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FALL 2020

PLUS+

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Celebrating 50 Years Cabernet Sauvignon California's King Oak Knoll District AVA Napa Valley's Sweet Spot Holiday Gift Guide


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Contents

F E AT U R E S 2 0 2 0 F A L L / / T H E H A R V E S T I S S U E

Story 42 Cover Stag's Leap Wine

Cellars Celebrates a Golden Anniversary

Gift Guide: 37 Holiday Wine Country Gift

Ideas for the Holidays

Season 46 Harvest Captured Through a

Photographer's Lens

Viticultural 84 American Area (AVA) Series

Oak Knoll District AVA

110 Take a Side Trip Paso Robles

N A PA V A LLEY LIFE M AG A Z I N

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E

FA L L 2 0 2 0

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PLUS+ Stag's Leap Wine Celebrating Cellars 50 Years Cabernet Sa uvignon California' s King Oak Knoll Di Napa Valley's strict AVA Sweet Spot Holiday Gift Guide


DESIGN | BUILD | FURNISH

Photography by Christopher Stark

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JSDESIGNBUILD.COM

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INFO@JSDESIGNBUILD.COM


NVL contents NV Scene • 14

What's Been Happening Around Town

Things To Do

20 Calendar of Events 22 Inside Track: What the Locals are Doing 24 Floating Over Napa Valley: Art Plus Science Equal Magic 28 Yountville Art Walk 83 Downtown Rides: Locals and Tourists Enjoy Free Rides

D E PA R T M E N T S 2 0 2 0 F A L L / / T H E H A R V E S T I S S U E

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What’s Hot • 32 Special Features

58 Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon: A Perfect Match 77 The Urban Track: Downtown Napa's Bustling Wine Scene

Wine Scene

36 Gabrielle Collection taste+ 50 Luna Vineyards 52 RD Winery 56 Wine Spies 62 Somnium Wine 64 Frank Family Vineyards 66 Mount Veeder Magic 68 Leto Cellars 70 Angwin Estate Vineyards 72 Kukeri Wines 76 C. Elizabeth 90 Materra / Cunat Family Vineyards 91 Fortunati Vineyards 92 Corley Family Napa Valley 94 Rodgers Vineyards 113 Indigené Cellars Wine & Winery Spotlights 54 Benton Family Wine 74 Akrasia Cellars

Food Scene

95 Cherish Market Garden and Orchard 96 Crazy for Cocktails To-Go 100 That's Amore: Napa Valley's Best Pizza 106 Sweetie Pies

Travel

108 Solage Resort's Superlative Amenities

People & Art

114 Jessel Miller

Money & Wealth

116 Six Elder Fraud Scams and How to Help Prevent Them

Dining Guide • 118 6

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NVL editor's letter

Fall Harvest O

ctober in Napa Valley is all about harvest. It’s the time of the year when the fruits of labor from the growing season are put to task. Grapes are picked, cleaned, and pressed and dispatched on their journeys to transcend into some of the world’s finest wines. We could not think of a better way to celebrate than to pay tribute one of Napa Valley’s legacy wine producers, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. Our cover story commemorates their 50th Anniversary and how they grew to become one of the region’s most stalwart wine producers, best known for their Cabernet Sauvignon, which put Napa Valley on the map as an internationally renowned wine region. This year’s harvest issue is also the perfect time to kick off our new series on the varietals of the Napa Valley, starting with its king, Cabernet Sauvignon. The ongoing series will feature the topmost types and styles of wines that are produced around the Valley and the interesting nuances and wine producers within each sub-region. Appropriately, we’re also featuring the Oak Knoll District AVA since it produces over 15 different grape varieties within its ~4,000 acres of vines. From Albariño to Zinfandel, its extraordinary breadth and diversity showcase the vast capabilities of the Napa terroir and is often referred to as Napa’s ‘sweet spot.’ While this issue highlights the bounties of Napa Valley’s vineyards, we’re excited to share where to find some of the area’s best wines in a more urban setting- Downtown Napa. As new hotels and restaurants pop up around town, the list of wineries and tasting rooms is growing at an astounding pace. Currently, there are 33 locations welcoming visitors, most of which can be explored on foot. Lastly, it’s hard to believe, with all the distractions we’ve encountered this year, that the Holiday Season is almost here. Don’t miss the great list of gifts to choose from in our annual Holiday Gift Guide. Whether it be something special for your favorite foodie, wine lover, or a little present for yourself, there’s plenty to fill anyone’s stocking.

Happy Holidays and Cheers to 2021, a new year many of us agree cannot come soon enough!

Laura Larson Editor

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CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Derek Wright PRESIDENT Kevin Evans CREATIVE DIRECTOR Erin Hayden Seal EDITOR Laura Larson laura.larson@napavalleylife.com ONLINE EDITOR & SOCIAL MEDIA

1300 1s t #385 s tree t napa, ca 94559 (707) 501-4444 eikosnapa.com

Take Out - Curbside - Delivery

Cecile Adams cecile.adams@webmediagroup.com ADVERTISING/SALES Doris Hobbs – 209-207-4876 doris.hobbs@napavalleylife.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Fran Miller

T H A N K YO U N A PA VA L L E Y

Laurie Jo Miller Farr Layne Randolph Marisa McCann Valerie Owen Christopher Sawyer Elizabeth Smith Paul Franson CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Lowell Downey Janna Waldinger Bob McClenahan Tim Carl ABOUT THE COVER Winemaker, Marcus Notaro, toasts to Stag's Leap Wine Cellars' 50th Anniversary next to the Foucault Pendulum in the Round Room of the winery caves. Photo by Lowell Downey

Napa Valley Life Magazine is published six times a year. We have four quarterly publications and two annual publications. 1370 Trancas Street # 770, Napa, CA 94558 Copyright 2020 by Napa Valley Life Magazine. All rights reserved. No part of this publication maybe reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Subscriptions

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are available at $12/year by visiting napavalleylife.com and clicking on subscriptions at the top.

Twitter: @napavalleylifem

Facebook: NVLife


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We, the local community, deďŹ ne the Spirit of the Napa Valley. We are passionate about who we are, what we do, and where we live. Now is the perfect time to rediscover this magical place we call home. Please choose to support our community and Dine, Shop, Sip, and Stay local. It helps everyone get back to the things that we do best, serving and supporting each other.

napavalleyspirit.com

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NV Scene

The Napa Valley scene and what's been happening around town. 13TH ANNUAL HARVEST STOMP PHOTOS BY SARAH ANNE RISK

On August 24-30, The Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) and Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation (FWF) hosted their 13th annual Harvest STOMP fundraiser in support of recovery and relief for the Napa grape grower and farmworker communities. Historically a gathering of growers and wine aficionados in celebration of harvest, this year’s event was an all-virtual fundraiser focused on the task at hand: Supporting the health and safety of Napa’s workforce, the strengthening of the community and continued advocacy for agriculture in times of uncertainty. Supporters of Harvest STOMP participated in virtual happy hours hosted by vintner/owners from Regusci Winery, Staglin Family Vineyards, Silver Oak, Long Meadow Ranch, Larkmead Vineyards, and Beckstoffer Vineyards. In the spirit of Harvest STOMP, the one-hour experiences connected wine consumers, both local and throughout the US, with some of the Napa Valley’s most recognizable grape growers. The main event, an e-Auction featuring hard-to-get wines, farming essentials, and rare Napa Valley experiences, closed to winning bids on August 30 at 8pm PST. For more information visit www.napagrowers.org/aboutus/donate.

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NV scene

Chef Chris Kollar, Host Liam Mayclem and Chef Elizabeth Binder (L-R)

Chef Chris Kollar shops for ingredients at the Oxbow Public Market

CHRIS KOLLAR WINS INAUGURAL NAPA VALLEY CHAMPIONS COOK-OFF PHOTOS BY VINCENT PIOMBO-APERTURE MEDIA & DESIGN

On August 27, Fork It Over and Hands Across the Valley teamed up to raise $170,000 for the Napa Valley Food Bank and Meals on Wheels at the Inaugural Napa Valley Champions Cook-Off. The cook-off was a friendly competition between Chris Kollar, Chef/Owner of Kollar Chocolates in Yountville and Chef/ Owner Elizabeth Binder of Hand-Crafted Catering, both of whom worked their culinary magic to support Napa Valley’s safety-net food programs, which provide for the community’s most vulnerable families who are experiencing food insecurity, especially in light of the pandemic. The event was hosted at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at COPIA by KCBS’s Foodie Chap, Liam Mayclem in downtown Napa, CA and began at noon when each chef was given a menu with a short runway to shop for ingredients and begin the cook off at 2 pm. Three renowned chefs served as judges, including Chef Ken Frank of La Toque, Chef/owner Anita Cartagena of Protéa in Yountville, and Chef/owner Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen. Spectators were able to stream the competition on the Oxbow Market Facebook page with the opportunity to donate to support both programs. Ongoing donations may be made directly at www.canv.org.

Copia Kitchens The stage is set at the CIA at Copia, in downtown Napa

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Chef Elizabeth Binder begins to plate her dish at the NV Champions Cook-Off

Chef Elizabeth Binder shops for ingredients at the Oxbow Public Market


At Merrill Lynch, The Gonzales Group helps families find their financial purpose, their Why. But my own idea of wealth? Family and Health. That’s why I‘ve become a Distinguished Corporate Partner with Queen of the Valley Foundation. Having a university-level medical center right here in Napa is an enormous asset to our whole community. My team associates with more than

“ My idea of wealth is family and health, so having a top-medical center nearby is incredibly important.” -Eric F. Gonzales, Napa Resident

20 local charitable groups, and the Queen is at the top of that list. Thanks to all our donors for helping us with this important work!

Learn more about how your business can become a Distinguished Corporate Partner of the Queen

707-257-4023

www.queensfoundation.org


NV scene

Chef-Owner Dustin Valette mingles with guests at the viewing party Michelle and Robin Baggett, Owner-Proprietors of Alpha Omega Winery at MOMENTUM 2.0 Gala broadcast

MOMENTUM 2.0- THE V FOUNDATION WINE CELEBRATION RAISES OVER $3.6 MILLION PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE V FOUNDATION WINE CELEBRATION

Guests were encouraged to write their thoughts at MOMENTUM 2.0 virtual auction gala

Legendary Coach Jim Valvano shown during the event broadcast

Staff monitoring auction results at the viewing party

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The V Foundation Wine Celebration held its annual Benefit Gala Auction for Cancer Research virtually on August 8, 2020, and raised over $3.6 million to support the V Foundation’s fight to achieve Victory Over Cancer®. Hosted by NCAA basketball coach, Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski, ESPN’s Jay Bilas, and Sage Steele, and auctioneer John Curley, the annual gala event featured six one-of-a-kind auction items, celebrity and musical appearances, and the chance to raise a glass with fellow V Wine Celebration guests, all coming virtually together to raise critical funds for cancer research. The top lot of the evening was a collaboration between Gemstone Vineyard and Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry featuring a ruby-encrusted 3L of 2019 Gemstone Ruby Barrel Selection, which garnered $300,000. The event concluded with the fund-a-need, supporting the V Scholar Grants that advance the establishment of independent research programs for innovative young scientists, starting with an extremely generous challenge donation of $1 million by long-time event supporters Wayne and Nan Kocourek. The V Foundation Wine Celebration has raised more than $118 million for cancer research over the last 22 years. For more information visit www.winecelebration.org.

