Uncorked Ventures Blog

Mark Aselstine
August 8, 2014 | Mark Aselstine

The California Drought and My Concern: Growers vs Vintners in Napa

My thoughts on the California drought which is becoming a bigger story with each passing day.  While wine isn't necessarily being affected as of yet, there are some short term (quality of wine in the 2014 vintage and beyond) and longer term concerns (how this affects the grower vs vintner debates that always happen in Napa and no, these debates are not typically cordial).


How are you doing? Mark Aselstine from Uncorked Ventures. So, one of the
things that is starting to come up again and people are starting to ask
about is what effect, if any, the California drought, which is starting to
show up on the national news, is going to have on the wine industry.

We've talked a little bit about it before, both in terms of hot and cold
and the fact that a lot of vineyards actually use more water in the winter
when it's really cold to protect against frost than they do during the
summer to water. But I think a more interesting concept is what's going to
happen over the long term.

Napa specifically has had some historic problems between the growers and
the vintners. There's a whole Ag Preserve system that has been set up at
Napa and has been functioning really since the '60s. There's kind of been a
continual back and forth for exactly how much in terms of marketing should
be able to be done, how many new wineries should be able to be set up,
weddings in Napa and the whole nine yards. I think as there's even more
pressure applied to growers, both in terms of vintners feeling like they
need more quality fruit, better quality fruit continuously on a year by
year basis and now a lack of water, I think you're going to start seeing
some more stuff come up in that regard.

So, it's the growers versus vintners, I don't want to say a battle, but it
could turn into that once again. We've definitely been there before in
Napa, and I wouldn't be surprised if we're going to start to go back.

Mark Aselstine
July 11, 2014 | Mark Aselstine

J Vineyards

Didn't realize J is female owned and operated.  Our table was rather excited for this visit.  60,000 cases is more than half of production.  You can see why they've grown so quickly and easily.  It's a really well done wine and at $12-$14 just an excellent value


Time Posted: Jul 11, 2014 at 2:53 PM
Mark Aselstine
July 11, 2014 | Mark Aselstine


2500 in total production.  Sauvignon Blanc at 500 cases with a family owned winery that is completely off the grid.  Welcome to Happy Canyon.  With all estate grown fruit and the owner of the winery here-it's a project I can get behind.

Time Posted: Jul 11, 2014 at 2:49 PM
Mark Aselstine
July 11, 2014 | Mark Aselstine

Ferrari Carano

Ferrari Carano-it's nice to see a familiar face occasionally and this is an interesting Fume Blanc.  At $14 and in a warm conference room, it's a perfect fit.

Mark Aselstine
July 11, 2014 | Mark Aselstine

Danza Del Sol Vermentino

It's honestly one of the better Temecula white's that I've had.  Nice to see a Vermentino made instead of Chardonnay, should work better with the warmer climate down there.  Well done guys

Time Posted: Jul 11, 2014 at 2:40 PM