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Napa Valley,Sonoma, San Francisco North Bay, Ca. , California, USA, Angwin, St Helena, Calistoga, Yountville, Napa, Sonoma, Oakville, Rutherford, California, County Vineyards - Napa California
Napa Valley, San Francisco North Bay, Ca. USA

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Of all factors affecting the quality of a wine,
the quality of the grapes more than any other factor determines the quality of the wine. Their quality is not only affected by their variety, but also by the weather during the growing season, the soil, the time of harvest, and the way they are pruned. The combination of these effects is often referred to as their terroir. The most common genus of wine grape is Vitis vinifera, which includes nearly all varieties of European origin.

The grapes are usually harvested from the vineyard in the fall, in the northern hemisphere from the middle of October until the beginning of November, or the middle of February until the beginning of March in the southern hemisphere.

Harvest is the picking of the grapes and in many ways the first step in wine production. Grapes are either harvested mechanically or by hand. The decision to harvest grapes is typically made by the winemaker and informed by the level of sugar (called °Brix), acid (TA or Titratable Acidity as expressed by tartaric acid equivalents) and pH of the grapes, as well as berry flavor, tannin development and overall disposition of the grapevine and weather forecasts. °Brix is a measure of the soluble solids in the grape juice and represents not only the sugars but also acids and to a lesser degree esters, terpenes and tannins. The level of sugar in the grapes is important not only because it will determine the final alcohol content of the wine, but also because it is an indirect index of grape maturity.

Mechanical harvesters are large tractors that straddle grapevine trellises and, using firm plastic or rubber rods, strike the fruiting zone of the grapevine to dislodge the grapes from the rachis. Mechanical harvestors have the advantage of being able to cover a large area of vineyard land in a relatively short period of time, and with a minimum investment of manpower per harvested ton. A disadvantage of mechanical harvesting is the indiscriminate inclusion of foreign non-grape material in the gondola by the action of the harvestor. Depending on the trellis system and grapevine canopy management, this foreign material can be moldy grapes, leaves, canes, metal debris, rocks and even small animals.

Some winegrowers remove leaves and loose debris from the grapevine before mechanical harvesting to avoid such material being included in the harvested fruit.









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Alphabetical Listings

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Adastra Vineyards 255-4818
Aloise Francisco Vineyards   
1054 Bayview Ave, Napa Ca 94559 707 252-4005  John Tognetti           
Bayview Vineyards   
5135 Solano Ave, Napa Ca  94558, 707 963-2947
Bettinelli Vineyard Management 707 254-0213
Bigornia's Vineyard  707 265-9581
Buckland Vineyard Management   
2206 Oak Knoll Ave, Napa Ca 94558 707 252-9055
Buckland Vineyard Management   
1210 Monticello Rd, Napa Ca 94558  707 252-1800 Al Buckland
Ceja Vineyards
P.O. Box 5957, Napa, Ca 94581 707 255-3954 email

Grasso Vineyard, LLC
PO Box 4144, Napa, Ca 94558-0414  707 252-1999

Harms Vineyards   
1870 El Centro Ave, Napa Ca 94558 707 224-2392       
Kruse Creek Vineyard   
2184 Imola Ave, Napa Ca 94559 707 258-8879       
Longwood Ranch Vineyard   
1006 Monticello Rd, Napa Ca 94558  707 257-3100
Nord Coast Vineyard Svc   
1326 Hillview Ln, Napa Ca 94558  707  226-8774 Will Nord       
Piccolo Vineyards   
2931 Atlas Peak Rd, Napa Ca 94558 707 257-1865     
Regusci Ranch    
5584 Silverado Trl, Napa Ca 94558  707 254-0326 Jim Reguschi   
Rigi Vineyards   
5223 Big Ranch Rd  Napa Ca 94558  707 226-3744 Ray Dedini   
Shafer Vineyards   
6154 Silverado Trl  Napa Ca 94558  707 944-2877 email  John Shafer
Stagecoach Vineyards   
3265 Soda Canyon Rd,  Napa Ca 94558   707 259-1198       
Strack Vineyard   
4120 Saint Helena Hwy, Napa Ca 94558 707 224-5100
Salvador Van Deria   
Toribeth Vineyards Inc   
1600 South Ave, Napa Ca 94559    707 253-2580                        
Sasanka Mukerji   
Vyborny Vineyard Management Co   
7327 Silverado Trl   
Napa Ca 94558       
Alex Vyborny
Walsh Vineyards Management Inc.
1125 Golden Gate Drive, Napa, CA 94558-6188
 In the United States mechanical harvesting is seldom used for premium winemaking because of the indiscriminate picking and increased oxidation of the grape juice. In other countries (such as Australia and New Zealand), mechanical harvesting of premium winegrapes is more common because of general labor shortages.

Manual harvesting is the hand-picking of grape clusters from the grapevines. In the United States, grapes are traditionally picked into 30 pound boxes, and in many cases these boxes are consolidated into ½ ton bins or two-ton bins for transport to the winery. Manual harvesting has the advantage of using knowledgeable labor to not only pick the ripe clusters but also to leave behind the clusters that are not ripe or contain bunch rot or other defects. This can be an effective first line of defense to prevent inferior quality fruit from contaminating a lot or tank of wine.

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