V Foundation Guests enjoy the Momentum 2.0 broadcast from Alpha Omega Winery


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NV Calendar The Napa Valley scene of upcoming parties, concerts, celebrations and events Event dates subject to change. Please check event websites for current schedules.

SolbarLive

Photo courtesy of First Street Napa

Photo courtesy of Silverado Resort

Recurring through December 29

SILVERADO LOCALS NIGHT

Every Tuesday night The Grill at Silverado will be hosting a Locals Night where guests will receive 15% off their total bill and receive complimentary corkage. Whether it’s a special occasion or if the objective is to enjoy some bubbles and watch the sunset, the Silverado team pulls out all the stops to welcome guests for a relaxing evening overlooking the green. Reservations highly recommended: 707-257-5400 // 1600 Atlas Peak Rd., Napa

SOLBAR LIVE

Relax, grab a cocktail, and listen to an incredible list of rotating talent at the newly renovated Solbar at Solage. From 4-7 pm on selected Wednesdays, enjoy live music along with Solbar’s award-winning beverages and light fare

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while taking in the stunning remodel of Calistoga’s favorite patio. Local and international artists are featured. Complimentary for all guests. For current schedule visit www.aubergeresorts.com/ solage/experiences/live-music-at-solbar/ 877-935-5129 // 755 Silverado Trail, Calistoga

live from Tre Posti and feature live music, a three-course dinner option prepared by Tre Posti, auction and more. 6:00-8:30pm // For more information or to register to attend visit www.nvef.org

November 13

Listen to live music and shop for local handcrafted goods such as jewelry, handbags, apparel, ceramics, glassware, soaps, succulents, candles and more at First Street Napa’s Open Air Craft Market. The outdoor, open-air market is a great place to shop for the Holidays will enjoying great food and drinks from downtown Napa’s amazing eateries and wine bars. Kids and pets are welcome. 11:00am-4:00pm // 1300 First St., Napa www.firststreetnapa.com //

TASTE FOR KNOWLEDGE

Join the Napa Valley Education and Tre Posti for an exclusive fundraising event to raise money for Napa Valley’s public schools. Bid on exclusive travel, food, wine, and celebrity experiences while experiencing a live-streamed chef demonstration and wine tastings from some of Napa Valley’s most renowned culinary experts and vintners such as Chef Nash Cognetti and Chocolatier Chris Kollar, to name a few. The virtual event will stream

November 21 and December 19

MAKERS MARKET OPEN AIR CRAFT FAIR


Inside Track

What the Locals are Doing Clif Family Winery Street Food Napa Valley Every Wednesday, Clif Family celebrates menus from around the world at their pop up “Street Food Napa Valley.” Relax on the patio with wine available by the glass or bottle to enjoy with a new themed menu every week. 20% of all sales from the Bruschetteria Food Truck go to Napa Wildlife Rescue. Patio service or curbside pick-up from 11:00-6:30 // 1284 VIDOVICH AVE., ST. HELENA • WWW.CLIFFAMILYFOODTRUCK.COM

The Dailey Method at Oxbow Commons Not one to be thwarted by a global pandemic, local fitness guru and master cyclist, Kelli Stuart, brings her fitness studio outside with her weekly cycle and barre classes, which she and her team host six days a week at the open space in Oxbow Commons. The classes are a welcome reprieve for her current clients to maintain their workout routines and something new to try for drop-ins, who can hop on a bike for $25, which includes shoe rentals. // THEDAILEYMETHOD.COM/STUDIOS/NAPA/CLASS-SCHEDULE/

Jax White Mule Diner Join the regulars on 1st Street’s Jax White Mule Diner for their crowd-pleasing menu that offers their popular breakfast items all day long. Locals favorites include the BottleRock Tots (crispy tater tots topped with bacon, avocado, and cheddar cheese) Benedicts, which come in three different styles, and ridiculously delicious house-made beignets, topped with powdered sugar and salted caramel sauce. Open Wed-Sun 8am-2pm and 2:30pm-9pm. // 1122 1ST ST., NAPA • WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/JAXWHITEMULEDINER

Tre Posti St. Helena’s Tre Posti, Napa Valley’s ‘go to’ catering and event company has re-tooled their program to appeal to local foodies by offering a rotating lunch and dinner Chef’s Market menu. Guests can eat on site at socially distanced tables or order online for pick up or home delivery. The Chef’s Market menu changes weekly and is available from 11-5pm FridaySunday including Tacos and Margaritas every Tuesday and BBQ Mon, Wed and Friday. Daily dinner specials are available for delivery between 4-6pm. // WWW.TREPOSTI.COM Photo by Mallory McEligot

Tomgirl Farms T Beller, Proprietor of Tomgirl Farms, is Napa Valley’s food lovers and local chef’s go-to supplier of garden-to-table heirloom produce, eggs, and flowers worth crowing about. October means the end of most summer fruits, but the start of fresh persimmons, leafy greens, herbs, gorgeous heirloom roses, dahlias, California natives, edible blooms, and more. Curated selections. By appointment only. // @TOMGIRLFARMS • T@TOMGIRLFARMS.COM 22

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November 22, 2020- January 1, 2021

HOLIDAYS IN YOUNTVILLE

Celebrate the magic of the holiday season with Holidays in Yountville! Six weeks of VIRTUAL holiday fun. Featuring a calendar of online events, activities, and programs for all ages. And don’t miss strolling through Yountville to see the holiday lights throughout town. For more information and current schedules of events visit www.Yountville.com November 26

DOWNTOWN NAPA’S ANNUAL TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY

Join the mayor of Napa and your neighbors in this traditional community event; enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, cookies and entertainment as local youth groups perform and the community’s 20’ tall Christmas tree is lit up in Veterans Memorial Park. A great start to the Holiday Season. 6:00- 9:00pm // For more information and updates visit www.donapa.com December 5

10TH ANNUAL TREE LIGHTING AND CELEBRATION BENEFIT FOR NAPA VALLEY FOOD BANK

Welcome the holiday season with Robert Mondavi Winery’s 10th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting and Celebration. The holiday party includes the tree lighting celebration, horse and buggy rides through the To Kalon Vineyard, wine tasting, hot apple cider, holiday caroling, Italian cookies and cheese and charcuterie appetizers. 3:00-5:00pm // $25 per person // Free for guests who donate a bag of non-perishable food items // Robert Mondavi Winery // www.robertmondaviwinery.com/events


Taste for Knowledge A FU N DR AI S E R FO R PU B LI C E DUCATI O N LIVE

MUSIC

CHEF DEMOS

WINE TAS T INGS

VI RTUAL

AUCTION

Streamed Live from Tre Posti in St. Helena, CA F R I DAY, N OV E M B E R 1 3 , 2 0 2 0 6:30 pm: Live Music Pre-Show & Auction Preview

7:00 pm: Chef Demos, Wine Tastings & Virtual Auction “Taste at Home” dinner package — $150 Three-course dinner for two and two bottles of wine

Proceeds Support

Expanding virtual learning and innovation for NVUSD public school students.

Purchase now at NVEF.org/events Presented by

CA+SA studio

ATI Architects, Bank of Marin, The Doctors Company, Mechanics Bank, Travis Credit Union, Verde Design, ZFA Structural Engineers FALL 2020

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NVL things to do

ting a o l F

O v e r N a p a Va l l ey

ART + SCIENCE =

c i g a M  BY LAURIE JO MILLER FARR

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Photo Courtesy of Napa Valley Aloft

As grapes turn into wine through the magic of art plus science, so too the lift of a hot air balloon. Because the air filling the inside of the balloon is heated, and therefore less dense than the air outside, it’s up, up, and away. Lift is maintained by the pilot’s burner being fired up, adding or venting more hot air as needed. Photo courtesy of Napa Valley Balloons

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S OUR SONOMA BACKYARD

©2020 RODNEY STRONG VINEYARDS, HEALDSBURG, CA

EXPERIENCE IT FOR YOURSELF

Nestled in the sweeping vineyards of Russian River Valley, visit our winery and tasting room. 11455 Old Redwood Hwy, Healdsburg, CA 800.678.4763 www.RodneyStrong.com

RISE AND SHINE

It’s an early start. Again, science is the reason. Flight dynamics mean that balloons must fly in the stable air just after daybreak before the ground surface warms up, and surface winds increase. Hot air balloon passengers arrive at the launch site around dawn. That timing varies by the month as the hour of sunrise changes, but it will always be made clear. First-timers frequently comment on the size of hot air balloons, which look much smaller when they're in the sky. Some are as tall as a 12-story building and hold up to 24 people. Most hot air balloon rides depart from Yountville or Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa.

PRACTICAL TIPS

COMMITTED TO COMMUNITY SINCE 1959

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o much for the science. It’s the magic, not the chemistry, that makes this event so unlike any other. Excitement and anticipation mix with apprehension as a giant wicker basket detaches from the Earth without any motorized propulsion. Once afloat, the story for the next 45 to 60 minutes is about silence and awe as the balloon rises anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 feet above the valley. Soak in panoramic views as the ground gently slips away. Watch the sun continue to rise and appreciate the total feeling of freedom, a sense of calm that simply cannot be matched. Prevailing winds are usually in a south-by-southwest direction, so the journey is generally in a diagonal direction affording panoramic views of Napa’s famous vineyards, rolling hills, and oak-covered landscapes cradled by Mayacamas and Vaca mountains. On the clearest of days, one can see west as far as the bay.

6/17/20 12:57 PM

The morning temperatures and elevations can be chilly, so it is advised to wear an extra layer for warmth and

to pack lightly. Carry only a smartphone or other small camera that fits into a pocket or a bum bag. As ever, safety is paramount, and COVID-19 protective guidelines are in place. Social distancing is achieved by having groups of two to six guests in customized compartments within the balloon’s basket. Check with the vendor at the time of booking for current county restrictions, but as a rule, face masks are mandatory. Snack bars and bottled water may be available, but health regulations may limit other types of foodservice. It is advised to go light on the coffee intake before flight as there are no restrooms in the field where the balloon is inflated, and there are none in the sky. Lastly, enjoy the adventure. It is one of the most exciting ways to experience Napa Valley from a heightened perspective.

Where to book These experienced companies have been in the balloon business for decades. Reservations are required and should be made online. Complimentary hotel pickups can usually be arranged and coordinated at the time of booking.

