Friday, April 19, 2013

What Auction Napa Valley Means to Me

I moved to Napa Valley five years ago, not only to follow my passion of food and wine, but more importantly because I knew that Napa Valley is an incredibly special place to call home.  For months after I first moved here I kept hearing about Auction Napa Valley - fortunately my employer at the time sent me along. I will always remember that first year. I was amazed by the sheer size of it all, what a production!  I truly have never felt that fabulous in my life, running around rubbing elbows with Thomas Keller and Oprah, but more importantly I started to understand what Auction Napa Valley means to everyone here.

To this day I have yet to miss an Auction; I even changed my travel plans and moved back from New Zealand two days before the 2009 Auction so I wouldn’t break my streak.  Auction is my favorite time of year, not only because I have so much fun, but because I am so proud to be involved in an event that does so much good for the community, to date the Napa Vintners have raised more than 111 million dollars for the people of Napa Valley!
This year is going to be a very special year for me.  It is the first year I helped make the wine that we are donating and it is the first year Chase Cellars is participating in the barrel auction.   For my sixth Auction I actually get to be a real part of the action and make a real contribution to all of the wonderful work the Napa Vintners do in the community I love so much.
Rebecca Martin
Chase Cellars

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Napa Vintners Head to China

Our international NVV road warrior, Cessa Beckett, is in China with vintners this week!

Day 1 Quite an experience and very successful. Hangzhou is on the south east coast of China at the southern end of the Yangtze River Delta so there are lots of lakes around the city. A very pretty place with lots of trees and flowers and a population of about 7 million.

Our first seminar got underway slowly – no one gets here on time – but eventually we had 30+ attendees, which was as expected. Our two events in the evening were extraordinary - eight vintners went to pour at Ruby Red, a high end retailer in the city. The 80 guests were all under age 35. Another ten of us went to the Blossom Water Museum Hotel for the Charity Dinner & Auction where another 80 wine-loving consumers joined us, plus Tim Hanni, MW (from Napa) who is employed by the Blossom Group to train them about wine and just happened to be there this weekend. This event was a true Chinese banquet experience – the entire dinner was served on massive lazy Susans in the middle of each large table. After a presentation about the Blossom Company, the charity and more, we ate dinner and then the auction began. Oh boy! I can’t begin to describe it! Wine auctions are not yet commonplace in China, so this was a different experience than a charity auction in the US. But, the charity helps really, really poor children in rural areas and we raised about $3,000 from our 8 or so wine lots. This could build a whole house in this part of the world! It was a very humbling experience. 

On Monday, we hosted events in Shanghai. We kicked off the day with a workshop for the travelling vintners to help them better understand the China wine market. Mid-day, three of our vintner leaders were interviewed by several Chinese media, including TV. This was followed immediately by the trade and media seminar, which was fabulous with some 50+ attendees – an absolutely full house with a few people standing in the back. Then we had the trade tasting with a full house of 200+ quality trade and media. The day concluded with a consumer tasting with Napa Reserve at the House of Roosevelt, overlooking the Bund. Tomorrow we are hosting an educational seminar for university students during the day and more consumer events in the evening in Shanghai, then it’s off to Beijing and Xi’an by the weekend.

Cessa Beckett
International Marketing Manager
Napa Valley Vintners

Friday, April 12, 2013

Napa Vintners Do Care About Climate Change

Since 2006, numerous studies and headlines have repeatedly positioned Napa Valley as a poster child for the devastating effects of climate change. The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) trade association, known for nearly 70 years in the global wine industry for its forward-thinking leadership on tough issues and protection of the unique place that is Napa Valley, has made no exception when it comes to the topic of climate change.

Understanding how climate change might affect our region specifically is critical to the future of the Napa Valley wine industry, which generates $50 billion for the U.S. economy and more than 300,000 jobs in our country. So the NVV decided in 2006 to form a Climate Change Task Force to better understand the issue. The task force was led by Dr. Dan Cayan and his renowned team of climate scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

Working with vintners, growers and weather stations around Napa Valley, the Scripps science team collected data from 12,000 points in Napa Valley and from this massive collection of grass-roots data, assembled its final report:
"Climate and Phenology in Napa Valley: A Compilation and Analysis of Historical Data" by Dan Cayan, Kimberly Nicholas, Mary Tyree and Michael Dettinger.

The report, released in February 2011, indicates that Napa Valley has warmed slightly over recent decades, but not to the degree that has been reported in the studies noted above, which analyze broader California weather station data. According to the Napa Valley-specific data analyzed for our report, the warming we have experienced, one to two degrees Fahrenheit, has taken place primarily in overnight temperatures between the months of January to August. In fact, Napa Valley has actually experienced cooler daytime temperatures and increased marine fog influence during the summer growing season in recent years.
Although part of the greater California wine industry, Napa Valley is a unique place and is best understood by looking at appellation-specific data. Climate change can and will affect all fine wine-growing regions worldwide, but the results will not necessarily be a blanket effect, as climate change is not a "one size fits all" phenomenon. This is a very long-term issue which vintners and growers around the world need to pay attention to and be directly involved with. At the end of the day, vintners and grape growers are farmers. As no two harvests are the same, farmers must successfully adapt, harvest to harvest, season to season, year to year and have done so for nearly two centuries in the Napa Valley, and for many thousands of years worldwide. For the farmer, change is not only inevitable; it is a way of life.

Patsy McGaughy
Communications Director
Napa Valley Vintners

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Friday, April 5, 2013

How much do you know about Napa Green?

New news about Napa Green! In a month that shines the spotlight on environmental stewardship, we've announced that the Napa Green program has increased the total number of certified acres by 22% over the past two years. Currently, there are 32,437 acres certified and another 23,000 enrolled in the program, bringing the total Napa County acreage covered by Napa Green to more than 55,000 acres.

How much do you know about the Napa Green program? Test your knowledge by taking this quiz.