The best Napa vineyards and how they work
The best vineyards Napa match the grape to the terroir. In the coolest parts of the valley, winemakers usually grow Pinot Noir and Merlot grapes, while the hardy Cabernet Sauvignon grapes can grow almost anywhere. They prune the vine canopy to an even height, letting as many leaves as possible do their work to help the grapes grow and accumulate sugars. They thin the crop when it starts ripening, sacrificing a few of the grapes to make sure the rest are fully nourished. They pull leaves away from the grapes to air them out and protect them from mildew. They use refractometers to check the sugar level in the juices of grapes, so as to harvest them at the perfect moment of ripeness.
One of the best vineyards Napa is near St. Helena
Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards in Napa Valley, a 10-minute drive from downtown St. Helena, is one of the best vineyards Napa. Their Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends are widely regarded as among the best wines in Napa. Their Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and non-malolactic Chardonnay of this vineyard also have a cult following. It holds tastings in its barrel caves, where current releases and library wines may be sampled and visitors can learn all about the process of making and storing the wine. Cave tastings are $65, but one tasting fee can be waived by joining their wine club or making a $100 purchase. Join their wine club today.