Balloons Above the Valley balloonrides.com

Napa Valley Aloft nvaloft.com

Napa Valley Balloons napavalleyballoons.com


We Are Here for Our Napa Community

As OLE Health continues to offer telehealth services, we are opening our doors again at our many locations throughout Napa and Solano counties. Our number one priority remains the safety of our patients, our staff and our community. We have implemented: • • • • •

Splash shields at all points of contact Mandatory masking of all staff and patients entering our facilities Temperature checks for everyone Clear social distancing and safety signage Increased testing availability for symptomatic and high-risk patients

Visit www.olehealth.org or call 707-254-1770 to make an appointment today. ¡SALUD! olehealth.org 707.254.1775 300 Hartle Ct, Napa

Hablamos Español FALL 2020

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NVL things to do

Yountville Art Walk

 PHOTOS COURTESY YOUNTVILLE ART WALK

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Balancing Act by James Moore


Peace by Lorri Acott

Nestled in the heart of the Napa Valley, Yountville’s entirely walkable one-mile main street features world-renowned restaurants, over a dozen wine tasting rooms, and exclusive high-end hotels, as well as shopping, galleries and best of all, a beautiful collection of public art.

T

he Yountville Art Walk premiered in 2009 and is designed to promote the town’s pedestrianfriendly atmosphere with a collection of outdoor public art that includes approximately 35 sculptures, featuring many from local artist, Gordon Huether. Over the past 11 years, the Art Walk has rotated over 65 sculptures through on a one to two-year cycle. Unlike many art walks that alternate all sculptures at once, the Yountville Art Walk is always changing with new pieces coming and going, keeping it fresh and exciting for art lovers to return to again and again. The Yountville Arts Commission’s Mission Statement reads, “To provide vision, leadership, inspiration, and support for artists and their art in Yountville, creating a bridge that links artists, community, visitors, business and government.” The statement formalizes their goal of supporting the artist, and most of the sculptures are for sale, with a percentage of the proceeds benefiting Yountville Arts. The proceeds help to sustain the Art Walk and various art programming in Yountville. Since its inception in 2009, over 20 of the sculptures on the Art Walk have sold, with four recently sold in 2020. The sculptures are promoted through an Art Walk map, which can be found online at www.yountvillearts. com, social media, and a new QR code accessible selfguided Audio Tour which can be accessed by smartphone or by visiting https://youraudiotour.com/tours/ 72/ The Art Walk is always open to sculpture entries. The Yountville Arts Commission offers a $2500 stipend to assist with costs and asks for a two-year loan agreement for each piece. The Art Walk, as well as the Gallery at the Community Center and many other art-centered programs and events, are provided by the Yountville Arts Commission, which is run by an allvolunteer board of seven who work with staff to make it all happen.

Link of Humanity

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NVL what's hot

CIA at Copia: Supper at the Grove The Grove, the CIA at Copia’s outdoor restaurant, hosts nightly garden to table suppers amidst their olive grove and gardens with seating options safely distanced from other parties. The three-course, prix fixe, family-style dinners showcase the bounty of Copia’s culinary gardens and fresh, seasonal ingredients from 5 to 9 p.m. The rotating menu changes twice a week and includes hand-crafted cocktails and outstanding wines from Napa Valley and beyond to complement these delectable suppers prepared by CIA chefs. For current menu listings and to make a reservation, visit the website.

The Studio by Feast it Forward: SOAR

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 500 First St., Napa //

www.ciaatcopia.com // 707-967-2555

Photo by Emma K. Morris

Feast it Forward launches a pop-up outdoor dining series entitled “S.O.A.R.” which stands for Support Our Area Restaurants. The parking lot has been transformed into a temporary open-air dining garden with safely distanced tables for guests to enjoy lunch and dinner service among a list of rotating chefs and restaurants along with wines served by the glass or bottle. The unique concept is a win-win for local restaurants who have been affected by closures and reduced serviceability due to COVID-19 restrictions and food lovers who crave their coveted menus. Participating restaurants include Hal Yamashita, Jax Diner, ZuZu Wood-Fired Paella & LaTaberna, Sticky Business BBQ, Baxtalo, and more. The pop-up series is offered Thu-Sun through Harvest Season. FOR MORE INFORMATION: 1031 McKinstry St., Napa //

www.feastitforward.com/pages/events

Parklets Downtown Napa’s restaurants and wineries take to the streets! With dining restrictions sequestered outdoors, this summer, the City of Napa rolled out a new concept called the Parklet/Shared Spaces Pilot Program. A “parklet” is a built platform that extends out from the sidewalk to the width of the adjacent parking space, allowing additional seating for patrons. Complete with umbrellas for shade, barriers for privacy, and potted foliage for decoration, each has its own charm, and any are quite stunning. The parklets started appearing in August, with first ones spotted at Filippis Pizza Grotto, Norman Rose Tavern, Small World Restaurant, Miminashi- to name a few, and many more are on the way. 32

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Photo by Chris Dobey

ANGModelManagement.com @angmodelmanagement

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NVL what's hot

Solbar Live Relax, grab a cocktail, and listen to an incredible list of rotating talent under the fruitless Mulberry trees at the newly renovated Solbar at Solage. From 4-7pm on selected Wednesdays, enjoy live music along with Solbar’s awardwinning beverages and light fare while taking in the stunning remodel of Calistoga’s favorite patio. Local and international artists have been featured, such as Full Chizel, Monica Da Silva and Chad Alg, Jeffery Fetters (aka “Smorgy”), Zac Fennie, and David Ronconi, to name a few. Complimentary for all guests. FOR MORE INFORMATION & CURRENT SCHEDULE:

Faust Wines Opens Faust Haus

Photo by Adrian Gaut

877-935-5129 // 755 Silverado Trail, Calistoga // www.aubergeresorts.com/solage/experiences/ live-music-at-solbar/

After three years of restoration, on September 4, Faust Wines opened its bold and daring winery and tasting room in St. Helena. Located in St. Helena just off Highway 29, the former farmhouse and prohibitionera cellar provides a creative escape with each room within the historic Victorian home intentionally designed to offer guests a unique experience, created to feel more like a luxurious living room than a traditional tasting room. Faust enlisted the architectural design firm Aidlin Darling Design to reimagine and restore the home, which was originally built in 1878. For the foreseeable future, the Faust Haus will be hosting guests outdoors on the restored Victorian veranda and outdoor gardens, overlooking sweeping views of Napa Valley on a reservation basis. FOR MORE INFORMATION: 2867 St. Helena Hwy., St. Helena // www.faustwines.com

Photo by Loren Hansen

Photo by Laura Larson

Ladera Vineyards Opens New Tasting Room Since its founding in 1998, Ladera has earned a reputation for making some of Napa Valley’s most acclaimed mountain-grown wines, along with alluring Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. With the unveiling of their lovely new home on the Silverado Trail, visitors can enjoy an inviting terraced patio offering idyllic views of the Mayacamas Mountains. The a 90-minute, by-appointment outdoor Private Tasting Experience features an array of Ladera’s renowned wines, as well as complimentary artisan cheeses. Tastings are available daily by appointment at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m., and are limited to six guests. FOR MORE INFORMATION: 3942 Silverado Trail N., Calistoga //

707-965-2445 // www.laderavineyards.com

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No Anesthesia • No Incisions • No Downtime • Instant Results

Swor-Yim Aesthetics L. Britt Swor-Yim, M.D. Certified YLIFT® Provider

DRAMATIC & Instant Results that last! • Cheekbone Accentuation • Jawline Definition • Upper Neck Improvement

Y Not You? Aesthetic Medical Practice Specializing in Botox and Fillers By Appointment Only: info@drsworyim.com • drsworyim.com N O W O F F E R I N G A W I D E VA R I E T Y O F I V V I TA M I N S

7 Walkabout Ln. Napa, CA 94558 (415) 596-1075

3247 Browns Valley Rd. Napa, CA 94558 (415) 596-1075

1111 Exposition Blvd. Sacramento, CA 95818 (916) 206-8055

156 East Napa St. Sonoma, CA 95476 (415) 596-1075


is the central ingredient for the pampered Pooch products from a calming oil for the traveling dogs, to a shampoo.

T H E U LT I MAT E GIFT E XP E RI E N C E:

Gabrielle Collection taste +

 BY VALERIE OWENS | PHOTOS COURTESY OF GABRIELLE COLLECTION TASTE+

GC NAPA VALLEY HOME

The Home line includes non-toxic products for aromatic kitchen and bath cleaning and air freshening to promote a healthy home.

Gabrielle Leonhard O'Connell

“Our goal is to provide an authentic Napa Valley grown and produced gift that is socially responsible.”

GC NAPA VALLEY CULINARY

The Culinary selections consist of ingredients from the estate olive grove, lavender field, herb garden, citrus and fruit orchard. The products include herbs, honey and sugar, olive oil, vinegar, rubs, sea salt and pepper and cocktail rim seasonings. Perfect for the home chef.

GIFT CONCIERGE PROGRAM

I

n pursuit of a ‘life well lived’, creating an environment fastened to the earth lies at the heart of Gabrielle Collection taste +. “Everything relates back to our philosophy,” expressed Gabrielle Leonhard O’Connell, Proprietor of Gabrielle Collection taste + in downtown Napa and winemaker for O’Connell Family Wines. “We have farmed our Napa Valley O’Connell Vineyard Estate organically since 2000 and sustainably since 1990. It’s a mindset of how you live your life minute to minute. We are excited to share our collection of Napa grown and made products and gifts from that point of view and feel our gifts have a message. Natural luxury is the best luxury.” Perfect for this holiday season and year around. Stewards of the Dry Creek rivershed in Napa Valley, Gabrielle and husband, Wayne O’Connell, have cultivated a lifestyle showcasing the biodiversity of their estate through their culinary, wine, 36

NAPAVALLEYLIFE.COM

spa, home, and pooch products. “Our Napa Valley O’Connell Family Vineyard Estate lavender is the key ingredient of our luxury, botanical based products,” explained Leonhard O’Connell. “Its naturally antiseptic, antifungal and antioxidant attributes contribute to a healthy daily lifestyle free of toxic chemicals, while enjoying refreshing aromas.”

GC NAPA VALLEY SPA

The O’Connell Family Vineyard Estate’s certified organic Lavender field is the not only the backbone of their biodiverse growing environment to keeping the estate gardens naturally healthy, it is also the backbone GC Napa Valley Spa body & bath products to naturally enhance well-being.

