winter in Napa Valley

Why Vineyard Managers are Hard at Work When Napa Valley Vines are Dormant in Winter

Winter is certainly a very busy season for Napa Valley Vineyards. As the winter sun hangs low in the sky, casting its dramatic rays on the breathtaking scenery, you might think that things have quieted down for the vintners, but that is far from the truth. Although the “growing season” has come to a close, vineyard managers are busy during this time of the year with post-harvest activities, crucial to the sustainability of their vineyards.

Take preserving and improving the composition of the soil. In winter, you can witness the seeding of the vine rows with cover crops from legumes, grasses and mustard, helping to create the sustainable soil that will reap the next crop of grapes. You also might see composted grape pomace being spread out over the vineyard. The mixture of skins, seeds and stems that is left over after the juice is pressed, provides important plant nutrients. Vineyard Managers also spread straw over the hillsides to help keep the soil in place and provide shelter for the growing crops. Pathways and vineyard avenues are also seeded during this time of year and pruning begins as early as January. Read more about winter in the vineyards in this article in the Napa Valley Register.

“Once the wine’s in and fermenting, it’s the quietest time of the year, so the winemakers are relatively cool, calm and collected,” said Clay Gregory, president and chief executive of the Napa Valley Destination Council. “So it’s a great time to get more personal attention from winemakers and winery owners.”

It’s not surprising to learn that the marketing minds at the council have started pushing another idea designed to drum up tourism in the slower winter months: “Cabernet Season.” The bold flavors of Napa’s flagship wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, are perfect for cold nights, Gregory explained. “And it’s a lot better than calling it winter.”

Locals and visitors alike find the vibe in the tasting rooms during winter to be absolutely serene, especially when compared to the busy grape harvest season in the fall. For a full list of tasting rooms in Napa Valley, visit

If you are considering selling or buying a luxury home, estate, vineyard or winery in Napa Valley or Sonoma Valley this winter, or any time of the year, please call me at 707-738-4820 or email me at [email protected]. Winter might be a busy season for Napa Valley vineyards but it’s the quietest time in my practice due to lack of inventory and therefore a great time for due diligence. Plus, there are fewer buyers in the market during winter so sellers tend to be more negotiable. Meantime, please be sure to LIKE me on Facebook so you can stay informed too!

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