In our latest vintage update focused on the 2021 vintage in Napa Valley, we went just north of St Helena to chat with Laura Díaz Muñoz, GM and Winemaker at Ehlers Estate. We wanted to know how she “stays cool” when we get hot weather in the valley. Although we haven’t seen real heat issues this season, Laura has 2 options ready to go in the vineyard if needed.
The first option is misters – which provide a cooling mist of water if the temperature in the vineyard goes about 95 degrees. This method uses much less water than irrigating during hot times. Also, they are in the process of installing Biofiltro, which will recycle water from the winery operations to use in irrigation, getting 2 uses out of the same water.
The second option to fight the heat is shade cloth. The team at Ehlers uses this cloth when the sun is going to potentially damage the skins of the grapes. The cloth provides shade and protects the grapes from sunburn.
Both of these efforts are low impact ways to manage heat in the vineyard and maintain high quality grapes for winemaking.