The Pelissa family, owners of Napa Wine Company and Yount Mill Vineyards are pleased to report that after some tense moments during harvest, their wines are safe in the cellars finishing fermentations very nicely. The 5,000 case production of the Napa Wine Company brand includes Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon from the 600 acre Yount Mill Vineyards, the largest organic vineyard in northern California. The vineyards, located in Yountville and Oakville in the heart of the Napa Valley, also provides grapes to numerous other high-profile brands. A total of thirteen different varietals are grown, each on its own ripening schedule and with its own harvest requirements, making for an exhausting but exciting time of year for the vineyard and winery crew. The long, cool growing season was a whopping 200 degree days cooler than average for Yountville and Oakville, which meant harvest began later and finished later than average. At Yount Mill Vineyards, the harvest was completed October 14, over a week later than normal. The tense moments came with six sessions of light rains during the growing season--just enough to settle the dust--and two very high heat spikes. "This was the year we really saw the benefits of our composting program," Napa Wine Company managing partner Andrew Hoxsey reported. "The heat spikes really affected other vineyards' fruit, but ours seemed to come through it with no problems. The organic matter we've built up in our soils provided reserves for the vine to draw from during the extreme conditions; even the dry-farmed blocks came through the heat extremely well." "A farmer's life is to optimize quality & yield in face of changing conditions," Hoxsey mused. "We don't look at vintages in terms of good or bad necessarily, but I am very optimistic about the final outcome of the first vintage of the new millennium."