Friday, January 08, 2016

Once upon a 160 million years ago.

One hundred and sixty million years ago today the Napa Valley was underwater.  Not underwater as in the my-mortgage-has-a-higher-balance-than-the-market-value sense. No, the Napa Valley was literally underwater. Glug, glug.
I had the honour of spending yesterday evening in the rarefied company of a multitude of Oakville winegrowers and vintners: a veritable who's who of the Oakville AVA.  The Oakville Winegrowers were hosting geologist David G. Howell at the Robert Mondavi Winery and I was fortunate enough to be extended an invitation to attend.  Yay!  Once again, Mr. Howell's insight as to the geological history of the Napa Valley, specifically Oakville, and its influence on present-day grape-growing was riveting stuff. God bless vulcanism, plate tectonics and glaciation.
Aside from the 160 million year geological-education, I was given the opportunity to sample a plethora of Oakville wines, mainly from the 2012 vintage, prior to the presentation beginning. Really fascinating stuff, the presentation and the wine.  All of the attendees had contributed bottles of their own wines for the pre-presentation meet-and-greet.  I have to say, of all the wines represented, the TWWIAGE Cabernet sauvignon really stood out from the crowd.  That made me very happy.


About Last Weekend said...

That's incredible! About being underwater. It's very prehistoric feeling when we go back to NZ because just an hour offshore is a volcanic island that can blow at any time, you can actually tour it and the crate lake is not even fenced off -- only in NZ!!!

Vinogirl said...

Conventional wisdom says the next big place to blow is Washington State...hope you don't have any friends there! Kiwis seem a pragmatic lot :)
Hopefully 2016 will be the year we meet! Happy, happy to you and yours.

New Hampshire Wineman said...

VG: Geology matters! The proof is just how great Napa Cabs really are! Lucky you, mortgage and all!

Thomas said...

The proof that the Finger Lakes region was also once a big ocean is found in fossils--fish fossils that are still being found.

Nothing says the earth can't--or won't--revert ...

Everytime you mention TWWIAGE I think of the emergency room!

Vinogirl said...

NHW: I have a coworker who says, "I live in Napa because I can't afford to visit." There is some truth to that. I like it here.

Tomasso: The radiolaria that are present in the chert, in the vineyards of the "emergency room" (of where I am gainfully employed), are proof that the Napa Valley was once part of the greater San Francisco bay - obviously, before it was even named that.