Familiar with Napa’s Grapevine Growth? It is a Juicy Story that You Must Know!
There is something quite extraordinary about Napa Valley as a destination. Not only does it cater to visitors with varying ages and preferences, but it is abuzz with a flurry of activities all year round. Whether it is wine tasting, shopping, dining, adventure activities, or relaxation, the valley offers it all.
What is most magical about this region, is its scenic beauty. The sight of spectacular rolling hills and lush vineyards dotting the entire landscape of wine country can leave anyone spell-bound. Grapevines are the stars of Napa Valley. By about March every year, the dormant vines featuring bright green leaves start pushing out buds. By May, the grapevines are blooming, and by the time harvest season approaches (early August to early November depending on the type of vines), the excitement in the vineyards is palpable. The aroma of ripe grapes, vintners keeping an eye on every vine to clock the perfect time for grape picking, and the plethora of harvest parties and celebrations are an experience in itself.
If you are not familiar with Napa’s grapevine growth, here are five cool things worth knowing.
- Grapes self-pollinate: Did you know that grapevines do not need bees to pollinate? During bloom time, the small green buds on the vines swell, lose their outer cap, and reveal tiny white petals that have pollen on their tips. Eventually, the pollen falls back into the bloom, leading to the creation of a small grape berry that is green in color.
- Hairy bloom clusters indicate good fruit: If you get up close with grapevines when they are flowering, take a closer look at the blooms. If the clusters look like they are covered in fine hair, it is considered a good thing. It usually means there will be a good crop of fruit later that year.
- Breeze and storms matter: Vines need very specific weather conditions to reproduce. A light wind aids the process of knocking off and dispersing the pollen from the vine’s flower. However, a violent breeze, cold temperatures, or hailstorms during the flowering season could wreak havoc on the vineyards. No pollination means no fruit and no grapes.
- Shatter is bad for vines: In case of adverse weather conditions, the vines don’t pollinate, which leads to sparse or bare clusters, called shatter. This translates to disappointingly small vintages. Vintners usually hope for the bloom stage to last not more than a week or two. A longer bloom makes the vines vulnerable to bad weather, which will subsequently cause shatter.
- Grapevine flowers are fragrant: During bloom time, the vineyards not only look beautiful, but also come alive with a sweet, fruity aroma. Winemakers say that the Chardonnay variety smells like peach and melon, whereas Pinot Noir smells more like apricot.
Overall, the grapevine story suggests that flowering is the most important time for winemaking. If this phase lasts 10 to 14 days, and is blessed with ideal weather conditions, then vintners are certain of producing an excellent vintage.
Whether you visit Napa during the grape picking season, or you plan a trip to see the blooms, plan your stay at a comfortable boutique hotel, such as Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. Close to all the shops, restaurants, tasting rooms, and other downtown Napa attractions, our quaint accommodation puts you in the ideal location for exploring all of wine country.
See what our past guests have to say about their stay here:
- “Love it!! That it is downtown, walking distance from everything. Clean and beautiful!”
- “This hotel is absolutely right in the heart of downtown and where you want to be. The staff is friendly, the rooms are actually quite clean.”
- “Clean, staff was friendly, convenient to walk everywhere, definitely a place to stay while visiting Napa.”
Come see the blooming vineyards of Napa Valley this spring, and enjoy plenty of other interesting Napa experiences. Call us at 707-226-1871 to book your suite or reserve your room online.