GC NAPA VALLEY POOCH

Providing the same calming and healing characteristics for dogs as humans, lavender

A dedicated gift concierge collaborates with customers to select the perfect gift from the GC Napa Valley product portfolio or create a custom solution. “You provide the gift requirements, we provide gift solutions. We make gift giving creative and fun,” said Leonhard O’Connell. Whether it is wine from their O’Connell Family Wines exclusive portfolio including the Gabrielle Collection Cabernets, or Pietro Family Cellars award winning white wines, the esteemed O’Connell Family Vineyards or themed wine and food gifts combining GC Napa Valley with paired wine such as the Napa BBQ Essentials package, the gift concierge program offers unique gifts for both personal and business giving. “Our goal is to provide an authentic Napa Valley grown and produced gift that is socially responsible,” said Leonhard O’Connell. “It is important to us that quality and thoughtfulness go behind every gift we offer.” FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.oconnellfamilywines.com


The

Gift

GUIDE

Napa Valley gift ideas for everyone on your list

NAPA VALLEY JEWELERS A delicate arc of gold balls, a radiant mini-cluster of diamonds, a chain of perfect gold circles; This is how Gabriel interprets Bujukan, the Balinese act of persuasion achieved by a subtle wink, a gentle touch, that one perfect word spoken in a whisper. After all, when you know you’re irresistible, why shout? PRICE: $650-$2000 • WHERE TO BUY: WWW.NAPAVALLEYJEWELERS.COM

THE PERFECT PURÉE OF NAPA VALLEY Home chefs and cocktail enthusiasts can create their own craft cocktail and culinary creations at home with ready to use premium fruit purees, concentrates, zests and blends. Used by acclaimed bartenders, pastry, and culinary chefs from renowned bars and restaurants for baking, ice cream, craft cocktails, savory sauces, and so much more. PRICE: $20 & UP • WHERE TO BUY: WWW.PERFECTPUREE.COM

THE PAINTED LADY PAMPERING Anticipate oodles of holiday goodies in the perfect pink house with the shimmering golden door. The Painted Lady Tanning & Spa boasts an array of beautifying services for your secret Santa. UV Tanning, High Pressure Tanning, Red Light Therapy, Airbrush Tanning, Mystic Tanning, Infrared Sauna, eyelash extensions and soothing massage therapy await on a perfect pink gift certificate. PRICE: $30 AND UP • WHERE TO BUY: WWW.THEPAINTEDLADYNAPAVALLEY.COM

VINTAGE SWEET SHOPPE WINE TASTING & CHOCOLATE PAIRING Vintage Sweet Shoppe curates a selection of their hand-made chocolates with Napa Valley wines. Featured here: Incredible buttery Whiskey Cowboy Brittle, a chocolate-dipped bottle of proprietary Devereaux Cabernet and a six-pack of incredible dark chocolate salted caramels. PRICE: $12-$160 ª WHERE TO BUY: WWW.VINTAGESWEETSHOPPE.COM FALL 2020

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GABRIELLE COLLECTION Natural as Nature Intended. Culinary, home, spa, and pooch signature products are crafted from ingredients grown at the certified organic O’Connell Family Vineyard Garden. Gabrielle Collection’s botanical, non-toxic gifts have a message... Natural Luxury is the Best Luxury. Napa Valley Grown and Made.

MONARCH SKIN STUDIO HOME SKINCARE TREATMENT KIT

PRICE: $45-$125 • WHERE TO BUY: WWW.OCONNELLFAMILYWINES.COM

MILO AND FRIENDS PET BOUTIQUE 5-PIECE GIFT SET

What does every woman need to look absolutely radiant this holiday season? Experience true exfoliation and unveil new, refreshed and rejuvenated skin with this at home Energizing Exfoliating kit, which includes Truth Treatment and Monarch's Beauty tool Dermaroller. This holiday kit was carefully curated to suit every skin type while promoting healthy, radiant, and glowing skin.

Has your dog been naughty or nice? The Merry Woofmas collection includes a hang-able stocking, tasty plate of cookies, a fluffy Christmas tree full of ornaments, tug-o-war elf, and a hard-working Santa. Your furry friend will be barking with joy once they see what Santa Paws has delivered this year. PRICE: $63.50

PRICE: $165 • WHERE TO BUY: WWW.MONARCHSKINSTUDIO.COM

FOR 5-PIECE SET • WHERE TO BUY: MILOANDFRIENDSPETBOUTIQUE.COM

ROGUE CANDLE COMPANY

If you are looking for the perfect gift this holiday season, check out these handcrafted, 100% soy wax candles from Rogue Candle Company. Whether it’s a bottle from your favorite winery or a bottle from a memory of Christmas past, candles come in many different shapes and sizes. Also specializing in large and wholesale orders. PRICE: $12- $300 • WHERE TO BUY: WWW.ROGUECANDLECOMPANY.COM

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PICNIC THREE Picnic Three creates incredible picnic experiences in parks, beaches, or even your backyard, designed to help you celebrate life the way you enjoy it most. Everything is taken care of, from unique décor, amazing flower arrangements, and exclusive gourmet finger foods. Great for any occasion, from a romantic date to a birthday party. PRICE: PICNIC SETUPS FROM $110 PER PERSON DELIVERY BASKETS FROM $240 • WHERE TO BUY: WWW.PICNICTHREE.COM


SALUTE SANTÉ! GRAPESEED OIL “We know grapeseed oil is healthy for cooking – and now it’s bringing the flavor, too! These are infused with roasted garlic, white truffle, lemon, basil, or chili, making them perfect for marinades, drizzles, dips, and dressings” as Oprah said in the December 2019 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.

2x

“O

Favorite! List”

PRICE: $95 • WHERE TO BUY: WWW.GRAPESEEDOIL.COM

ALLISON [ IN WINE COUNTRY ] VINTAGE LOUIS VUITTON LOCK NECKLACE

STELLAREESE COLLECTION FARMERS MARKET WINE TOTE

This repurposed vintage Louis Vuitton lock necklace has a macrame chain and is such a unique piece. It adds style to any outfit. The perfect gift for someone who has it all.

Wine country's “It Bag”, The Farmers Market Tote is beautifully handcrafted of cotton canvas and fine leather. The alluring interior features Stellareese Collection’s signature design including two bottle pockets, a zippered interior compartment and cell phone pouch. This wardrobe staple is available in an assortment of colors.

PRICE: $248 ª WHERE TO BUY: WWW.ALLISONINWINECOUNTRY.COM

PRICE: $95 • WHERE TO BUY: WWW.STELLAREESECOLLECTION.COM

Photo by Alex Rubin

MERCANTILE 12 STEMLESS INSULATED WINE CUPS

TRIBELLA WINE AERATOR

For the adventurous wine drinker! Keep your beverages cool and ready to go with two of our newest Insulated Stemless Wine Cups -Nine 2 Wine and Vintage Napa. Each double-wall 18/8 stainless steel thermal tumbler holds 12 ounces and has copper vacuum insulation, a stainless- steel rim, push-on clear lid, and powder coated finish. PRICE: $48 PLUS SHIPPING • WHERE TO BUY: WWW.MERCANTILE12.COM

Aeration made beautiful. The perfect pour. Drip free elegance. TRIbella has been called the “Greatest aerator of all time,” and is an absolute joy to give- and receive. Complete the circuit of beauty from bottle to glass like never before. PRICE: $40 WHERE TO BUY: TRIBELLAWINE.COM

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THE sippyMASK

Can't drink your wine or coffee without the hassle of removing your mask? The sippyMASK has a magnetic, adjustable mouth covering that allows you to drink and eat with ease without removing your mask. Use code NVLS for a 15% discount exclusive for Napa Valley Life readers.

CLIF FAMILY WINERY VIRTUAL PERSONAL SHOPPING A New Way To Shop This Holiday! Shopping for wine and food can be intimidating or sometimes you are just short on time and need some extra help making the right selection. We get it, which is why Clif Family is offering a Virtual Personal Shopping Experience to help you shop for wine, gifts, and more. PRICE: CUSTOMIZED WHERE TO BUY: WWW.CLIFFAMILY.COM/ VIRTUAL-PERSONAL-SHOPPER/

RETAIL PRICE: $17.50 - $25 WHERE TO BUY: WWW.THESIPPYMASK.COM

NEW WEST KNIFEWORKS AMERICAN MADE KNIFE ART Delight the chefs in your life with the Teton Edge Santoku, called “razor sharp and gorgeous” by Forbes. For the hunters and hikers,the Outfitter is a durable, ergonomic belt knife. Both come with fitted leather sheaths and can be wrapped to make gifting a snap. 15% off with code NVL1120 (exclusions apply). PRICE: $229-$369 WHERE TO BUY: WWW.NEWWESTKNIFEWORKS.COM

ST. SUPÉRY ESTATE VINEYARDS AND WINERY #INJOY AT HOME WARM WINTER NIGHTS GIFT COLLECTIONS Create wine-worthy winter meals, sip delicious wines and savor the season with St. Supéry’s weekly virtual wine tastings. Experience the vineyards, cellar and culinary delights of wine country, all from the comfort of your own home. Available in two or six week virtual tasting collection gift sets. PRICE: $115-$370 • WHERE TO BUY: WWW.STSUPERY.COM/INJOY

WINEMAKER'S PANTRY A GRAPE GIFT IDEA Help wine-loving friends create flawless food and wine pairings in a snap with Winemaker's Pantry spice blends for Cabernet, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot or Sauv Blanc. Artisan crafted spice blends that enhance the wines you love to drink. For video recipes and tips visit WinemakersPantry.com. PRICE: $9.95 • WHERE TO BUY: WINEMAKERSPANTRY.COM

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Rutherford, CA


Give. Sip. Celebrate! BEE CO SHOP HANDMADE BAGS Founded by local elementary school teacher Megan Howell, Bee Co Shop features a variety of handmade leather and wool bags lined with vintage fabrics. Available in an assortment of shapes and sizes, these bags are perfect for those who love a bold pattern and a classic bag. PRICE: $39 - $265 WHERE TO BUY: WWW.ETSY.COM/SHOP/BEECOSHOP

PLANET RENU ECO STARTER PACK Replace your plastic and trips to the landfill with this eco-friendly starter pack. Enjoy these five essentials: Bamboo Cutlery Set, 5-Pack of Reusable Organic Cotton Produce Bags, 3-Pack of Bee's Wraps to wrap food and leftovers, Stainless Steel Straw Set, Bamboo Toothbrush. (Free organic tote included with each purchase) PRICE: $55 NAPA VALLEY LIFE PROMO WHERE TO BUY: PLANETRENU.COM


stag’s leap wine cellars

turns

50

C E L E B R AT I N G I T S L E G AC Y, BUILDING ITS FUTURE  BY LAURIE JO MILLER FARR

The Spa at The Estate Photo by Will Pryce

Winemaker Marcus Notaro, Kirk Grace Director of Vineyard Operations, Luis Contreras Assistant Winemaker, and Jorge Ramirez,Assistant. Winemaker // Photo by Lowell Downey

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T

he incredible success story of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars is like a fairy tale—one that’s full of propitious, delicious magic and extraordinary timing. A true American legacy, the brand was born 11 years before Napa Valley became California’s first American Viticultural Area, and nearly 20 years before Stags Leap District received its recognition as a terroir-driven AVA. The story begins half-a-century ago. In 1970, Warren Winiarski bought a 44-acre orchard of prune, cherry, and walnut, and replanted it to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

JUDGMENT OF PARIS Six years later, on the eve of America’s bicentennial, the Old and New World of wine collided on a spring afternoon in Paris. In a meeting room at the InterContinental Hotel, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars astonished nine judges when its 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon bested some of Bordeaux’s first-growth wines

1973 Stag's Leap Cabernet, Winner of the Judgment of Paris Photo courtesy of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

1976 Judgment of Paris Tasting Photo courtesy of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

Today, with a commitment to continue producing complex and age-worthy wines, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars arrives at its golden anniversary year. The pledge is that there will be no resting on laurels, no autopilot, no complacency, but rather a drive to ensure the next half-century is as glorious as the first.

