Napa Valley is small and narrow, a geological wrinkle that both dictates and follows the course of a little river. Route 29 follows the river too, and traveling on it makes the valley seem even narrower.
As space on valley floors runs out, the hills are alive with the sound of bulldozers.
“I don’t see us ever gaining organic status,” says Jason Kesner, manager of Lee Hudson Vineyards. “Our economic viability on a year-to-year basis can be seriously threatened by a pest.” Then he adds a familiar refrain: “It’s hard to be green when you’re in the red.”
Water wars in California usually pit north against south, but on the North Coast, grapes suck up groundwater like never before.
More and more growers are going organic. Just don't expect to see it on the label.