“Climate is what we expect,
weather is what we get.”

Mark Twain, b. 1835

Have you ever wondered what Napa would be like without rain in January? I can assure you that it was simply lovely – lunching on our sunny patio, watch-ing fruit trees pop into early bloom, strolling the vineyard without losing our shoes in mud. We saw twice as many people this year over last year, and we’re not complaining. However, the vineyards do look rather weary and brown, with none of the magnificent yellow mustard flowers crowding out the with-ered canes – that’s what happens when you go nine months without rain. It’s not news that DRY is the word here, but it is news when growers are so nerv-ous at the possible loss of water supply that they are modifying contracts in anticipation of crop failure. Farming – you’ve just got to absolutely love risk, because unlike Vegas, once you’re in the game, you can’t get up and leave the table.

In two weeks, the Napa Vintners will host their annual Premiere event. Unlike the summer Auction Napa Valley event which caters to individual collectors and consumers, this event is an opportunity for the wine trade to bid on one-of-a-kind barrel lots for their customers. Retailers and members of the trade me-dia all converge to rub elbows and get a collective snapshot of the Valley’s recent vintage wines. For the first time in over ten years, we’re participating with Lot No. 208, five cases of our 2012 Clone 6, from the St. Martin Grande Reserve barrels.

If you haven’t stopped by the winery recently, look for a new wine tasting of-fering this summer – come earn your Cabernet wings with our “Flight of Fancy”, exploring, comparing and enjoying several wines simultaneously, side by side. If you’re coming to the Valley, we’d love to see you. Whether your group wants to huddle in the Reserve Room over a group of decadent reds, or simply enjoy a tasting of our current wines with a festive lunch at Table One, we’d love to line up our wines and lead you through them.

Anthony, Sandra and all of us at Bell Wine Cellars