Just this last Thursday, Vinomaker and I attended the 2010 Napa Valley Viticultural Fair. This biennial event, held at the Napa Valley Expo and hosted by the Napa Valley Grape Growers, is a rather small affair, but none the less informative and entertaining - especially if you are a vine geek. I couldn't help but notice that it was a very green fair this year with an energy saving this, and a composting that.
Everyones favourite nemesis, and the current bane of grape growers, the European grapevine moth was the star of the show. Whilst the EGVM isn't the only vineyard pest it is the biggest threat to Napa and Sonoma grape growers, and the emphasis on eradicating this invasive insect is more than justified. There were many other pests in attendance that I got up close and personal with through the lens of a microscope, so many in fact that I am surprised I didn't have nightmares that night.
To aid in curing me of my creepy-crawly induced trauma, I participated in the complimentary wine social that was held at the conclusion of the event. There were a lot of wines that had been donated and I couldn't possibly get through them all, but I did my best. Here are my speed-tasting notes;
Elizabeth Rose 2008 Sauvignon blanc - tasty.
Cakebread 2009 SB - nice.
Honig 2009 SB - blah!
Cade 2009 SB - similarly blah!
Teaderman 2008 SB - am I in New Zealand? Grassy!
Detert 2006 Cabernet franc, Oakville - just plain delicious.
Piña 2006 CS - OK.
Hornberger 2006 CS, Rutherford - tastes unfinished, lacks finesse.
Elodian (Eddy Family) 2006 CS - nice.
Newton 2007 Claret - passable.
Teaderman 2005 CS, Oakville - thin and blah!
Cade 2007 CS, Howell Mtn - oak and sulphur with a cherry on top.
Larkmead 2006 Syrah - tastes like plastic, most likely Brett.
Paradigm 2006 Merlot, Oakville - rubbing alcohol or mouthwash? I can't decide.
There you have it! And, the Napa Valley Expo probably has a lot of dead patches of grass now because there was no dump bucket!