Vintage 2012 so far has been the most “normal” year I can remember.
No frost last Spring. No damp, rainy conditions into June. Here we are, just days away from Labor Day, and there hasn’t yet been one of those notorious heat events that lasts for days, wrecking havoc in the vineyards.
Of course, good could turn to bad before all the grapes are picked. (Harvest actually began a week or two ago for the sparkling varieties.) The last of the Cabernet probably won’t be crushed until sometime in October; rains could come as early as mid-September, compromising the fruit.
But let’s not worry about what hasn’t happened. So far, so good. Moderate to warm temperatures during the day, cool at night, just the right amount of fog and sun. It seems like a miracle after the weirdness of 2011, 2011, 2009, 2008, even 2007. I just hope I don’t have to eat my words by the time vintage 2012 is over.
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Targeting women wine drinkers
In general, I’m not a fan of targeting specific demographic groups, as it seems like pandering. I was interviewed the other day for Wine Crush Radio, and this topic of marketing to women came up, and I told the host I didn’t much care for it, any more than I would care about targeting wine to Black Americans, gay Americans or any other group.
But the Ste. Michelle campaign is tasteful and creative. Quoting from the Times: Users customize an equation that begins “Me + A glass of wine” and ends “ = My Chateau.” Within, users string together words and symbols to complete the equation. So one might formulate: “Me + A glass of wine + Camping — (symbol for thunderstorm) + my kids — (symbol for computer monitor) = My Chateau.”
Here’s my equation: Me + a bottle of Champagne + the perfect companion + a private beach in Hawaii + smoked salmon and caviar – rain – clouds – wind + plenty of SPF 70 sunscreen = My Chateau.”
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Downtown Napa is so cool
Nice to see that Napa County has installed educational signs along the banks of the Napa River in downtown Napa city, to inform passersby of the flood control project that tore the area up for years, but thankfully and hopefully will prevent downtown from experiencing the kind of flooding that occurred routinely for so long.
Downtown Napa has really become a go-to destination. I remember in the 1980s when nobody went there because there was no place to go and nothing to do. Napa was a joke, a seedy place of thrift shops and old-fashioned clothing and furniture stores. No more. Napa is now the hottest town in the county, a real destination for fine dining, entertainment and, if you’re inclined to spend the night, first-class hotels and resorts. I can’t think of any wine country destination within two hours of my home I’d rather hang out in for a couple of days, including Healdsburg.