Napa Is a Brand Built on Creating a Premium Environment For Wine
Napa Valley is a premium brand! Once it is understood that Napa is a brand, just like Champagne in France, only then the importance of Napa as a real jewel starts to napa 4003 be realized. To keep this brand relevant it requires constantly moving ahead with innovations. Early on, the one person most responsible for the vision of building the Napa brand, through “firsts”, was Robert Mondavi. Starting in 1968, Mr. Mondavi started to establish Napa’s pedigree as a premier region for wines. He brought together some of the elements that make Napa “First” at what it is today. For example, new processes in making wines, hitchhiking on the concept that wine had health benefits and showcasing the whole Napa Valley as a Mecca for culinary, cultural and oenophile experiences.
Some say his dream of Napa Valley had a downside; weekend traffic became a real issue for locals, ancillary commercial ventures started diminishing the ambiance of The Valley, and some folks were losing sight of the fact that Napa Valley is really about agriculture. Even the Napa Wine Train had its detractors because some felt it was not part of the Napa Experience.
Today there are many entities that are the keepers-of-the-keys relative to maintaining Napa as the world’s leader in viticulture and winemaking. Politics is in the mix for sure; the laws in place in Napa County evoke concerns for: the economy, impact of traffic on locals, environment, and the wineries themselves. The wineries have a stake in the equation because Napa is primarily about making and marketing wines; all of which require significant capital investment.
The Napa Valley Vintners Association and Mr. Terry Hall in particular, is concerned with making sure the Napa brand is protected, after all, this is the brand that brought the French wine industry to their collective knees with the “1976 Paris Tasting”. As a quick refresher: the Paris Tasting was a publicity event by a Englishman, who owned a wine shop in Paris, that pitted some California wines against the finest French wines. Approximately 10 highly respected French tasters chose a Napa Chardonnay as the best and a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon as the finest red. In all, Napa wines had 6 whites and 6 reds in the top 10wines in that tasting. Not bad for a place with less than 300 acres planted in vines at the 1973 harvest. This was the first time American wines reached the pinnacle of success.
Terry Hall is quick to point out that Napa is still leading the way, even other wine regions in the U.S. are looking to the successes of Napa and looking to the Napa Valley Vintners Association for information on some of their programs. We need to realize that only 4% of California’s wine production comes from Napa Valley.
Let’s take a look at some “Firsts” programs put in place in Napa that have impacted the wine industry in Napa and is spreading.
Mentioned earlier was the profound impact the “1976 Paris Tasting” had on establishing Napa as a first-class wine region. But, did you know, the winemaker of the first place Chardonnay in Paris was Mike Grgich who went on to found Grgich Hill Winery? Today, Grgich Hill is a Biodynamci®certified vineyard with approximately 370 acres in vines. Basically, that means that Grgich Hill is producing wines using the highest standards of organic farming without chemicals in producing wine. The first winery in Napa was Charles Krug, and they are 100% organic in the vineyard and in wine production.