We call the Napa Valley harvest our championship season and for good reason: it’s a marathon, not a sprint to the finish line. Long days are punctuated by little sleep and sustained by often no more that the adrenaline rush that comes from knowing you are part of something much bigger—a tiny cog in the winemaking wheel that makes a solid impact on the American economy. As we all know, if you want to make that wheel run smoothly, every little cog has to play its part.

In this issue of NAPA Magazine we explore all aspects of the harvest season: the hard work and who does it, from the harvest interns and the cellar workers to the owners. You will learn about the newest winemaking innovations that are raising the bar even higher in Napa Valley’s quest for quality, be privy to the little things that help our vintners get through their own harvest experience and learn, in a word, what the essence of this season means to them.

After the crush, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of all that labor with some great dishes that pair perfectly with Napa Valley’s wines. Do that, after heading out to visit some amazing Napa Green wineries who are doing their best to preserve this place for future generations to ensure this harvest vintage will be one of many more to come.

If your thirst for harvest still isn’t satisfied, experience the next Napa Valley vintage as it comes to life through photos, videos, reports from the field and more at harvestnapa.com.