Sauvignon Blanc Harvest

This year’s early-morning harvest at Mello Vineyard in Yountville started around 4:15 a.m. Tractor lights and headlamps lit the way on our journey to create our 2015 Two Old Dogs Sauvignon Blanc! Beautiful bright green clusters shimmer in the tractor’s lights. All hands on deck for these early AM picks! It was the earliest harvest…

Late Spring in the Vineyards

With the sporadic rainfall (the warm “Pineapple Express” that came in from the Pacific and dumped inches at a time on us) coupled with the unusually warm winter and spring, the vines budded out about three weeks earlier than usual this year. Below (left) is a cluster that has yet to bloom in a shadier block of…

Fall in the Napa Valley

Every year after harvest, we are blessed by an amazing show of fall colors in the valley. If we have received measurable early fall rains, there is a carpet of fine new grassy growth between the vines,  highlighting the dramatic difference between the bright new growth in the vine rows and the declining yellow leaves…

Rain, Rain Go Away

Friends and clients called with worried anticipation at the brief, but notable, rain storm that we experienced in the Napa Valley a couple of weeks ago. We received almost and inch of rain, much of it coming in a sudden downpour, and then the clouds cleared and the sun came out with temperatures in the…

Pruning Chronicles

Winters are pretty much quiet in the vineyards, very much like the dormant vines waiting for spring. As it’s impossible to get into the fields with a tractor because of the wet soil, only minimal activity, mostly involving manual labor, is done until the weather warms. But when the truck with the port-a-potty arrives, we…

Spring in the Vineyards

Buzz, Buzz, Buzz. As former beekeepers, we rushed outside at dawn – was it a swarm of bees landing on the deck?  But no, it was just the crew of vineyard workers with their noisy weed-eaters; another rite of passage in the vineyard in spring. A few days before, two vineyard workers had pushed huge…

Mud Room Chronicles

It’s always easy to guess what time of year it is just by looking at the collection of irrigation parts, seed packets and clothing piles in our back porch, or “mud room”. Last Saturday there were 2 pair of muddy boots outside the back porch on a step stool, and 2 pair of flip-flops, (the…

Harvest Wrap-Up 2011

Basking in 75 degree temperatures at the end of October, with a warm breeze blowing the fall leaves throughout the vineyard, it’s hard to vividly remember the worrisome fog, rain and cool weather and the problems it brought us last summer. Over 2 inches of rain in early June caused many of the flowering grapes…

Leaves at Harvest

This was going to be exciting and different – picking Sauvignon Blanc under lights in the middle of the night! Although night time harvests, with their spot lights lighting the sky as though it was a local football game, have been used in the Napa Valley for many years, we have never been part of…

Critters in the Vineyards

Living out in the country, seemingly miles from civilization with nary a neighbor in sight, we are always asked what critters we see in the vineyards. Yes, we did have a Brown Bear cruise though several years ago (he was more interested in the cat food and garbage bins than the grapes), and have even…