Faces & Forums


Expo Links Vines and Wine Quality

December 2009
by Kate Lavin

Yountville, Calif. -- The Napa Valley Grapegrowers on Nov. 5 held a daylong Napa Valley Wine Grape Expo, which drew grapegrowers and winemakers for five seminars, vendor exhibits and a trade show.

Jill Durfee of NVG said that 100 people attended the Expo’s Spanish Seminar Program at the Lincoln Theater, while 300 attended the full program in English. David Beckstoffer, vice president of NVG’s executive committee, kicked off the morning session by saying, “The program today is designed to make the connection between vineyard practices and wine quality.”

As such, a trio of experienced winegrowers took the stage and each offered different opinions about making great wines from vines that are old and/or affected by viruses.

Cary Gott, who represents his family’s third generation in the California wine industry, said, “If you have to replant a massive amount of vineyard, and you’re not sure what to plant…I would definitely go for the most virus-free wood that you can get.”

Another popular session, Let There Be Water, offered the insights of groundwater geologist Richard Slade, who detailed the steps of building a well from site selection through development and testing. Rule No. 1: Do your hydrogeologic homework. 

Napa Wine Grape Expo
Vineyard developer Bill Hill strolls through the indoor-outdoor trade show at Lincoln Theater.
Napa Wine Grape Expo
Steve Lohr says the session about water was pertinent to his vineyards near Paso Robles.
Napa Wine Grape Expo
Mary Rocca (left) pays a visit to the Global Package booth to speak with founder Erica Harrop.
Napa Wine Grape Expo
Mike Farmer of Opus One (left) and Chris Dearden of Benessere talk about winemaking.
Napa Wine Grape Expo
Bill Dyer of Dyer Vineyard (left) catches up with John Kongsgaard (center) and Evan Frazier of Kongsgaard Wine. Both wineries specialize in varietal wines from the Napa Valley.
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