Yesterday Vinomaker and I attended the Napa Valley Viticultural Fair. It's not a huge event, as trade fairs go, but it gives you a good opportunity to see the latest innovations in vineyard equipment, frost protection, pest management, water systems etc. Held at the fairgrounds in town, it is none the less, very informative and entertaining. Some of my favourite exhibitors include; the grapevine nurseries (where baby vines are conceived), the pest management companies (whether using chemical or biological control methods, they always bring a live sample of a creepy crawly with them, the stars this time were spider mites...yikes), and last but by no means least...Gripple. I love this device and can't imagine putting up trellising wires without them. Gripples have really saved vineyard developers a lot of time and a lot of money. And the best thing about this little gizmo...it's made in England. The young man manning the booth was initially encouraged by my enthusiasm for his product, but seemed increasingly disturbed when I insisted on keeping a Gripple, a key ring...and his pen.
The afternoon concludes with a complimentary wine social, where you can catch up with friends in the wine industry and share tales, or horror stories, of the harvest past. Fun!