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Harvest Time in Napa

September 29th, 2015

Grapes ready for wine

We had the wonderful opportunity to share the harvest festivities again with Peter and Patricia Kitchak at Kitchak Cellars in Napa last weekend. While not responsible for helping to actually pick grapes this year, we got to sleep in on Sunday after howling at the orange Super Moon on Saturday night! The grapes in the photo were picked before dawn, weighed, de-stemmed, sorted and put into the tank before the cool morning temperatures warmed up. The fruit benefits from being processed while the berries are still cool. Warm September days and cool nights made for an early harvest and we have high hopes and our fingers are crossed for another fabulous vintage. Anyone having the adventure of participating or watching the “harvest crush” firsthand,  gets a special peek at the complicated journey of grapes into wine. Cheers!

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Early Bud Break in Napa

March 4th, 2015

Kitchak bud break 2015

An unseasonably warm Spring has marked the vines with early bud break at Kitchak Cellars in the Napa Valley. On a recent visit with Peter Kitchak during a vineyard walk, we noticed the vines coming to life after being dormant this winter. Our hope is that the valley stays frost-free now so the tender blossoms are not bothered. A late frost can seriously affect the yield. Grapes are just another agricultural crop, with the all the same perils of farming. I never cease to be amazed every time I open a bottle of nice wine!

Photo: Kitchak Cellars Cabernet Block, Napa CA

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