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Just what does it take for a grape to become wine that lives up to Napa Valley’s reputation for quality? Follow the story below to understand the life cycle of the grape from vine to wine.

Winter Pruning Winter Pruning

More wine grape varieties grow in Napa Valley than in any other region of comparable size in California. As a result, our winter pruning season takes place over an extended period of time. Pruning is a highly skilled vineyard practice. The purpose is to guide the vine in certain directions and for particular purposes. In Napa Valley, much of this work is done by vineyard workers who are year-round employees. Here’s one example of the precision with which winter pruning decisions in Napa Valley are made: some vintners may prune their Merlot vines a full two weeks later [...]

Sonoma County is home to more than 50 regional parks and 11 state parks, from Gualala in the north to Bodega Bay in the south, and from the Pacific Ocean in the west to Sonoma Valley in the east. They’re all exceptionally beautiful and most offer plenty to do, so it’s often difficult to choose one park to visit.

But ask yourself this: Do you prefer a dirt trail to a paved path, and an isolated cove to a groomed beach? Do you smile rather than scowl when a wave crashing on a nearby rock covers you with salt spray? Does your heart leap at the sight of nature untrammeled?

If so, you’d probably be happiest visiting one of the county’s “wild parks,” where the land has been barely — or even never — touched. In alpha order, a few of our favorite wild parks are:

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