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Napa's harvest yields high quality grapes despite earthquake, drought

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Napa Valley grape growers say this year's harvest looks perfect despite the many challenges brought by mother nature.

Napa Valley grape growers are raising a toast Thursday as the harvest draws to a close. They say wine lovers can expect a high-quality vintage, despite the many challenges this year brought on by nature.

They've dealt with drought, an earthquake and hail, yet Napa Valley grape growers say they survived it all. This year's harvest looks perfect.

"Our yields are going to end up 2012 and 2013 yields, which were high for us. If this is the new normal, we are excited about that," Napa Valley grape grower Garrett Buckland said.

The earthquake and the hail damaged homes and personal gardens, but the grapes handled it all just fine.

"The fruit held up really well in that hail storm," Buckland added.

"As far as the grapes in Napa Valley, I don't think a 6.0 earthquake is quite enough to shake them off the vines. As a result, harvest continued in full gear and Napa Valley has been open for business ever since," Napa Valley grape grower Allison Cellini said.

As for the drought, grapes were looking pretty good because of rain they got in February, but Napa farmers have been trying to cut water usage and change their management techniques to save water in the vineyards. And then the earthquake hit. The violent shaking shook loose some groundwater and creeks are starting to flow again.

"There's a lot of water under our feet," Buckland said. "Napa is extremely fortunate to have a system of aquifers here that really help in the time of a drought."

And for all the wine drinkers, all of this has come together to create a tasty bottle of wine.

"This year what we are seeing is tremendous quality," Buckland said.

Tourism in Napa Valley has also been up this year, which has created some traffic issues. Grape growers said when the harvest wraps up, they are going on vacation.


Related Topics:
foodwinewine industryfarmingagriculturealcoholdroughtearthquakeweatherwaterCaliforniaNorthern California
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