THE NEXT 50 YEARS in a blind tasting. Steven Spurrier, the 1976 event organizer, explained that luck played a role that day. First, successfully transporting the wine bottles from California into France; second, because Spurrier’s wife Bella attended with her camera; and third, it was an otherwise slow Monday news day, meaning that TIME magazine reporter George Taber chose to attend the event. Nobody anticipated the shock result. Looking back, when asked how California wine was viewed in those days, Spurrier replied, “California wine was not viewed. California wine did not exist.” Twenty years later, in acknowledging the impact of that stunning upset, the Smithsonian Institute exhibited a bottle of the 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. It is now in the permanent collection at the National Museum of American History as one of the “101 Objects That Made America.”

On this noteworthy occasion, winemaker Marcus Notaro was asked whether he found this phenomenal legacy to be intimidating or challenging. “It’s both humbling and exciting. Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars was founded on quality, and that’s our focus. Everything we do in the vineyard and the cellar is quality-driven to protect the legacy of this iconic property. My team and I work hard every day to raise the bar of excellence for the wines. We’re devoted to ensuring the next 50 years are as great as the first 50.”

A DEFINING MOMENT FAY Vineyard, established by pioneering grape grower Nathan Fay in 1961, is where the story of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars begins. At the time, conventional wisdom maintained that the area was too cool for Cabernet Sauvignon. But tasting Nathan Fay’s homemade Cabernet in 1969 was a defining moment for Winiarski.

“My ultimate goal Outdoor is todining at Bardessono continually look for ways to increase quality while maintaining our house style and creating the best expression of our vineyards. This place is about a quest for quality.” — Marcus Notaro

Outdoor Bathtub at Bardessono

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Here, he strongly felt, was land capable of producing a wine that could rival the world’s best. Within a year, he purchased an adjacent ranch now known as Stag’s Leap Vineyard, or S.L.V. Later on, in 1986, the winery purchased Nathan Fay’s vineyard, naming it FAY in honor of its founder. In 1974, the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars team determined that one lot of wine from the Stag’s Leap Vineyard was so beautiful and distinctive that it should be bottled separately. Named for the large wooden cask in the cellar where it aged, CASK 23 instantly became a benchmark for California Cabernet Sauvignon.

ESTATE VINEYARDS WITH PERSONALITY One of the things that makes Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars so unique is the two historic estate vineyards, FAY and S.L.V. Although they’re adjoining, they are vastly different in soil composition and flavor expression. FAY is a 66-acre vineyard planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon in soil that’s a combination of fine Bale gravelly clay loam and volcanic alluvium. These are older soils, ones that hold more water, having washed down from the Stags Leap Palisades and carried by Chase Creek on the estate. Today, FAY remains one of the great Napa Valley vineyards, producing fruit with an abundance of supple red and black berry character, voluptuous perfume, and a luscious, fine-grained texture. Notaro

Vintage House Lobby Photo by Will Pryce

“My team and I work hard every day to raise the bar of excellence for the wines. We’re devoted to ensuring the next 50 years are as great as the first 50.” — Marcus Notaro explained, “With FAY, I get more perfume, red fruit and bramble notes, and the wine has softer, silkier tannins.” Adjacent, the 35 acres of S.L.V. is the winery’s first, dating to 1970. Also planted primarily to Cabernet, it has younger, red volcanic soil and alluvial with good drainage. The wines have darker fruit than FAY with more violets, black currant fruit, richer tannins and structure, and a dusty cocoa powder note. This history-making vineyard continues to produce wines with complex black fruit and berry character, spicy intensity, excellent structure and complexity, promising long life, and ageability.

Kirk Grace, Director of Vineyard Operations and Winemaker Marcus Notaro in front of the original Stag's Leap Wine Cellars winemaking facility Photo by Lowell Downey

WINEMAKING STYLE

Suite at Bardessono

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Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Estate Cabernet Collection Photo by Lowell Downey

Marcus Notaro uses an intriguing expression, “soft power,” in describing the wines that are rich and powerful without being heavy and have a respectable level of


Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars FAY Vineyard, est. 1961 Photo courtesy of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

INVESTING IN THE FUTURE Over the decades, improvements have been made in cellar management, and according to Notaro, additional updates are in the works. He anticipates building a new cellar that will include a gravity-flow-driven facility and optical grape sorting equipment. Recent equipment additions have also been put in place for the winery’s renowned ARTEMIS Cabernet Sauvignon. “My ultimate goal is to continually look for ways to increase quality while maintaining our house style and creating the best expression of our vineyards. This place is about a quest for quality,” Marcus said.

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Tasting overlooking the FAY Vineyard and Stags Leap Palisades Photo courtesy of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

Ranch—were among the early adopters of Napa Green Certification with a focus on environmental stewardship and climate concern. It is a source of pride for vineyard manager Kirk Grace and the team to hold Napa Green Vineyard, Fish Friendly Farming, and Napa Green Winery certifications. “We take a qualitative versus a quantitative approach,” Grace said. “Numbers are an indicator but growing premium grapes and making fine wine is really about being in tune and in touch with each plant. You’ve got to be on the ground. Managing vineyards involves both the technology of agriculture and the craftsmanship of farming. When the soils are balanced and the vines properly maintained, the wines taste better.” The team at Stagʹs Leap Wine Cellars believes that choices made in the vineyard and the winery have a profound influence on the quality of the wine, the health of the environment, and the welfare of future generations. The harmonious goal is to embrace the forces of Mother Nature, secure in the knowledge that a healthy ecosystem means vibrant vineyards destined to produce highquality grapes for years to come.

GRACEFULLY AGING INTO ELEGANCE

Vintage House Suite Photo by Will Pryce

ripeness and freshness without being over the top. “I want to make balanced wines; I want to express the incredible terroir of the FAY and S.L.V. Estate vineyards and the true varietal character of the grape,” he said. Notaro further shared his philosophy: “My wine style favors balance and complexity, richness and elegance, and captures the unique characteristics of the vineyard. That’s my winemaking goal. By making a style of wine that ages well, I’m confident that our current fans will continue to love our wines and that we will make new fans along the way, continuing the legacy.”

Notaro places emphasis on matching the type of oak to the wines from the individual estates to heighten the vineyard characteristics. “It’s important to me that when you taste our FAY Cabernet Sauvignon, you are tasting the true vineyard character. The same for S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon. I want to marry the barrel type and toast level to bring out the distinct vineyard notes.”

SUSTAINABILITY Three Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars estate vineyards—FAY, S.L.V., and Danika

Marcus Notaro believes that if a wine is balanced when it’s bottled, it will also be balanced as it ages. He said, “Wines don’t need to be undrinkable in their youth to be age-worthy. A balanced wine will be balanced in its youth and will continue to get better as it ages. I want to make wines to be enjoyed upon release, yet reward patience by aging gracefully.” In the center of the caves, illuminated by soft light, a Foucault pendulum is suspended above a quartzite floor whose patchwork pattern evokes visions of the earth when viewed from the heavens. The Round Room is the “beating heart” of the cave, where the pendulum serves as a metaphor for the passing of time and the aging of wine. Indeed, on this 50th anniversary, Marcus Notaro is sampling some bottles from the library. He said, “Wines from the mid-90s are really singing right now. Specifically, the ‘93, ‘95, ‘96 are exceptional, showing great fruit and texture.” He also provided an answer to the frequently asked question: “Yes, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars has just under a case of the 1973 S.L.V. remaining in the cellar.” FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.stagsleapwinecellars.com FALL 2020

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NAPA HARVEST SEASON

Through the Lens of Local Napa Photographer, Bob McClenahan  BY LAURA LARSON | PHOTOS BY BOB MCCLENAHAN

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Benessere Vineyards


Every year from August through October, vintners and vineyard workers collaborate closely with mother nature to farm the year’s grape vineyards to their peak of ripeness and nurture them through a successful harvest.

Reid Family Vineyards for the Napa Valley Vintners

T

iming the pick to obtain optimal yields and best quality of fruit can sometimes be a race against the clock depending on the weather and environment. The signs are telltale with all the sensory nuances of the harvest season, with the smell of freshly picked grapes in the air, large trucks carrying grape bins to their outposts waiting to be filled, and vineyard workers abuzz in the fields working late at night into daybreak cultivating the year’s bounties. It’s an exciting time for the vintners, the agricultural workers, as well as the local community, who have a unique opportunity to witness the transformation of the grape vines as they advance through the completion of their lifecycles.

Benessere Vineyards

Local photographer Bob McClenahan has been capturing Napa Valley’s vineyards and harvest season on film ever since he acquired his first camera - a Nikon D300- after moving to the area in 2008. His acclaimed photos have been showcased in numerous venues, both in print and digital, on a national scale. We caught up with Bob to gain some insights on his experiences behind the scenes shooting Napa’s annual grape harvests.

On Mt. Veeder for Domaine Chandon

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Q &A

NVL: What excites you most about photographing Napa harvest? BOB: It’s really a lot of fun. The vineyard workers are moving so amazingly quickly. They are often singing. The light is dramatic with dust, sunrise, and headlights.

NVL: When is the best time to do it? BOB: That’s the tough part. They’re often picking in the middle of the night. If I have a choice, I’ll get out there just before dawn, so I can spend a couple of hours capturing the workers as the sun rises. NVL: What do you look for to capture the best shots? BOB: I try to capture the faces, but often my clients want shots of the hands and grapes. I also try to capture the action in a different way. NVL: Are there any specific techniques you use? BOB: I bring a variety of lenses with me so I can capture wide angles that show the whole scene then break out a telephoto lens to capture the details. Sometimes I’ll use a slow shutter speed to show movement. I never use a flash.

NVL: Do you have any insightful learnings about harvest after all these years of capturing its nuances? BOB:  Since most of my clients are wineries, I’ve become very interested in wine. So much so, that I took a class at the college to learn more about it. The workers pick at night, because the grapes are already cool and full of juice and it’s more comfortable for them as it’s not very hot. It also makes it a little more complicated since they can only see what their forehead lights show them.

NVL: Do you have any memorable experiences to share? BOB:  For the past few years, I’ve been photographing the first picks of the harvest season. The various sparkling wine producers are the first to harvest because they don’t want their grapes too sweet. My favorite memory of harvest is photographing it during the solar eclipse a few years ago. Mumm purposely picked some grapes during the eclipse because they were planning to create a wine just from those grapes. NVL: What do you like most about what you do? BOB: I love my job. I can’t believe the people I meet and the places I go simply because I’m a photographer.

