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I'm a graduate student in Ecology and Evolution at Stanford University, where I study ecosystem metabolics and function. In particular, I'm interested in how changes to plant and animal communities... Read More »

ST. HELENA, CA – It’s a fine Saturday, and the traffic lines up on Highway 29 as the day’s crop of tourists meander from vineyard to vineyard along the road that bisects Napa Valley. 

By year’s end, 4.5 million people will have passed through, sampling vintages from the state that grows 92% of the nation’s grapes and supplies 60% of its wine. More than 200 million cases of California wine are sold within the United States each year; a further 250 million find their homes abroad. California is the world’s fourth largest wine exporter, after Italy, France, and Spain.

And Napa Valley is at the heart of it all.