Thanks to the handful of readers who wrote back about yesterday’s post on the high price of Napa Valley wine. It was quite natural for them to wonder what makes this region special enough to justify the price.
As you recall, the simple answer is supply and demand. So, why are Napa Valley grapes in such high demand? What makes the valley so special?
The short answer for that is “pure luck.” And, pure luck translates into a great combination of soil and climate for wine grapes. The growing conditions here are so favorable for growing wine grapes that a grower could almost do a sloppy job of farming and still get pretty good results.
But, the thing is that most growers and winemakers here aren’t content with “pretty good.” They want to grow/make wonderful wine! So, the third, key, element is people: People who are fanatical about what they do. Any winemaker will tell you that if the vineyard grows superlative fruit, she’s 90% of the way home. Her job is to try not to mess it up.
The fact that the valley is small and produces only 4% of California’s wine adds to our “luck” when it comes to demand.