Bob McClenahan is a commercial and editorial photographer based in the Napa Valley. He likes to say that he “specializes in not specializing.” Whatever the assignment, he tries to give the image a personality. Bob has gained notoriety photographing all the significant events in wine country, including Auction Napa Valley, BottleRock, Festival Napa Valley, the Napa Valley Film Festival, the Sonoma County Wine Auction, The Safeway Open and many others. His clients include some of Napa Valley’s premier wineries, such as Duckhorn, ZD, Constellation, Opus One, Treasury, and Trinchero, as well as Sonoma County Winegrowers, and Visit Napa Valley. He also has a robust repertoire of experience photographing celebrities, rock stars, politicians, and prominent business executives. www.bobmcclenahan.com

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“I love my job. I can’t believe the people I meet and the places I go simply because I’m a photographer.”

Morisoli Vineyard for Amici

Vineyard workers looking at solar eclipse

At Trefethen for Mumm FALL 2020 49 eclipse during the solar


NVL wineries Photo courtesy of Luna Vineyards

LUNA VINEYARDS Introduces New and Illuminating Tasting Experiences

 BY FRAN MILLER

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una Vineyards’ gateway location along Napa Valley’s Silverado Trail is more than fitting. As the first winery encountered upon northern entry to the famed thoroughfare, Luna is a perfect first stop for visitors seeking the best in wine tasting hospitality, especially during this time of new beginnings. As the Valley once again rolls out its red carpet, Luna’s outdoor, piazza-style patio provides a warm, welcoming, and fun environment in which to taste its unique wines via experiences geared toward aficionados and novices alike. “One should never feel intimidated by the world of fine wine,” said winery president, Andre Crisp. “At Luna, we produce products that are accessible to everyone at all price points. Our goal is to connect with our customers and visitors. They are the reason we do what we do.” At Luna, ‘distance responsible,’ educational tastings provide accessibility to the winery’s Italian and classic Bordeaux varietals. The winery, which celebrates its 50

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25th anniversary this year, is perhaps best known for producing two varietals that are uncommon for the region: Sangiovese and Pinot Grigio. Luna is one of the largest producers in the Valley and first family-owned winery to plant the visionary Italian varieties on their estate vineyard. A Luna goal is spotlighting these non-mainstream Napa Valley varietals, made with precision by winemaker Shawna Miller. Visitors to Luna are encouraged to relax and to walk about the property, where outdoor tasting spaces are maximized to take advantage of the fresh air and inspiring views. A menu of new tasting experiences includes The Estate Tasting, personalized and seated, featuring a selection of current release Napa Valley and Estate-grown wines. $30 retail customers / $0 club members. The Estate Tasting + 2020 Pinot Grigio Berries. This elevated tasting is personalized and seated and features current release Napa Valley and Estate-grown wines, including berries that will become the winery’s 2020 Estate

Pinot Grigio. $40 retail customers / $10 club members. And the Reds Tasting + French Oak vs. Hungarian Oak Sangiovese – another elevated tasting featuring a selection of current release Napa Valley red wines and a special side-by-side Sangiovese Oak tasting. $50 retail customers / $20 club members. All of Luna’s new tasting experiences are offered daily by appointment at 10:00 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, and 2:30 pm. Luna also continues to offer its Zoom tastings, which, over the past year, have proven to be popular. “The Zoom format was an accidental revelation for us during a time of necessity,” said Nisha Singh, Luna’s vice president of marketing and communications. “These virtual tastings have provided a great avenue for introducing our wines to those throughout the US who are unable to make it to Napa. The virtual world has made Luna more accessible.” FOR MORE INFORMATION www.lunavineyards.com


1915

••• Discover the finest and most unique wine storage facility ser ving Napa, Sonoma, and the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Rutherford Wine Vault is located in the historic Beaulieu Vineyard champagne depar tment - a meticulously transformed 110 year -old space. The vault features storage solutions for individual wine collectors and small vintners. Each locker is equipped with custom designed seismically independent racking systems, lockable private steel storage enclosures, redundant temperature and humidity controls, and more than five layers of state-of-the-ar t security systems. ••• FINE WINE IS ONE OF LIFE’S GREAT TREASURES. ISN’T YOURS WORTH IT?

•• THE RUTHERFORD WINE VAULT ••

Na p a Va l l e y’ s Pr e m i e r W i n e S t o r a g e Cu r r e ntl y acce pti n g n e w me mbe r s.

| 1 901 Sa int Helena Hw y. | Rut her f o r d , C A 9 4 5 7 3

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RD WINERY

Cultivating Diversity by Bringing People Together Through Food and Wine  BY VALERIE OWENS

Photos courtesy of RD Winery

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ith an altruistic spirit and a commitment to cultivating a diverse community, RD Winery brings the Vietnamese culture to the Napa Valley, unifying old world tradition with new world vinification. Born in the Quảng Ngãi province along the South-Central Coast of Vietnam, RD Winery Founder Dong Van Nguyen grew up impoverished and was taught the value of hard work and perseverance from a young age. He ventured into the construction and real estate market, quickly building a reputation for his commitment to excellence and quality. A true rags-to-riches story, Nguyen’s hard work paid off as he became the primary builder of crucial infrastructure in the region and was honored by the Vietnamese government as a ‘Hero of Labor” for his hand in job creation. “Mr. Nguyen is a visionary. His story is a reminder that if you work hard and never give up, 52

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“Mr. Nguyen is a visionary. His story is a reminder that if you work hard and never give up, dreams do come true.” – Mailynh Phan, CEO dreams do come true,” said Chief Executive Officer of RD Winery, Mailynh Phan. With a passion for food and wine, Nguyen visited the prestigious Napa Valley. Inspired by the region’s artistry, the avid wine collector ventured into the industry with a goal to share Napa and California wine with his home country. “Vietnam is home to Mr. Nguyen. His love for Napa wine was something he wanted to share,” explained Phan. “He started RD Winery so he could take a bit of Napa back home with him.” RD Winery was launched in 2011, and for the first six years, all production was exported to

Vietnam. Through passion and dedication, Nguyen wanted to share his wines with the US market, and in 2019 construction began on a tasting room in south Napa, which is now welcoming visitors. Building a bridge between Vietnamese culture and Napa Valley and California wine, RD Winery is a place of unity and tranquility. “Our tasting room is an incredible space showcasing the beauty of Vietnamese culture, and we’re so excited to welcome visitors,” said Phan. Led by Head Winemaker Timothy Milos, RD Winery boasts a diverse selection of terroir-driven wines. From their Fifth Moon to their Hundred

Knot varieties, there is something for everyone. “The name, Fifth Moon, is based on the Vietnamese summer solstice celebration. The California wines are fruitforward, refreshing, and pair well with equatorial foods, which makes them perfect for pairing with all types of cuisine,” said Phan. “Our Hundred Knot label is based on a Vietnamese fable of the same name, reminiscent of Mr. Nguyen’s story. The focus of Hundred Knot is to showcase the best of the Napa and Sonoma wine regions.” As the first Vietnameseowned winery in the Napa Valley, RD Winery was founded ‘with an aspiration to bring people together through wine and food and celebrating life’s nuances.’ A mission statement that not only encourages diversity but welcomes togetherness through a shared interest, wine. FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.rdwinery.com


SAY YES TO NEW

adventures

BOOK YOUR VIRTUAL TASTING BRASSWOOD.COM


NVL winery spotlight

A Chorus of Music on the Palate

BENTON FAMILY WINE  BY LAYNE RANDOLPH

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f all goes well, Benton Family Wine will be hosting the annual West Coast Songwriter’s Competition again soon. The monthly open mike contest hosted by and held at the Benton Family Wine winery has been on hold for most of the year due to the events of 2020. Owner and Winemaker Daniel Benton takes it in stride. “In the wine business, you’re never in control. Mother Nature is always in control,” he said. The monthly competition showcases musicians who are, in turn, scored by a panel of judges who pick a monthly winner. At the end of the year, those winners compete to become the West Coast Songwriter’s representative at the national competition. The postponement of the events is a disappointment for everyone, but especially for Daniel, who grew up as the oldest of four in a family of guitar players and considers himself a “backyard campfire picker.” Music naturally pairs with wine, Daniel explained. “A chord is made up of many individual notes, but the ear picks up the harmony.” He uses the music analogy as his winemaking philosophy. “I want a chorus of music on the palate,” he said. But he has taken his musical inspiration even further. He plays his guitar in the

| PHOTOS BY RICK BOLEN OF RICK BOLEN PHOTOGRAPHY

As one of the few ultraboutique, family-owned and operated wineries in Napa Valley, Benton Family Wine takes the word “family” in their name seriously. barrel room while sipping wine, and he has implemented strict playlists for each step in the winemaking process. While bottling, he prefers Reggae, and for tasting and blending, he turns on some Classic Jazz. His musical and winemaking styles are based on elegance and finesse more than power. In the case of wine, the style tends to be less American and more French, which is fitting since Daniel trained under a thirteenth generation Bordeaux winemaker from Saint-Émilion, Louis de Coninck. Daniel began making wines in the French style with de Coninck, and he has stuck to that winning style for 20 years. As one of the few ultra-boutique, familyowned and operated wineries in Napa Valley,

Benton Family Wine takes the word “family” in their name seriously. Daniel and his wife Kara own and run the business, and they treat their small staff of nine like they are members of their own family. When the LNU fire encompassed much of the North Bay, and many people were evacuating their homes, Daniel and Kara opened their doors to house two of their displaced employees. “I tell people before I hire them, ‘I’m not hiring you for this position, I’m hiring you to be part of the family.’” Through training, winemaking, building a business, and running a family, music has remained a constant inspiration for Daniel. It is the thread that ties it all together. Daniel has found many extraordinary wine-music combinations in his years as a winemaker, and he likes to share them with friends and customers. As an example, Daniel offered, “I’ve found that the 2017 Croze Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon – 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 100 percent Rutherford AVA – is a perfect complement to Van Morrison’s “Sweet Thing.” He added, “Good wine, good food, good music, and good friends – what else do you need in life?”

