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David Bejar (Vineyard Manager)
February 25, 2013 | David Bejar (Vineyard Manager)

Seasons in the Vineyard: What’s Happening this Spring

The vines are dormant; but mustard and other cover crops are allowed to bloom to prevent erosion, then are plowed under to add nutrients to the soil. Our crews are pruning and setting trellis systems. Swarms of starlings arrive to pick off the last of the vines’ berries. In the Winery, most fermentations are complete. Sauvignon Blanc is bottled

February Pruning and vine preparations are complete. The later the prune, the later the flowering, hopefully outmaneuvering a May frost. Sprinkler systems and wind machines are made ready for frosty spring mornings. Wines such as Chardonnay and Sémillon are bottled. Glass, labels and capsules must be ready for the bulk of the bottling that lies ahead.



The growing season is officially under way with budbreak, a stage when vine buds crack open and small shoots emerge. This is the beginning of the new crop. In the Winery, we now begin racking—siphoning off the clear wine from the sediment. Racking can occur three or four times during the winemaking process. Riesling is bottled.

Vines show thick clusters of new leaves. The vineyard crews remove tiny shoots so only vital vegetation is left. White wines are released. Blending for red varieties begins. Frost is a frequent threat. Wind machines, sprinklers—even helicopters—are used to protect the young crop. Zinfandel and Syrah are bottled.

Time Posted: Feb 25, 2013 at 9:50 AM
David Bejar (Vineyard Manager)

Fish Friendly Farming

For the past 8 years V. Sattui Winery has enrolled our Carneros estate, the Henry Ranch, in the Fish Friendly Farming program for the Napa Valley, a voluntary certification program for grape growers who implement land management practices that restore and sustain habitat and improve water quality.

   The program was developed as a collaboration of the agricultural community, government agencies and environmental groups both to educate us on preserving our environment and to develop a coalition of role models for the entire community.

   In the program, vineyards are not only scrutinized for vine management practices but also how we care for roads, drainage systems, creeks and rivers. The certification process is lengthy but we are committed to the changes necessary to preserve our habitat for generations to come.

   The forefront of our training is to develop and implement a farm plan of beneficial management practices with the expertise of hydrologists, biologists and environmental engineers. Some of these practices are challenging but worthwhile as we make necessary improvements for the vineyards, access roads, creek and river corridors for the 500-acre ranch.  

   Carneros Creek, which runs through Henry Ranch, is a beautiful waterway shared by several neighboring vineyards and ranches. The steelhead trout is one of many species in this tributary that rely on clean water to survive and thrive. We’re very excited to join our neighbors and participate in preserving such a beautiful part of our watershed. Fish Friendly Farming reinforces the idea that we not just see the vineyard for the vines, but for all the living things that share our ecosystem.


Time Posted: Jan 15, 2013 at 10:32 AM
David Bejar (Vineyard Manager)

Harvest Napa Valley 2012...This season has been just perfect

The Napa Valley Vintners Association reports that  Chardonnay is pretty much off the vine, Merlot is coming in and last week's heat spike has gotten Cabernet Sauvignon to a very happy place on the valley floor. The long, smooth even growing season continues, with cooler days and cold nights allowing for flavors to develop in a winemaker's idea of a perfect scenario. Catch Harvest Napa Valley 2012 while you still can and take a peek at what happens once grapes come on to the "crush" pad.

Watch this video produced by the Napa Valley Vintners.

Time Posted: Oct 15, 2012 at 12:13 PM
David Bejar (Vineyard Manager)
September 28, 2012 | David Bejar (Vineyard Manager)

Harvest 2012... It's a Good Year to be a Grapevine

According to the Napa Valley Vintners Association the 10-day weather forecast for the region predicts continuing warm days with cool and foggy nights which bodes well for optimal ripening with balanced sugars and acids. The vintage is shaping up as a smooth, even harvest that--so far--finds winemakers throughout the appellation all-smiles with the 2012 crop. Across all varieties and from Carneros to Calistoga, the spring fruit set followed by a nearly perfect growing season finds beautiful, healthy vines delivering some of the most flavorful grape clusters vintners have seen in years.

Watch this video produced by the Napa Valley Vintners.

Time Posted: Sep 28, 2012 at 11:39 AM
David Bejar (Vineyard Manager)

Frost Protection- Wind Machines

Watch This video as David Bejar and Tom Davies explain why wind machines are used for frost protection in early spring.

Time Posted: Apr 6, 2012 at 3:47 PM
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