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February 4, 2014 | 7:46 AM

One week ago, the Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) outlined plans for managing Napa’s 45,200 acres of grapevines in current drought conditions during a press conference.

During 2013, Napa Valley measured four to eight inches of rain, the driest year on record; so far in 2014, there has been no rain. Typically, annual rainfall is 12-25 inches, with an average of eight inches falling in January.

“The biggest challenge we’re immediately facing is an early bud break – the growing season is starting more than a month early,” said Domenick Bianco, Member, Napa Valley Grapegrowers and Vineyard Manager, Renteria Vineyard Management. “Now we’re forced to adopt vineyard management practices to slow bud break. This year, we’re going to have to be more vigilant than ever – all eyes on the vines at all times – in order to assure a high quality harvest.”

 Speakers included:
• Hal Huffsmith, Director, Napa Valley Grapegrowers and Director of Vineyard Operations, Trinchero Family Estates
• Domenick Bianco, Member, Napa Valley Grapegrowers and Vineyard Manager, Renteria Vineyard Management

Press conference topics include:
• Current data and comparisons with last major drought of 1975
• Various growing conditions - valley floor vs. hillside
• Current Napa groundwater situation
• Water policy and strategies
• How growers are mitigating drought challenges with water management best practices

To watch the press conference, click here.

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