Drought-like conditions in Napa Valley: Will it affect the wines?
Do you like wines that are bold, light, fruity or earthy? Do you follow the taste profiles of wines based on their body, acidity, or sweetness? Whether you are a casual wine drinker or a fine connoisseur, you must know that climate and soil play a critical role in grape growing, in turn affecting the wine’s flavor profile.
Here is some interesting information about Napa’s grape growing season in 2018:
- What is happening in Napa Valley at present? In February 2018, grape-growers in some parts of Napa Valley announced that bud break, the first stage of vine growth, has begun. This stage when the vines begin to produce shoots that will eventually bear grapes, has occurred about 2 weeks earlier than expected. Normally you may think that is a good thing. But in grape-growing, early may not necessarily mean better. This winter, the region has experienced drought-like conditions. The abnormally warm and dry climate, and lack of sufficient rainfall, is making the new shoots vulnerable to extended frost damage. At present, Napa Valley grape-growers are switching from passive to active frost-control measures to shield the current crop.
- Will this affect the wine production in the region? The current conditions are unlikely to affect the overall wine production or wine profile. Bud break is one of the earliest stages of grape growth. The crop goes through several subsequent stages such as flowering, fruit set, canopy management, thinning, and veraison (pigment development). This is followed by harvesting, crushing, and fermentation, and finally, aging and bottling. Hence the current crop will not be seen as wine until several months from now.
This spring, why not make a trip to Napa Valley to learn more about the joys and challenges in grape growing. Book a wine tasting tour with wineries such as Hendry Ranch and V. Sattui Winery, among others. Get a guided tour of the vineyard, interact with diverse viticulturists, and learn the history and process of winemaking. Understand how the weather affects the taste of your favorite wines or learn the basics of how to identify wines by sight, taste and smell. Most tours include free or low cost tastings of 3 to 6 different wines.
For a pleasant and convenient stay, book your room at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. Our boutique accommodations and central location make us one of the best hotels in Napa.
Book your room online or call 707-226-1871 to make a reservation.