Vineyard consultants seize the spotlight

Napa Valley is seeing a rise in vineyard consultants, who are challenging winemakers when it comes to allocating credit for the region’s top-scoring wines.

This shift has been preceded by a steady uplift in the profile of the vineyard manager. Although when a wine goes cult or when a top score in a wine magazine is achieved, it is the winemaker who is credited, these vineyard managers are now frequently interviewed and written about in wine publications, with people eager to hear what they have to say.

For the moment at least, few vineyard consultants, with the exception of power consultants such as David Abreu, are receiving the same level of attention. However this may be set to change given the rise in vineyard consulting services in the Napa Valley over the last few years as a number of highly talented individuals employed by top wineries have stepped out on their own.

The drinks business spoke to several vineyard consultants and took a look at their businesses.

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