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Right now in Napa Valley the annual grape harvest is happening. Many people are busy in the vineyards and wineries working hard to make new wines for the 2019 vintage. Everyone is picking grapes off the vines hoping to make the best wines. Napa Valley has the perfect climate for growing really special grapes; people around the world enjoy wine from our home.

Turning grapes into wine uses a combination of art and science. Once the grapes are picked, they are fermented, which is when yeasts are added to the juice and the yeast changes the sugar in the juice into alcohol, which makes it wine. Different types of grapes make different types of wines, and winemakers also do different things in the winery to change and influence flavors. They sometimes use oak barrels to make the wine taste oaky.

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Grape harvest is a busy but exciting time in Napa Valley. The year’s hard work of growing grapes finally pays off. Once the harvest is over, it is time to rest and celebrate a good year, then do it all over again in 2020! There are many different varieties of grapes grown in Napa. There are also many different varieties of wine including red wine, sparkling, rose and white wine. I hope you have now learned a bit about grape harvest and what is happening in this town.

Editor’s Note: Matilda Petty is a member of Erin Kurtz’s sixth-grade journalism class at St. Helena’s Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School.

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