Also: Jess Jackson, Kunde and Balletto families receive honorsAs they watch for color change in winegrape clusters, or the verasion phase that starts maturation, North Coast growers will have to keep an eye out for the next wave of the European grapevine moth this season.
Large areas of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties are part of a statewide quarantine for the moth, which was first found in the U.S. in Napa Valley last fall. Larvae from the first generation of a season feast on grape flowers. Second- and third-generation larvae eat into immature and maturing grape berries fouling clusters with rot.
Adults of the third “flight” of the season are expected around Aug. 1, based on degree-day modeling by the Napa County U.C. Cooperative Extension.
The optimal window for applying conventional and approved organic pesticides to have the biggest impact on newly laid eggs and longest effect through the rest of the season is 10 to 15 days after the first third-flight adult is trapped, according to the extension.
However, treatments with longer-lasting agents, which can be effective up to a month, for early-harvest grapes should be applied a week after the third flight is detected, according to the farming advisory office. A primary treatment for certified-organic vineyards, Bacillus thuringiensis, commonly called Bt, may need an additional application.
In preparations for harvest, local agriculture regulators are signing compliance agreements with growers, harvesters, haulers and wineries, which are required for picking, moving and receiving grapes within and out of quarantined areas.
Agricultural commissioners for Sonoma and Mendocino counties issued compliance agreements at meetings in June. The Napa County Agricultural Commissioner’s office will hold mandatory compliance-agreement meetings at the UC Cooperative Extension office at 1710 Soscol Ave. in Napa on July 27 at 9 a.m., July 29 at 4 p.m. and Aug. 3 at 1 p.m. Registration is required and can be made, along with alternative arrangements, by calling 707-253-4357.
The Ranch Winery in St. Helena is has expanded its tank, barrel and crush capacity as well as hospitality facilities. Tank capacity now is more than 800,000 gallons of wine, in a number of tank sizes ranging from 350 to 100,000 gallons. The custom winery now accommodates 17,000 barrels in a climate-controlled facility.
The property, acquired in 2006 by a team of investors led by Joel Gott, has certification from California Certified Organic Farmers and is pursuing U.S. Department of Agriculture Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point certification for juice facilities.
“The economic downturn has created a situation where some labels have opted to delay investments in infrastructure, making The Ranch a very sensible production choice,” Mr. Gott said.
Several new venues for experiencing wine have opened in the North Coast recently. St. Helena-based Boisset Family Estates, whose portfolio includes the DeLoach and Raymond labels and wines from Burgundy, opened its Taste of Terroir sampling salon at 320 Center St. on the Healdsburg Plaza last week.
Included in the North Coast-meets-Burgundy format are portfolio wines DeLoach, Bouchard Aîne & Fils, Jean-Claude Boisset, Domaine de la Vougeraie and JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset and Burgundy traditional-method sparkling wine Cremant de Bourgogne by Louis Bouillot. Flights range from $8 to $100.