Most of the new plantings going on across Napa Valley are cabernet sauvignon, the varietal for which the region is most associated, Monette said. But others are planting rising stars petit verdot, malbec and petite sirah for blending.
Beckstoffer Vineyards is looking at new rootstock and clones as cabernet vines are replaced on more than 200 acres. They've placed some orders for 2014 delivery.
‘‘We've been developing for two years when (grape) prices were low because we saw they would come back. We'd rather have fruit available than wait two years for it, even when prices were very low,’’ David Beckstoffer said. ‘‘Replanting is expensive, but when prices are where you want them to be your investment pays off.’’
Over the past two decades the bucolic Napa Valley has transformed itself into a showplace of wineries as celebrities and the rich erect grand palaces to host $25 tastings of estate-grown vintages. Now growers and winemakers who believe that the best wines are made on the vines are eager to see what improvements this new generation of plants will bring.
It’s a chance, Putnam said, for Napa Valley to raise the bar again.
‘‘You only get an opportunity like this every 20 years,’’ she said. ‘‘There’s a very optimistic feeling here. This is a place that’s looking ahead and planning ahead.’’
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