Posted on Feb 09, 2020
by Sarah Klearman
Contestants positioned themselves deftly in their places. They willed themselves to concentrate, breathed deeply, and gripped their equipment. And then, given the signal, they began to prune.
One hundred and sixty contestants competed Saturday in Napa County’s 19th annual pruning contest, hosted by the Napa Valley Grapegrowers and the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation. Though pruning season is quieter this time of year than, say, harvest – it’s one to which notably less headlines are devoted, anyway – it’s just as critical a time, according to Bertus Van Zyl, one of a cohort of judges scoring contestants on Saturday.
by Shawn Zylberberg
Many of the nation's top charity auctions enjoyed another record-breaking year in 2019. Wine lovers became local heroes as 13 auctions topped the $1 million mark in live bids, earning a spot on Wine Spectator's annual list of top charity wine events. Those highest-earning events raised a combined $44.1 million in live bids for underprivileged children, health initiatives and art and cultural institutions across the country.
by Kerana Todorov
The wine industry and scientists can collaborate to preserve biodiversity in the fight against climate change.
One key is to develop trust between researchers and producers and find workable solutions.
These were among the observations Dr. Olga Barbosa, a scientist at the Universidad Austral de Chile in Valdivia, Chile, made in Napa during a discussion on the role of the wine industry in protecting biodiversity.
Barbosa spoke at Rootstock, an event organized by Napa Valley Grapegrowers at Napa Valley Expo.
Altogether about 600 people attended the symposium which included other panels focusing on other issues such as vine diseases.
The Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity and Universidad Austral de Chile want to show that biodiversity conservation and the wine industry are compatible. The goal was to manage biodiversity not only in protected areas but also in developed agricultural land such as a planted vineyard.
“We think that wine has a great opportunity to be a leader on climate change,” Barbosa said.
by Sarah Klearman
ach year, grape growers come from every corner of the North Bay to attend Rootstock, a conference hosted by the Napa Valley Grapegrowers focused on all things grapes. That includes presentations from industry researchers like Sarah Ferguson.
With the help of a research team, Ferguson, a research viticulturist and enologist at the Napa-based Silverado Farming Company, has spent the last two years researching the impact of mechanical leafing on the quality of wine. She’s also attempted to chart the impact of leafing – the removal of leaves from grapevines – at different points during the growing season.
“We know removing leaves is an important viticultural practice, and we wanted to see if the method used would have an impact on the wine,” Ferguson said in her presentation.
by Eric Asimov
ST. HELENA, Calif. — Every wine region has had to deal with some manifestation of climate change, but few have had to deal with as many devastating consequences as Napa Valley.
On Labor Day 2017, as the weekslong harvest was getting underway, the temperature reached 110 degrees here in the heart of cabernet sauvignon country. But extreme summer heat has not been the only issue.
An abnormally warm January and February in 2015 set the growing season in motion early. But a cold snap in May caused many growers to lose 40 to 50 percent of their crop.