Napa Valley California - 67

THE GUIDE I WINE 101

From Bud to Bottle

Harvest
time!

IT'S QUITE THE JOURNEY FROM VINE TO GLASS. WE TRACED THE LIFECYCLE OF A GRAPE IN 12 STEPS.

3. FLOWERING

The vine develops a
tight bunch of tiny
flowers; each flower
can form a single grape
berry.

1. WINTER
PRUNING

To guide the vine in
certain directions for
certain purposes.

2. BUD BREAK

8. HARVEST

When the first tender buds of
the growing season emerge
from the dormant vine. This can
take place over a two-month
period.

From early
August to late
October, it's
time! Sugar
levels are measured, grapes
are tasted and
tested, and
picked mostly
by hand and at
night.

4. FRUIT SET

The now-pollinated
flowers drop petals and
a tiny, green sphere
emerges at the end of
the stem. VoilĂ , baby
grapes.

6. CROP
THINNING

7. VERAISON

All grape varieties
begin green in color;
by mid-summer, red
or white grapes reveal
their identity.

Also known as
"green
harvesting," or
the dropping
of unripe,
un-perfect grape
bunches.

5. CANOPY
MANAGEMENT

The process of leaf
removal, shoot
thinning, and shoot
positioning to achieve
the right balance of
shade, sunlight, and
air circulation around
each grape bunch.

ILLUSTRATION BY SVETA MEDVEDIEVA

10. FERMENTATION
9. CRUSH

Grapes are gently
crushed and sent to
the appropriate vessel
to ferment on their
skins.

The process of yeast
converting sugar
(grape juice) into wine.

11. AGING

A variety of techniques are
used at this step, which
allows flavors to develop over
months (or years).

12. BOTTLING

The time to bottle
depends on the vintage
and character of the
wine. A light white,
such as Riesling, will
only age for a few
months. Red wines
often age in oak for up
to two years.

Information sourced from Napa Valley Vintners.

?

DID YOU KNOW? What's the buzz about biodynamic? This is a method of organic farming that
emphasizes the use of manures and composts, and excludes artificial chemicals on soil and plants.

FROM EARLY
AUGUST THROUGH
LATE OCTOBER,
HARVEST IS AN
EXCITING TIME IN
NAPA VALLEY.
Sparkling wine grapes
are the first to be
picked, which marks
the start of the annual harvest. Next, most
white wines go from
vineyard to the crush
pad. Red varieties
take a bit longer to
reach full maturation.
Napa Valley's Cabernet Sauvignon grapes
are among the last to
be harvested.
Find real-time
harvest updates at
harvestnapa.com.
Want to experience
harvest? Go to
visitnapavalley.
com/blog for a
round-up of harvest
parties and grape
stomps.
When harvest is over,
Cabernet Season
begins. For many, this
is the ideal time to
visit: cool temps, low
crowds, and great
deals and packages at many of the
valley's hotels and
resorts.
Turn to p. 142 for
more.

VISITNAPAVALLEY.COM | 2019

67


http://www.harvestnapa.com http://www.VISITNAPAVALLEY.COM

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