A. When is harvest in Napa?
This is a tricky question, the window for harvest is dependent on the grape and Mother Nature. In a typical year you can visit Napa from August to early November and harvest will be occurring all over the Valley. August is the beginning for the sparkling and white wine grapes, they are the first to get picked. The white grapes, have higher acidity, mature early, and require less heat and hang time on the vine, Sauvignon Blanc, Albariño, Grenache Blanc, Verdejo, and Roussanne. As long as the fruit/grape matures on the vine- the sugar/brix will continue to climb, higher sugar=higher alcohol. If you haven’t tried Mark’s Acha Blanca, an Albariño and Verdejo blend it’s a must try, and it pairs deliciously with breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Now that we have covered the whites, let us move onto the reds… Harvest continues well into November for some of the late harvest colder climate reds, and dessert wines. These include the amazing Cabernets that Napa Valley is known for. In addition, to other California varietals you wouldn’t expect to see Alicante Bouschet, Graciano, Tempranillo, Mourvèdre, and Carignan. The reds typically take longer to mature with the sweet reds or grapes that are destined for dessert wines taking the longest. Mark Herold who is very familiar with the Spanish varietals loves to play with his blends. At Mark Herold Wines you will find Acha and Collide labels, these are two Spanish inspired blends. Or you could also try the Flux label, a Rhone inspired blend. They take the opposite approach with Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, finding that it needs no augmentation, all of Mark Herold Cabs are 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

B. How many bottles of wine are produced per vine?
If you want to answer that question there are a million variables that could all give you a different answer. Are we talking Chardonnay or Pinot? What is the age of the vine- are the vines 20 years old or 80 years old? Is this hillside fruit or is it grown on the valley floor? The easier way to answer this question would be to quantify the amount of tonnage per acre, which can only be determined once you have harvested and weighed the fruit. If we base this on previous Napa Valley averages, you could expect that Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown on the valley floor produce 4 tons per acre, and hillside grapes produce 1.5 tons per acre. Based on the above averages multiply the tonnage by 52 cases to quantify the number of bottles.

(Valley Floor)
4 tons x 52 cases = 208 cases x 12 bottles per case = 2,496 bottles of wine
Or
(Hillside)
1.5 tons x 52 cases = 78 cases x 12 bottles per case = 936 bottles of wine

C. How does the cost of the wine get determined?
The cost is determined by the price of grapes, barrels, equipment, how much the winery costs are, packaging costs, labor costs in making the wine? For example, grapes can cost as much as $25,000 a ton or as low as $500 a ton. There are many different types of barrels and they can cost anywhere from $500 to $1300 per barrel based on the wood type French, Yugoslavian, American, Russian, yadda yadda yadda… Also, costs are based on what kinds of bells and whistles the winery has for equipment, automatic pump overs, optical sorting tables, are they really high-tech or do they use a custom crush facility? At Mark Herold Wines, the cost per bottle varies from $20 for a Rose to $195 for a single vineyard reserve Cabernet Sauvignon with many options in between.
At Mark Herold Wines their motto is “Everyone leaves with a happy ending” the fun and raucous tasting room is located at 710 First Street by the Oxbow Public Market, where no appointment is necessary. Aside from the above, Mark Herold Wines is planning to open a second tasting room downtown. The new location will be focused on private seated tastings, featuring Marks higher end reserve and library wines. For more information check out www.HeroldWines.com. NVL