2018 FARMING PRACTICES The seventh in a series of truly exceptional Napa Valley growing seasons, 2018 presented a remarkable confluence of climatic conditions, resulting in a Cabernet Sauvignon crop widely recognized for its complexity, depth of fruit character, and abundance.
Ample rainfall in February provided sufficient soil moisture to fuel vineyard canopy growth at Vine Hill Ranch. Warm temperatures welcomed the onset of budbreak with endless days of sunshine, supporting uniform flowering and even cluster development. The month of July delivered high temperatures, followed by remarkably temperate conditions throughout the extended 2018 growing season.
A very even bloom period was followed by rapid veraison, extended maturation, and the development of singular phenolic characteristics throughout our vineyard.
We finished harvest on October 12. The long 21-day harvest season gave us flexibility regarding ways to optimize varietal expression across Vine Hill Ranch’s seven blocks.
2018 provided ideal conditions for the redeveloped portion of our hillside Block 6L to develop structurally through its third leaf. We continued to remove virus-affected vines to ensure the sustainability of the older vineyard blocks, and composting throughout the vineyard supported the vibrancy of Vine Hill Ranch’s rich gravel loam soils.
The Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) has announced that the Phillips family, longtime winegrape growers in Oakville, has been selected as the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Napa Valley Grower of the Year award. This is the first time that a family, rather than an individual, has been chosen for this distinction.
Bob Phillips was an early president (1984-86) of the NVG and one of the true pioneers of the organization. He participated in a significant way in many foundational industry successes, from the definition of the Napa Valley’s appellated structure to the protections afforded Napa County’s rich agricultural resources. His wife, Alex, served on the board of the Napa County Farm Bureau, and was instrumental in the founding years and beyond at the di Rosa Preserve. Bruce Phillips, their son, recently completed a two-year term as President of the NVG, during which time he led the NVG in the areas of strategic development, marketing and industry partnerships, which will carry the organization far into the future. Bruce’s wife, Heather, is a Napa County Planning Commissioner and chaired the very successful 2009 NVG Harvest STOMP event.
“The Phillips family has quietly represented the best of what we as growers
hope to be. Their love of the land and dedication to the industry and community
is an inspiration to all of us.” —NVG PRESIDENT DAVID BECKSTOFFER
Each year, the Past Presidents of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers meet to decide Grower of the Year. They deliberate over nominations submitted by the NVG membership based on: a strong commitment to sustainable practices; recognized leadership in agricultural preservation; dedicated community focus, contributions to the Napa Valley community; and someone who actively promotes Napa’s reputation for the highest quality vineyards.
With over 550 members, the Napa Valley Grapegrowers has played a vital role in strengthening Napa Valley’s reputation as a world-class winegrowing region for over 36 years. Its mission is to promote and preserve Napa Valley’s world-class vineyards.