BENTON FAMILY WINE // www.bentonfamilywine.com // 888-317-8819 // 880 Vallejo St, Napa, CA 94559

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WINE SPIES

SMALL PRODUCERS FIND A LIFELINE DURING T H E PA N D E M I C I N F L AS H SA L E S I T E

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pring was on the horizon, and the tasting rooms were buckling down for a huge influx of summer traffic. Then the pandemic hit. Napa relies on nearly 4 million visitors coming each year. Those tourists spend more than $2 billion, much of that on wine purchases direct from the wineries they visit. That momentum came to a screeching halt mid-March as the coronavirus lockdown went into full effect. With restaurants shut down and tasting rooms closed, small wineries in Napa and Sonoma became desperate to keep the cash flowing and business operating. A massive shift from in-person to remote sales began as wineries leveraged their mailing lists, telemarketing, and website sales to keep the wine flowing. But there are potential growth limitations when working solely with an organic customer and club member list. Enter Wine Spies. The Santa Rosabased company has been in business for 13 years and has forged strong relationships with hundreds of local wineries. Each day Wine Spies sends a discounted wine offer to tens of thousands of wine lovers across the country that tells a story about that day’s featured wine and the story about people behind it. One of their longest-running partners is Ty Caton, a producer of premium Cabernet from the Moon Mountain District. “During the pandemic as traditional models of reaching customers have evolved, we’ve relied on our 12+ year relationship with The Wine Spies’ platform as a partner to get the word out and help us sell wine. They’ve been an integral partner and team player for our survival and success during this time,” Caton said. Veterans and newcomers alike have seen great success as demonstrated by Beekeeper Cellars, a hip, ultra-premium 56

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Photo courtesy of Wine Spies

“We sold more wine with Wine Spies in a single day than we sold at 200 top restaurant accounts in the past year. They really do find a number of great smaller producers and push forward an amazing value proposition.”

–Ian Blackburn,

Beekeeper Cellars

producer of single-vineyard Zinfandel in Sonoma. They ran their first offer in late April. Their highly sought-after Zinfandel that usually retails for $75 sold out in a matter of hours after Wine Spies offered it as their featured wine. Owner Ian Blackburn couldn’t be happier with the results. “We were 100% on-premise, meaning all our business was terminated at the start of the pandemic. Wine Spies, who does an amazing job of telling the story of the brand, was a great solution. We sold more wine with Wine Spies in a single day than we sold at 200 top restaurant accounts in the past year. They really do find a number of great smaller producers and push forward an amazing value proposition,” Blackburn said. When flash wine sites became popular nearly a decade ago, a common objection from wineries was that it erodes their pricing perception. Robert Rex, Winemaker and owner at Deerfield RanchWinery, offered insight into that concept. "We weren’t sure at first if it was a good idea because we are 90% DTC with a good wine club and figured online flash sales might upset our club members. In the early years, we wouldn’t send the announcement to our club. Now we do. It works like a champ," Rex said. This abrupt shift toward e-commerce is a welcome advancement that has been years in the making in the wine industry, which has traditionally lagged in terms of direct-to-consumer sales. Jason Seeber, Wine Spies Founder and Owner said, “Now is the time to jump in with both feet and use the various channels out there to get wine into consumer’s hands.” FOR MORE INFORMATION www.winespies.com


One can search a lifetime hunting down an excellent Cabernet value amongst Napa Valley producers... Silver Ghost is a wine that fits this description. – 91 Points, Wilfred Wong

AWARD WINNING 2016 NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON

93 Points

The Tasting Panel Magazine

90 Points James Suckling

90 Points

Editors’ Choice Wine Enthusiast

90 Points Decanter

v i s i t Sil ver Ghost Cellars.com o r ask for it at your local fine wine retailer

SHOP OUR SELECTION OF WINES, METICULOUSLY CURATED BY MASTER SOMMELIER KEVIN M. VOGT

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WINECOUNTRYCONNECTION.COM

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NAPA VALLEY AND CABERNET SAUVIGNON:

A Perfect Match  BY CHRIS SAWYER

BV Historic GDL Wine Photo Courtesy of Beaulieu Vineyard

The Napa Valley has been cultivating grapes since the 1700s, but Cabernet Sauvignon was not introduced to the area until the late 1800s around the time when industry icon, Charles Krug opened the first commercial winery. A decade or so later, Beringer and Inglenook followed suit. 58

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BV Georges de Latour Vineyards

Cabernet Sauvignon // Spottswoode Photo by Bob McClenahan

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t the time, America was captivated with Bordeaux wines, and in 1889, Inglenook gained worldwide notoriety with their Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon grown in Rutherford, which won the Gold Medal at the prestigious Paris World Fair. This accolade ultimately drove attention to the Napa Valley and set the stage for the region’s potential to produce premier Bordeaux-style wines.

Celebrating its 120th anniversary in 2020, the Rutherfordbased Beaulieu Vineyard has become a benchmark of Napa Valley style: An iconic winery responsible for the success of world-class wines made with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes planted before prohibition and after the modern boom of largescale plantings, which began when Robert Mondavi opened his winery in Oakville in 1966. In French, “beau lieu” means “beautiful place.” Before Georges de Latour and his wife Fernande started the classic “BV” brand in 1900, early signs of success were already apparent from wines made with fruit from Cabernet vines planted on the Rutherford Bench, a distinctive vein of alluvial soils wrapped around the small provincial town of Rutherford and the base of the Mayacamas Mountains west of Hwy 29. After the devastating phylloxera louse swept through the Napa Valley in the 1890s and prohibition limited sales, Latour helped producers by importing disease-resistant rootstock and developed new estate vineyards. On his trip to France in 1938, he hired gifted winemaker André Tchelistcheff, who made the BV wines until he retired in 1973. As a tribute to the proprietor and

the unique growing conGeorges de Latour (center) with ranch forema n ditions in the Rutherford and guests at BV Vineyard circa 1939 Bench, Tchelistcheff Courtesy of Beaulieu Vineyard crafted the Georges de Latour Private Reserve, which became the Napa Valley’s barrels in the cellar, which first “cult” Cabernet when it was helped take the flavor profiles released in 1940. Tchelistcheff and texture of Cabernet to an is also known for his famous entirely new level.” quote, “It takes Rutherford dust to grow great Cabernet. The BEYOND slogan “Rutherford dust” is now RUTHERFORD associated with notes of chocoAs the years have passed, other late, cherry, spice, and earth in classic Rutherford Cabernet prothe wines from the region. ducers like Caymus Vineyards, Joel Aiken, who succeeded Freemark Abbey, Honig Winery, Tchelistcheff as head wineSullivan Rutherford Estate, Frogs maker at BV from 1985 to 2009, Leap, Cakebread, Peju Province said the positive shift forward and Sequoia Grove have been in style has helped increase joined by a new breed of exciting the number of high-quality brands from the 1990s forward. Cabernets made with premium An excellent example grapes grown throughout Napa is Frank Family Vineyards, County. “In our case, at BV where General Manager and in the 1990s, we were able Winemaker Todd Graff works to update and develop a wide closely with his vineyard team range of exciting new Cabernetthat cares for each individual based wines that were much block of Cabernet planted on more modern, focused, and the winery’s estate properties balanced. In the vineyard, in Rutherford, St. Helena, and we started using new special around the winery in Calistoga. Cabernet clones and fine-tuned “Todd is always insistent that our farming practices,” said the acid levels are harmonious Aiken, who currently bottles to allow our Cabernet selechigh-end Cabernet releases for tions to shine when young and the Scattered Peak label and develop more character in the Aiken Wines. “The same can be cellars,” said proprietor Rich said about the use of new yeast Frank, who established his strains and artisan French oak family’s brand in 1993. FALL 2020

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A few miles north in Saint Helena, there are more great Cabernet houses that represent links from the past to the present, including: Charles Krug, founded in 1861; Louis M. Martini, 1933; Newton, 1977; Spottswood in 1982; Crocker Starr in 1997; to name a few. There are plenty of wineries that produce Old World-style offerings as well. An excellent case in point is the small-batch allotments of fine Cabernet wines from Canard Vineyard in Calistoga. Winemaker Brian Graham said he likes how the purity of fruit flavors and character of the vineyard comes to life in the 500 cases he makes annually at Canard. “Instead of being big, fruit-driven, and powerful, it’s a wine with fresh and lively flavors that explode at the mid-palate and lead to a dry finish that becomes more textured as the wine expands in the glass.” On the more southern end of the valley, additional contributors to the Cabernet phenomenon include Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars on Silverado Trail near Napa, which produced the legendary 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon that received the top red wine honor at the famed Judgment of Paris showdown in 1976; a unique series of high-end FrancoAmerican projects, like Opus One in Oakville and Dominus in Yountville, which began in the late 1970s; and the noteworthy achievement by Groth Winery in Oakville, which became the first Napa Valley Cabernet producer to receive a 100-point score from wine critic Robert Parker for its 1985 vintage.

PURE MOUNTAIN DELIGHTS This magical combination of power, elegance, and stylish new Cabernet-based wines can be made at higher-elevation sites as well. In the case of the Mayacamas Mountain Range to the west, one of the first brands to lead this charge is Diamond Creek Vineyards. Newlyweds Al and Adelle “Boots” Brounstein 60

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purchased this isolated 70-acre parcel in 1967. After planting separate blocks on the four distinct soil types. When these four distinctive single-vineyard wines—Gravelly Meadows, Volcanic Hill, Red Rock Terrace, and Lake, all from the 1972 vintage—were released, the winery became the first in Napa Valley to charge $100 per bottle. Since then, the terroir-driven character of the Diamond Creek wines became a benchmark for working with high-quality estate fruit, mountain farming, and an inspiration to a multitude of gifted winemakers and premium producers that have gone on to create some of California’s most prized red wines. From a geographical standpoint, the vineyards are influenced by sunny days, cool nights, and well-drained soils that produce a plethora of elegant, complex and age-worthy wines every year from producers located on the eastern-facing slopes of the Mayacamas Range, such as Mayacamas Vineyards, Spring Mountain Vineyards, Newton Winery, and other highelevation brands situated in the sub-appellations of Spring Mountain and Mount Veeder. The same is true on rockier, west-facing slopes on the rugged Vaca Mountains, which includes the sub-appellations of Howell Mountain, Atlas Peak, and Coombsville, portions of which can be seen running along the hillside slopes from St. Helena to the south of Napa. Further east are the Pope Valley and Chiles Valley appellations. The volcanic soils that comprise these mountainous AVA’s are best known for producing superlative Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and some of Napa’s most refined wines known for their classic complexity, intense flavors, and balanced tannins. Together, all these points are what make the Napa signature experience of Cabernet Sauvignon recognizable on a global scale.


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SOMNIUM WINE The Dot Shows “You are Here”  BY LAYNE RANDOLPH | PHOTOS BY WB PHOTOGRAPHY

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t is not entirely expected for a retired NASCAR racecar driver to be drawn to winemaking, a calling that requires the patience of a saint and a penchant for subtlety, but Danica Patrick defies that notion. She dreamed of owning a vineyard and making wine one day, and in 2009, she achieved that goal. In the decade since she purchased property on Howell Mountain in Napa Valley, she has poured her heart into Somnium (Latin for dream), and it is now a highly acclaimed wine producer. Danica was intimately involved in the Somnium wine label design – the jagged line eludes to a racetrack along life’s journey. The dot above the name – a stylized “You are Here” – symbolizes being in the moment and appreciating the sense of place that wine evokes. After a decade of watching her vineyard mature and releasing a few vintages, Danica turned to French Winemaker Julien Fayard to become Somnium’s winemaker and expand its portfolio. Fayard’s illustrious resume includes working with his family’s winery in Provence, and later working at Lafite Rothschild and Smith Haut Laffite in Bordeaux before relocating to Napa Valley in 2006. He served as Philippe Melka’s director of winemaking and has become one of the region’s most respected winemakers. 62

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Somnium’s premier wine from the beginning has been the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, made from 100 percent estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 100 percent new French oak. In recent years, Somnium added a small production of Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon to the offerings. As of June 2020, Somnium Wine offers Sauvignon Blanc from Knights Valley in Sonoma County, California, and a Cabernet blend of four varietals from two distinct Napa Valley vineyards – three from their estate property and one from Coombsville.

