Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wine Glut Prompts Changes in Napa Valley

Because I'm making wine - I'm tellin' ya', it's just like Napa Valley around here - this caught my eye:
For generations, Napa Valley has cultivated its image as carefully as its grapes:

It is America's premiere wine region, known for its boutique operations turning out small quantities of some of the most sought-after wines in the world.

But the utilitarian winery in Healdsburg where James Stewart produces his Slingshot Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc throws a bucket of cold water on that romantic idea. It's a prefab warehouse in one of the valley's industrial parks, indistinguishable from countless other rent-a-fermenter facilities dotting California's wine belt. Amid rows of massive steel tanks and the woozy aroma of fermenting grape juice, Stewart is talking about turning the place into a gold mine.

About as romantic as our bathtub where I stash the fermenter while it bubbles away.

Wine knows only juice. Well, that and other ingredients. But not location. It only needs a dark, cool place to ferment and it does its thing. Sure, I'd like to visit Napa Valley some day - landscape sure makes for purty pictures, from what I've seen. But it sounds like the pre-fab warehouses, thanks to the economy, is where the real action is.


  1. You just watch out for those revenuers now.

  2. Revenuers. That's why we have this killer yorkie-poos around here. Keep folks out that don't belong.