With wine, comes the world of water. In the 2 years that I've spent living in California, I've seen the issue of water become a series of arguments, picketing crowds, and harsh articles. The truth is, in the driest of regions, such as California, water is needed as an irrigation base to keep the vines healthy through their growing season. Although the hot, dry, non-humid summers keep the vines relatively disease-free, water is still needed to cool vines or enhance berry maturity.
Napa Valley is actual desert terrain - in the summer, all grasses and shrubs die and all that is left is dirt. In the wet winter months, although the vines lose their green vegetation, the grass and shrubs return.
(Photo from Google Images)
An interesting article was noted in yesterday's Press Democrat, which I believe is the Santa Rosa (northern California) newspaper. I share it here for your convenience. I like this article because it really shows the extent of how large the water problem is for the western U.S. High populations, misguided use of water, and our nations largest reserve for fresh produce are all tearing away at a valuable resource. But I would doubt that most of the nation realizes how closely this is tied to them. Anyway, enjoy the article.
(Click on the above link to be taken to the actual article.)