French figure of 320.6 million.
So are we really drinking more wine than our friends across the pond? The short answer is no. The French are still ahead in per-capita consumption, but the domestic wine industry is growing in a large part due to younger generations being more exposed to wine via social media channels. There is also the fact that our population is 5 times that of France and wine is now becoming a part of everyday life for many more of us than in years past.
So what wines are behind this surge in American appreciation? According to the Neilsen Company Chardonnay was the best selling varietal in 2010, generating $2.3 billion in revenue. Cabernet Sauvignon came second in the consumption stakes bringing in $1.38 billion. The varietals that grew the fastest in popularity last year were 'Sideways' favorite Pinot Noir along with Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, all of which rose more than 9%.
The days are long gone where the 'entry' to wine drinking was the consumption of white Zinfandel. Today the millennial generation are choosing more traditional varietals and going for pricier bottles. Wine is playing a part in many more occasions throughout peoples lives and these numbers clearly show it's gaining a historic prominence in American drinking habits.
(Source: SF Chronicle)
November 20, 2012(1 Comment)
October 3, 2012
October 1, 2012
September 13, 2012
August 30, 2012(35 Comments)
- November 2012 (1)
- October 2012 (2)
- September 2012 (1)
- August 2012 (1)
- July 2012 (1)
- June 2012 (2)
- May 2012 (2)
- April 2012 (2)
- March 2012 (1)
- February 2012 (1)
- January 2012 (1)