Wednesday, June 29, 2016

June's Virtual Paint Out - California's Napa Valley

The Napa Valley is located northeast of San Francisco and is considered to be one of the top Viticultural (wine growing) regions in the United States.

Napa Valley Winery, 9x12, oil

The early settlers primarily raised cattle, grain and fruit crops. By the late 1800’s there were more than 140 wineries in the area. Several of the original wineries are still in operation.

With the great silver rush in 1858 miners flocked to the region. While gold was being prospected in other areas of the state, Napa County became a center for silver and quicksilver mining.

Viticulture in the Napa Valley suffered a setback with Prohibition in 1920, compounded by an insect infestation which killed many of the vines throughout the valley. These two events caused many wineries to shut down and stalled the growth of the wine industry for years. But for some farmers, Prohibition offered a unique opportunity for growing and shipping grapes to home winemakers across the country. When Prohibition ended in 1933, this new industry suffered when the price of grapes fell to below $24 per ton. Thankfully during these years the resourceful farmers had planted over 500,000 fruit and nut trees in the valley and this helped to soften the blows to the agricultural economy.

The years following WWII saw a growth in businesses related to agriculture, cattle and tourism with wine grapes again becoming the primary focus. Today the Napa Valley is home to over four hundred wineries and is visited by approximately five million people each year. 

I always enjoy reading a bit about our destinations. It's a fascinating world. I wonder where artist, Bill Guffy, will send us in July? Only two more days to wait! Join us, new members are always welcome. 

Thanks for visiting,

This painting is available in my Ebay Store.

To see all my paintings from all of our virtual destinations - Virtual Paint-Out.