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Mother Nature

October 13, 2009

It’s raining in the Napa Valley. This first seasonal storm looks to drop several inches over the course of the next few days, and although you might think that it would be a hand-wringing event, most Yountville growers have told me they are delighted to see it.

With the varietals that are susceptible to rot safely off the vines (Zinfandel, Pinot noir, Chardonnay), the rain is good for the thirsty soils, and not likely to harm the remaining fruit. That said this is a perfect illustration of the fact that winemaking, like any agricultural pursuit, is very dependent on Mother Nature. This storm looks like it is a single event, and will be followed by warmer weather, which will quickly dry the vineyards and allow picking to resume next week. However, should this storm be followed in short order by several more, rain could become a problem.

So for now, it’s a welcome bit of water in the ground and a day to take a breath. But we’ll all be keeping an eye on the weather. Many thanks to Larry Bettinelli and Tod Mostero for taking the time to share their thoughts.

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