By W. Blake Gray
Mildew and viruses may actually make wine taste better, but you might not want to get into the true dirt of organic farming with consumers. These were two of the takeaways from Napa Valley's 10th annual organic grapegrowing conference last week. Napa Valley Grapegrowers says it's the only annual conference of its type in the country, where growers can explain to each other how to give up the Roundup.
For Weekly Calistogan
The Napa Valley Grapegrowers have confirmed that veraison, an annual benchmark in the winegrape growing season, is officially underway.
Known as the onset of ripening, veraison marks the colorful transition from grape growth to grape ripening, resulting in several changes in fruit development. They not only change color, but they begin to increase in weight and volume as well.
By Register Staff
An early bud break followed by warm weather and spring rains brought a rapid start to this year’s growing season in Napa Valley. Tiny flower clusters emerged from grapevines marking the bloom period in which grapevines become pollinated and fertilized allowing these flowers to eventually become grape berries.
By Paul Franson
Napa, Calif.—Grapegrowers devote a lot of attention to water (hardly surprising in view of recent shortages in California), but most probably don’t focus as much on vine nutrition. While aware that plants obviously need minerals, growers also know that grapevines are relatively undemanding compared to most crops, and it sometimes seems that soil contains an unlimited supply. Nevertheless, the auditorium at Copia in Napa was filled by growers and winemakers at the Napa Valley Grapegrowers’ third seminar in this year’s series about sustainable vineyard practices, which focused on vine physiology and nutrition.
By Maria Sestito
When it comes to caring for healthy, productive vineyards, don’t underestimate the benefit of birds of prey. That’s what farmworkers, vineyard managers and viticulturists learned Friday during a field day offered through the Napa Valley Grapegrowers at Huichica Creek Sustainable Demonstration Vineyard. The field day, which focused on “vertebrates in the vineyard,” was the third and final day of a three-part series that included training sessions, classroom seminars and field trips.