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Harvest-Season-Looms-County-Fire-Extinguished

Harvest-Season-Looms-County-Fire-Extinguished

August is when we begin to feel the seasonal pace of things pick up a notch, and everyone knows the deadline of fruit on the vine drives the calendar.  There is a wine to go into the bottle, barrels to sort, new barrels to medicine and number, and vineyard visits to...

Bell-Rhine-Cruise-Completed

Bell-Rhine-Cruise-Completed

Anthony and I have just returned from a chilly trip up the Rhine, beginning in Amsterdam on April 1st.  Floating on a river of water running so rapidly it tilted the channel markers, we watched the world slowly change from a flat, green delta to the precariously steep...

Napa-Valley-Vintners-Premiere

Napa-Valley-Vintners-Premiere

This year, we’re hosting a Premiere preview event along with our new neighbors next door, Mira Winery (www.mirawine.com) and Hoopes Vineyard (www.hoopesvineyard.com).  Just to make it interesting, we decided to collaborate on a joint lot of 20 cases – all three of us...

2017-Wrap-2018-Horizon

2017-Wrap-2018-Horizon

As I watch faded leaves fall from the oak above the office window, and think about this year about to end, I have to conclude that it has been one of the most challenging we have faced in the 20 years here at BELL.  The weather alone kept us continually alert with the...

Napa-Approaches-November-Without-Visitors

Napa-Approaches-November-Without-Visitors

It has been two weeks since the fires began.  November is a week away.  Across northern California, recovery has begun, both harvest and wine-making continues, and we carry on.  Unfortunately, the frightening images of raging fires roaring through neighborhoods remain...

Grapes-Coming-Harvest

Grapes-Coming-Harvest

Harvest has begun in Napa, the culmination of a vintage year of unusual weather.  Our drenching rains of winter refilled aquifers and then some.  Flooding in Napa downtown has been a news staple for many generations.  But the recently completed work on utilizing acres...

Harvest-Starts-Vineyard

Harvest-Starts-Vineyard

To review, in January, February, March we experienced biblical levels of wet – parts of Napa got almost as much rain as the last three years combined.  This was followed by a mostly chilly, damp, foggy spring.  No clear weather pattern developed; we swerved from nice...

Bordeaux-Opens-Doors-Napa

Bordeaux-Opens-Doors-Napa

Napa has long used the wines of Bordeaux as a measure of quality, a goal, a definition of style.  And why not?  Bordeaux has two thousand years of wine production, reaching back to the days of the Roman empire and it’s thirsty citizens in the first century AD.  The...

Next-Vintage-Begun

Next-Vintage-Begun

Napa has been enjoying a couple of weeks of pretty days – so welcome after weeks of rain and chill.  Our Chardonnay has mostly popped new green shoots, which is the official start of our next vintage year.  Some of the Merlot has popped as well, a bit unusual. ...

Early-Spring-Bell

Early-Spring-Bell

The water level has been THE story of the last several months, but with the end of February, Premiere Napa Valley takes center stage.  This two part picture displays the difference an hour can make, taken just as the doors open and again, at mid-morning this last...

SUN is here today

SUN is here today

Welcome to 2017!  This is being sent while we have a sun break, before the rain returns in earnest for the weekend.  Napa has had almost 20 inches of rain by New Year.  As you can see in this picture, the little slough behind our winery is over half full.  While this...

2017 is on the Horizon

2017 is on the Horizon

It’s the last week before holidays command everyone’s complete attention.  We are busy closing annual files, making last additions to wines in barrel, and tracking errant shipping orders.  Temperatures have dropped.  My thermometer was under 30 for the first time this...

Late Fall at Bell Wine Cellars

Late Fall at Bell Wine Cellars

We can hardly believe it is the middle of November – the whirl of harvest and then traveling to work in the Florida market has us spinning.  While we were in Florida, Napa received several days of rain.  YAY!  See how deep green the grass next to our driveway is now? ...

2016 Harvest is a Wrap! Holidays are almost here!

2016 Harvest is a Wrap! Holidays are almost here!

Our first, drenching October storm is behind us, leaving one and a half inches of rain in Napa, twice as much in St. Helena.  We’ve wrapped up bringing in the fruit, and now all the action is inside the winery.  Over the last five years, we’ve gradually added new...

Harvest is Happening!

Harvest is Happening!

It’s happening!  Harvest report from BELL Our Sauvignon blanc is in the cellar and is almost completely dry.  10% of the wine is in barrels, including a new one designed expressly for Sauvignon blanc, with a very narrow shape that is about 8 inches longer than our...

Harvest on the Horizon

Harvest on the Horizon

Harvest is indeed around the corner, as veraison in the Merlot can attest to.  Chris Stewart, our newest member added to the cellar staff, and Aikaterini, our harvest intern from Greece, sampled the fruit in our Sauvignon blanc vineyard this week and found sugar...

July 2015 Summer has arrived with the Best of Napa RED!

July 2015 Summer has arrived with the Best of Napa RED!

The 2015 California State Fair handed out their awards last week, and we couldn’t be more pleased.  Many BELL fans know we don’t send our wines out for review except the few retrospectives we participate in through Napa Valley Vintners.  In general, we’ve always felt...

Early Summer in Napa Valley

Early Summer in Napa Valley

The early summer growing season is in full swing now – Chardonnay berries are the size of   peas and the Merlot, always a bit behind, is about the size of BB shot.  This week, we’ve had some typical summer weather.  Heavy fog in the early morning, gradually clearing...