Napa Valley Film Festival 2016 Screens Wine Film Decanted
Recording from Yountville, California, we are in the Napa Valley to celebrate the release of the film Decanted, which weaves an in depth story of winemaking in the Valley. Veteran winemaker Anthony Bell of Bell Wine Cellars is one of the highlighted characters in this Digital Cave Media feature-length film by Award-winning Director Nick Kovacic.
Join us for this episode as Bell discusses the issues he’s faced as a grower and winemaker dating back to the early 1970’s. He recalls the challenges starting in the early 80’s with widespread phylloxera and shares some little known details about the last several decades in the Napa Valley. The crisis, he shares, gave way to the implementation of newly researched methods of trellising, spacing, root stock and clonal selection. He explains how this potentially devastating situation for grape growers in Napa actually was a gateway to an outstanding opportunity for growth and improvement in quality of the vines.
Growing up on a vineyard in Stellenbosch South Africa, Bell was confident at a young age that he’d devote his career to wine. The agricultural aspect of grape growing fascinates him still today, as he absolutely loves the vineyard diversity, experimenting with various clones and the diverse expression of the grapes grown across regions.
There are just 7.5 acres planted on the Yountville AVA Bell Vineyards, mostly to Chardonnay and Merlot. They buy the remainder of grapes from different areas in California, with long term and very specific contracts that span from Calistoga to Atlas Peak down as far south as the Sierra Foothills. Bell has a penchant for Clone 6 Cabernet Sauvignon and produces one of the only single Clone 6 Cabernets in the country. He affectionately calls it the Charlie Brown Christmas clone since it produces less than 50% of the berries on a typical cluster of Cabernet in Napa Valley. Paltry but exquisite.
Also hear more on the ambitious storyline of the film “Decanted” and the Grape-to-Glass tasting experience at Bell Wine Cellars. Tune back in for our next SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting episode with Bell in a few weeks.
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