Many Napa Valley winemakers would likely name 2020 the worst year of their careers — and not because of the pandemic. Plagued by two major fires in a row, a significant portion of the grape harvest, especially for red wines, was destroyed by smoke from the wildfires before it could be harvested. Some Napa wineries produced no wine that year.
But a recent trade event, Napa Valley’s first annual, proved the 2020 vintage in Napa wasn’t a total wash. A surprising start to 2020 red wines has generated optimism within the local industry about the prospect of making wine during future fire seasons. Once these wines are made public, consumer confidence could be restored in what has been widely publicized as a disastrous Napa vintage.