What's Happening in the Vineyards this January? » BALLOONS ABOVE THE VALLEY - Napa Valley Hot Air Balloon

Following another successful grape harvest in Napa Valley, what’s next for the growers? By late Fall, all of the crops were in and found their way to the many wineries to produce some of the region’s world-famous wines.

So, are all those vineyard managers sitting back, resting, and just watching those delightful Napa Valley hot air balloons float majestically above as they wait for springtime to return?

The answer is a resounding NO!

What Happens During the Pruning Season in Napa Valley Vineyards?

Although the vines may be resting, the growers are not.

The vineyard managers and crew are now busily preparing for the 2020 season by pruning away much of last season’s growth to encourage renewed vine development.

Over the centuries, grapevine growers have learned that the best crop comes from vines that have been properly pruned. And after the leaves have gone, the vines become dormant and are less susceptible to freezing temperatures and disease.


At this time, removal of much of last season’s cane growth ensures an abundant, delicious crop for the next season.

And, since pruning is best done by hand, the miles of rows of grapevines that you can see from your elevated perch in a Napa Valley hot air balloon ride require extensive manual labor and time.

Every year, pruners remove about 90% of the vine’s growth. The intent is to reduce each plant to two or so fruiting canes from the prior year’s new wood to be strung along the horizontal vine training wires. These canes require abundant light and eventually will produce buds that become shoots for next season’s high-quality grapes.

Winterizing the Vineyards and Equipment

Rain and snow can cause erosion in the soil that can be detrimental to the health of the vines. Many growers use the time to add soil amendments,  compost, straw, cover crops, and grasses to rebuild the soil and hold it in place.

January is also a perfect time to work on the vineyard equipment to be sure it is in top working condition for the coming season.

Catch Up on the Planning and Paperwork

Like any business, planning, budgeting, and tax preparation are essential activities. In January, growers use the time to organize their books, create the new year’s growing and staffing plan, and prepare for business tax filings.

Check Out Hot Air Balloon Rides Napa Valley

Napa Valley hot air balloon rides do not stop in the winter. Bundle up with Balloons Above the Valley for a safe and exhilarating experience as you greet the day by drifting above the dormant vineyards and pristine communities. Hot air balloon rides Napa Valley is an excellent way to see the Valley from a new perspective while enjoying the calm, quiet atmosphere of your balloon flight.

Include even more fun by signing up for a Balloons Above the Valley champagne brunch and a wine tour afterward.

If you wish to make a reservation for January or later, or to give a remarkable gift to a friend or relative, purchasing a discounted Balloons Above the Valley Gift Certificate for any time is easy to do.

Book online, or contact one of the Balloons Above the Valley reservationists to make your reservations.

If you have any questions about our hot air balloon rides Napa Valley adventures,  phone Balloons Above the Valley at +1-800-464-6824.