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 recent storms.  The stony palisades on the eastern sides of the valley are still barren, but by February, even they will have softened with renewed ground cover growing in the bright sun of our short days.  Soon, the winter palette will be grey/blue hills, vivid green fields and brilliant yellow mustard patches sprinkled everywhere – Napa winter beauty.

The new wines of 2015 are all in barrel now, so we’ll attend to a small bottling run next week.   The 2014 vintage of Syrah will go into glass, have a label wrapped ‘round and be ready for your cellar by spring.  Already the corks are here, the capsules on order, the labels being printed and glass getting ready to ship onto the pad.  Yes, even the “quiet” months can be busy.

Our harvest interns have left, and the cellar is still now.  Just Anthony and Rafael tackling the tasks at hand.  Visitors have a very skewed version of winery life when they visit this time of year.  Chilly and silent, it is the opposite of our bustling summer days with the doors wide open and people wandering everywhere from the vineyard to the tank room.  However, the chance to slow down for a month or so, until the growing cycle begins again, is welcomed by everyone in the Valley.  It’s during this time  that I often stop and count our blessings.  We are so fortunate to be able to live here, in step with the seasons, making an artisanal product that people enjoy, one that often leads to warm friendships.

Anthony and I hope this special Season is relaxing and refreshing, and you take time to enjoy this quiet time of the year.  As the vines rest, so do we, before the growing season begins anew.

Best wishes to All, and raise a glass to 2015!

Anthony and Sandra, and everyone at Bell Wine Cellars