The Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) is a basin-wide plan that lays out a path for sustainable management of a groundwater basin over a 20-year period.
Napa County has released three GSP Workplans for review, along with a Combined Program Overview. NVG encourages you to engage with this process. You can do so via the comment forms, or at one of three upcoming workshops.
Public comments due January 30, 2024:
Combined Program Overview and 3 GSP Workplans
NVG's GSP Advocacy
NVG has worked for several years as a voice for growers, aiming to ensure a Groundwater Sustainability Plan that both meets the county’s environmental goals and takes into consideration how water is used in vineyards—and how these regulations will impact grape-growing operations. This advocacy includes representing members on the GSP Advisory Committee, providing regular public comment and presentations to the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA), and regular correspondence with county staff.
Napa Valley Grapegrowers GSP Resources & Water Conservation Seminar Part I Video
To support members throughout the planning and implementation of the GSP, watch our Water Conservation Seminar with information about the Groundwater Sustainability Plan, and visit our GSP webpage for additional resources.
Additional NVG Resources
NVG has created and compiled a wealth of water and irrigation resources, including a video on Water Reclamation in the Napa Valley.
Napa Valley Grape Growers Cut Roundup Use in Half, Evaluate Weed Control Strategies Amidst Shifting Consumer and Community Opinions
by Pam Strayer for Wine Business
The nation’s most prestigious wine grape grower organization, the Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVGG), gathered in early November for their two day annual conference, Rootstock. Breaking with the tradition of covering many topics at Rootstock, this year the group featured just one subject–weed control.
The topic has stirred controversy in recent years.
A week later, Napa Green, the county’s prominent sustainability program, announced it would require its members to phase out conventional herbicides, including Roundup, by 2026, offering growers technical and financial assistance to support the change The program has 25 current members and 44 others who are in transition. Together they collectively farm 7,000 acres of vines.
The growers’ educational gathering was held amidst growing consumer concerns that glyphosate based herbicides, featured in front page news (in recent court cases and ongoing studies), inhibit soil health and affect human health. In Napa, some consumers then began asking vintners if they used the herbicide, which put the topic on some wineries’ radar.
“The Napa Valley Grapegrowers have never shied away from a difficult topic or an interesting topic for discussion within the industry,” said NVGG board member Dave Whitmer, the county’s former Ag Commissioner.
As the NVGG said in describing its Nov. 6-7 event on its website, “as consumers' and lenders' perceptions around herbicides shift, there is mounting pressure across the wine production chain to adapt farming methods…. as Napa Valley growers continue to strive for viticultural excellence, employing innovative practices is paramount to continuing to increase quality and sustainability in our vineyards.”
Press release by Caroline Feuchuk, Napa Valley Grapegrowers, and Teresa Wall, Napa Valley Vintners
12/4/2023 - Saint Helena, CA - Coming off the heels of the longest Napa Valley growing season in a decade, vintners are glowing with expectancy of the truly noteworthy 2023 vintage. Some have proposed it to be one of the greats while others claim it might be the vintage of a lifetime.
“Every century, every place has its legendary vintages. I have no doubt that 2023 will go down as one of the most phenomenal vintages ever in Napa Valley. Every vintner I’ve talked to about 2023 has been nothing short of ecstatic,” said Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible and Napa Valley resident in a recent video about the 2023 harvest.
Winemakers describe the wines as having freshness, purity and elegance overall with deep colored red wines and a full range of flavors from sites across the valley.
Higher-than-average rainfall kicked off the 2023 growing season, and grape growers reported full soil profiles with plenty of moisture, which led to a successful bloom. Due to cooler spring weather, the growing season began 10-14 days behind the 2022 season.
“The remainder of the growing season was a mild one. Cooler growing conditions meant extended hang time for grapes,” said Brittany Pederson, director of viticulture for Renteria Vineyard Management. “Knowing we’d likely harvest into November, it was our job to ripen the fruit and keep it protected long enough to hang through the extended time frame.”
Relatively cool weather in tandem with an abundance of sunshine allowed grape skins to ripen slowly and develop maximal dark red color components for red wines. With 2023’s long growing season, full ripeness of grape skins and seeds provided the building blocks for the red wines’ tannic backbone.
“Ripe, rich tannins are the wine’s source of resilience and provide the elements for a long-lived wine. The deep red color is a signal of a stand-out vintage, especially with Cabernet,” said Jim Duane, Winemaker at Seavey Vineyard.
Aside from Sauvignon Blanc, which was harvested as early as Labor Day weekend, most varieties ripened in October. This simultaneous ripening meant grape growers and wineries coordinated picks based on tank space in the cellar, and communication among partnerships was key. As always, everyone remained nimble, taking the challenges in stride.
“Every harvest we ‘add to our belts’, so to speak, as each one delivers a new experience and learning lesson. 2023 was no exception,” said Pederson.
With consistent, mild weather throughout the season, above-average crop yields, and extended hang time, grape growers and winemakers are reporting an exceptional, high-quality, memorable vintage in 2023.
A mild growing season has the Napa Valley agricultural community excited about the 2023 vintage:
LEARN MORE ABOUT NAPA VALLEY’S HARVEST
SOMM TV 2023 NAPA VALLEY VINTAGE REPORT
Watch the 2023 Napa Valley Vintage Report with winemakers as they get together to recap the harvest season and talk about the 2023 vintage. Airs Tuesday, December 5, 2023 on SOMM TV.
2023 HARVEST PRESS CONFERENCE: A recap of the season
Industry insiders joined together to discuss the 2023 growing season, timely topics related to Napa Valley agriculture and harvest. View the 2023 vintage recap on the Napa Valley Grapegrowers YouTube page.