“Eskimos had fifty-two names for snow because it was important to them: there ought to be as many for love.”
-Margaret Atwood, b. 1939

January in Napa can certainly be wet and cloudy, but these first few days of 2014 have been beautiful, with warm sun and day temps in the low sixties. On my way to work this morning, seven colorful hot air balloons were floating slowly down the Valley. Clearly our weekend will have some visitors that are ready to continue the good times of the holidays just a wee bit longer.

After several months of spinning so quickly, the pace has become almost elegantly slow. Nothing needs to be done out in the vineyard; the naked canes of last year’s vintage simply wave in the breeze and brown leaves swirl around the rose bushes at each row’s end. It’s a great time to finalize the reports of the former year and turn over the files for the year to come. It is all pretty quiet and everyone has had a chance to relax after a busy end-of-year. We’re re-charging in preparation for the busy days to come, likely hosting more than 8,000 visitors this year.

We still have some barrels of wine finishing up secondary fermentation, but most are enjoying their first long nap. Anthony has started playing with the blending composition of the 2013 Sauvignon blanc. The two Lake County vineyards we utilize produce different flavors and although our wine is 100 percent Sauvignon blanc, the percentages of juice from each vineyard vary from year to year depending on the intensity of the vintage

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to some of the upcoming vintner meetings and finding how everyone is feeling about harvest, now that the frenzy is behind us. The media has already made much of the glorious 2013 vintage – I’m more interested in what the people making the wine think of it! And yes, I’ll let you know what I hear.

Enjoy the quiet time,

From Anthony, Sandra, and all of us here at Bell Wine Cellars

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