Monthly Archives: May 2013

Grape Flowering 2013 in Napa Valley

Grapeflower_chard

Flowering’s wrapping up here in Napa Valley. See those tiny white, protrusions? They represent the potential crop yield this year for the 2013 vintage.

Perhaps you’re underwhelmed by the beauty of the grape flower. True, true – they’re not exactly roses, are they? You have to get up very close to even see or smell them. From a distance they just look kind of fuzzy.

Nevertheless, even as we speak the last of the flower petals are shedding their delicate caps to open up, liberating the pollen to fertilize the waiting ovules! Good, gracious me – I think I need a sip of wine!

And, all of that happens without the help of bees or other insects. Believe it or not, those little bitty things contain the pollen-bearing stamen and the ovaries. How convenient! All we have to worry about is the weather. Everything else is taken care of as long as the weather’s good. You could put a paper bag over those flower clusters and they’d still produce a crop! Continue reading

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Time to Thin the Vines

I hear lots of high-spirited chatter and singing as I walk by the vineyards these days. And I see lots of perfectly healthy shoots on the ground. Are these men joyfully tearing the vineyards apart?

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Is 2013 a Good Year?

Carol wrote in to ask if this will be a good year. It’s a little early to tell, but here’s a vintage update:

Have you made plans to visit wine country this year?

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Micro-Oxygenation for Wine

Have you heard of “micro-ox?” Many believe it’s a viable replacement for barrel aging the wine.

How do you feel about new innovations replacing the traditional methods?

Visit A Million Cooks for more brief videos from experts on the food you eat: Where it comes from, where to buy it and how to prepare it.

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Barrel Aging: It’s More Than Oak Flavor

Did you know that using new barrels, which contribute oak flavor to the wine is a relatively recent practice? Here’s the story:

How much oak flavor do you like on your wine?

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