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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...

Spring, Bottling and Budbreak in Napa Valley

Spring, Bottling and Budbreak in Napa Valley

We bottle tomorrow and the crush pad is stacked with cases of empty bottles, huge plastic sacks of corks and the capsules that cover them, as well as the bottle labels.  The long semi that houses...

Early Spring at the Winery

Early Spring at the Winery

The spring rainy season has us working inside this time of year, both taking care of the brand new wines from the 2015 vintage and getting the older wines ready for bottling.  The “getting ready” is...

January 2016 – Off to a Great Start

January 2016 – Off to a Great Start

2015 holidays have receded in the rear view and we’re fired up for 2016.  Welcome rains have swept through many parts of California – here in Yountville they’ve brought the dry creek behind the...

December 2015 – Napa Winter Beauty

December 2015 – Napa Winter Beauty

The month of December is upon us, with all its attendant seasonal whirl.  Vines are shedding their colorful leaves as the weather changes.  Grasses in the vineyard  have sprung back to life with the...

November 2015 – Three Little Words

November 2015 – Three Little Words

RAIN RAIN RAIN Those are the three little words I’m referring to – the musical patter of raindrops greeted us this last night as the first storm system of the late fall season swept in off the...

September 2015 – Harvest Happens!

September 2015 – Harvest Happens!

If its September, it must be harvest – Napa actually began harvesting grapes for the sparkling wine houses in July.  One of the earliest harvests in the last fifty years, it’s worth remembering that...

August 2015 – Harvest on the Horizon

August 2015 – Harvest on the Horizon

It‘s hot hot hot – just right for August.  Unfortunately, some of the HOT is due to the concern about recent fires nearby.  On July 22, the Wragg fire, believed to have started by a car accident,...

June 2015 Summer is almost HERE

June 2015 Summer is almost HERE

Hay bales have appeared on the field next door so hold onto your hat – June is here, and summer always goes so quickly!  We have the big bottling of all our 2013 reds coming up, which will certainly...

May 2015 The Valley Speeds Up

May 2015 The Valley Speeds Up

Late spring is when Napa goes into gear, with activity ratcheting up in the vineyard, the tasting room and out in the market.  Anthony and I just got back from our third trip out of state in as many...

April 2015 Sun Rain

April 2015 Sun Rain

Anthony and I are about to head to work in Oklahoma for the next week, and before I leave, just a quick note to let you know we’ve gotten at least a half inch of RAIN since last night.  The sound...

March 2015 Budbreak in Napa Valley

March 2015 Budbreak in Napa Valley

Can you say “apical dominance”?  While walking through the Chardonnay vineyard yesterday, Anthony and I noticed the first signs of the season’s beginning.  Vines have been pruned back to the wood,...

February 2015 Winter Update

February 2015 Winter Update

While pretty camellias brighten our February, our present focus is on the newest members of the BELL wine family from the 2014 vintage.  They are about to be evaluated out of barrel for the first...

December 2014

December 2014

The Sun Stand Still at SOLSTICE 2014 Welcome the sun back – the vineyard was absolutely sparkling this morning.  Soon our days will become longer, heralding a new year for the vines.  Yountville has...

December RAIN

December RAIN

We’ve had RAIN – the little bit of accumulated wet from the last several weeks has made a big difference.  Cover crops in the vineyards are popping up bright green between the vines and on the...

November 2014

November 2014

Am I the only one lamenting the diminishing daylight?  Month by month, our light has flattened out low over the southern horizon and slowly reduced the size of its arc.  The front picnic...

Post Harvest Power Washing at BELL

Post Harvest Power Washing at BELL

Our newest wines have made it through initial fermentation and are taking their first of several long naps in barrel – ahhh, the wonders of beauty sleep.  While they snooze through a secondary...