Somnium operates without a tasting room of its own, which seems irrelevant in the “new normal” of today. General Manager Tracy Smith explained that tastings are provided on an appointmentonly basis, catering to each client’s location and personal taste preferences. That means that the tasting does not have to be in Napa Valley. Outside Napa Valley, Smith will travel to the client for a private, custom experience, either individually or in small groups, in the comfort of home or another carefully selected site. In Napa Valley, a Somnium Brand Ambassador will arrange one-on-one tastings at local restaurants or other establishments as requested. If clients prefer, they can purchase Somnium tasting sets and schedule private virtual tastings. Smith is a fourth-generation Napa Valley resident with decades of experience in the wine industry and incalculable generational knowledge as a member of one of Napa Valley’s oldest families. According to Smith, the mission with these uber-personal wine tastings is to get each client to “put the phone down and enjoy,” and heed that dot on the label, reminding them “You are Here.” FOR MORE INFORMATION www.somniumwine.com


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FRANK FAMILY VINEYARDS

Shows What Rutherford Has to Offer  BY MARISA MCCANN | PHOTOS COURTESY OF FRANK FAMILY VINEYARDS

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hen it comes to Napa Valley wine, the differences from one appellation to another are hard to miss. There is the racy acidity that seasons windswept Carneros, the superb concentration pushing up in Howell Mountain, and the powerful energy running through Stags Leap. But perhaps Napa’s best-known terroir is found, unsurprisingly, in the heart of the region: in the Rutherford dust. Since the 1930s, the Rutherford AVA, on the floor of Napa Valley, has been widely recognized as a source of superlative Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties. The area’s hallmark gravelly loam soils and moderate temperatures deliver fruitforward wines with outstanding balance and refined elegance. One wine producer in particular who has become synonymous with this worldclass grape-growing district is Frank Family Vineyards, who has nearly three decades of crafting fine Rutherford designated wines under its belt. Frank Family owner and founder, Rich Frank, purchased what would become the winery’s first Rutherford estate vineyard in 1990. Rich fell in love with a great, old Tudor style house that came with an original 10 acres of hillside vineyards 64

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among the 107-acre lot. Southwest-facing and known to be one the great vineyards in Rutherford, Rich soon learned what he had and what he could do with it. “When word got out that the hillside property in Rutherford had a new owner, I started to receive numerous phone calls from wineries in the neighborhood inquiring about the availability of my grapes for purchase,” said Rich. “That was the first time I thought to myself that there might be something really special here.” Rich named the property, “Winston Hill” after his black and white English Springer Spaniel, Winston, who loved running and chasing birds in the vineyard. Since the early 1990s, when Winston Hill was born, the prized hillside estate has expanded in planted acreage, yielding some of Napa Valley’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. Today, Winston Hill is the origin of five wines in the Frank Family collection, including their highly acclaimed Patriarch Cabernet Sauvignon and their namesake Winston Hill Cabernet Sauvignon-based Bordeaux-style blend. The 1998 vintage of Winston Hill was the first among a legacy of extraordinary wine. Each year since, the blend has been

slightly different depending on what Mother Nature gives, but always consistent in quality. Though the impeccable fruit first inspired the wine, it was the freedom given to Frank Family’s winemaker, Todd Graff, his ingenuity and discerning taste, that has made the blend an award-winning and always-anticipated wine, every year. “Winston Hill represents the pinnacle of everything we strive to achieve in our winemaking practices, made each year with one goal in mind – to make the best wine that is the best expression of our land,” stated Todd. Rutherford is renowned for historically producing some of Napa’s most storied wines, and since the early 1990s, Frank Family has captured the essence of this region in their exclusive bottlings. While their vineyard plantings now stretch to almost every quadrant of Napa Valley, nothing compares to Frank Family’s very first property, Winston Hill. It is here in the gently climbing vineyard along the eastern banks of Rutherford that the perfect intersection of sunshine, hillside breezes, and dusty soil crafts the perfect sip that can be savored like a moment in time. FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.frankfamilyvineyards.com


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How Karen Crouse

MAKES MAGIC on Mount Veeder  BY LAURIE JO MILLER FARR

Photo by RoseAnn Trzesniewski

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hen Karen Crouse first set eyes upon the Mount Veeder land she now calls home, her reaction was, “A shambles, a disaster. I could see no beauty and certainly no revenue.” That was in 2007. Fortunately, her husband Greg could envision the vineyard it would become, so with fingers and toes crossed, they went ahead. Perhaps a bit of magic was involved as well, since shortly after their purchase, the economy tanked. But because “nothing in my life has come easy,” Karen dug in for the long haul...literally. At the height of the 2009 recession, Mount Veeder Magic Vineyards was founded and Karen got her boots dirty as one of the few female grower-owners in Napa Valley. Today, Mount Veeder Magic Vineyards triggers very different emotions in Karen. As CEO, vintner and grower in the family business, she speaks with devotion and pride about being “deeply connected to my land, my vines, my grapes.” What happened? In two words: ideation and drive. A new concept in selling rare, ultrapremium Mount Veeder wine (only one percent of all wine produced in the Napa Valley comes from Mount Veeder) by the barrel’s-worth was fueled by Karen’s high level sales and marketing background at American Express. Over the years, client relationships had turned into friendships and she believed that just 20 clients would define success in her new, and very limited production, wine venture. Other than a hint of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon is the sole varietal planted on 16 select acres of the site’s 80 acres. Those vines produce as few as 25 barrels a year— by design. Mount Veeder Magic Vineyards is the only wine company offering Mount Veeder Cab specifically destined for serious collectors’ private cellars. Seven different soil types at elevations ranging from 800 to 1,100 feet support 20- and 30-year-old vines. “My grapes are complex before we start the winemaking process,” Karen notes. “I have excellent partners and farm Six Sigma-style with precision and attention to the highest level of detail.” The vineyard is handfarmed, hand-picked, and the wine is hand-crafted by Jeff Fontanella. Each bottle is labeled by hand as well. The next iteration revolves around elevating the bespoke and customized wine label designs. In collaboration with a young

Artist Matias Marroquin

artist, Matias Marroquin, whose work is inspired by truly uninspiring topographic maps (more magic here) a whole new message of connection and perspective is taking root. The goal is to make a deeply personal connection between the hands that make the wine and the hands that bring the wine glass to the lips. We see Karen’s arms symbolically holding a cluster of grapes while cradling the vineyard, delivering a message of heartfelt hope and joy through illustration. It’s a work-in-progress, for sure, but there’s no rush. Like all great wines, magic may take a little more time.

The goal is to make a deeply personal connection between the hands that make the wine and the hands that bring the wine glass to the lips.

FOR MORE INFORMATION www.mountveedermagic.com // www.karencrousenapavalley.com // www.matiasmarroquin.org

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An Illuminous Tale:

LETO CELLARS Photos courtesy of Leto Cellars

 BY VALERIE OWENS

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n a time of uncertainty, there is a light that encapsulates the beauty and integrity of the wine industry. With a history rooted in winemaking and wine operations, Leto Cellars is an integrated partnership interwoven with dedication, artistry, and experience. For 53 years, Brad Warner, Winemaker, and co-founder of Leto Cellars has dedicated himself to a profession that he loves. Starting his career in the cellar at Charles Krug Winery, Brad’s aptitude for wine garnered the interest of Robert Mondavi, whom he met at the local fuel station. After working at both wineries for his first harvest, Brad moved to Robert Mondavi Winery full time, eventually gaining the title of Vice President of Production during his almost 30-year tenure. A scholar of wine, Brad traveled to the Bordeaux and Burgundy regions in France to learn the classic methods of winemaking and cellar operations before returning to the states where he developed cellar protocols that are still used in winemaking facilities today. Brad’s ultimate position would be next to his wife, Lisa, in an adventure of a lifetime, Leto Cellars. 68

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Lisa Warner, Vintner and Co-founder of Leto Cellars, began her career in the purchasing department of Robert Mondavi Winery. Lisa’s journey, now in its 31st year, would encompass sophisticated facilities planning projects, all aspects of wine production, and sales and marketing roles working with wineries, both large and small. Lisa’s experience led her to learn the business intimately, with a sought-after trait of maximizing efficiencies and solving problems. With her husband Brad as her mentor, she has added production assistant and winery owner to her resume. “Brad invited me to lunch, and throughout the meal, he proposed the idea of our own brand. Something we could do together,” said Lisa. Founded in 2008, Leto originates from the Greek word, meaning "the hidden one." A name that embodies their behind-thescenes experience working for other producers. With the commitment to “embrace what each vintage has to offer,” the Warner’s dedication to independent growers, old-school winemaking techniques, and

personal approach to hospitality gives way to their genuine authenticity. With just 1,000 cases per vintage, The Warner’s produce premium, terroir-driven wines showcasing the strength and vitality of the region. Located in the Warehouse District in South Napa, the Leto Cellars tasting experience is like none other. Tastings in the cellar are completely private and always hosted by proprietors. Lisa said, “The goal is to provide a behindthe-scenes experience that immerses our guests in the process. We share stories, knowledge, and really personalize each visit.” Now offering a series of virtual tasting experiences, Leto Cellars is committed to “bringing the magic of the Napa Valley into people’s homes.” Though times may be uncertain, the boutique wine brand continues to illuminate in the wine community. A tale of passion, integrity, and beautiful wine, Leto Cellars is an inspirational story for all to hear. FOR MORE INFORMATION www.letocellars.com


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ANGWIN ESTATE VINEYARDS It’s a Process Rather Than a Destination  BY LAURIE JO MILLER FARR | PHOTOS COURTESY OF ANGWIN ESTATE VINEYARDS

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hen a native Howell Mountain winemaker says he approaches wine with a different perspective, one is listening. If the next sentence begins with, “After I left cardiac surgery...” they’re all ears. Jon Larson is the storyteller, a child of the valley. Together with his wife Angela Henszel, they are Angwin Estate Vineyards.

Top of the Hill The transition from surgery and anesthesia to viticulture and enology was made smoother by the fact that Larson spent much of his childhood at this very spot, on land eventually passed on by his mother. Surrounded by fragrant woods, these two acres in the crisp mountain air above the fog line at an elevation of 2,150 feet are organically farmed, no herbicides, no insecticides. Adjusting a canopy to benefit Jon and Angela's sons, Arek and Piotr from the sun’s rays, Larson unapologetically strives for perfection—without manipulaA philosophical point of view combined tion—because “great wines are made in with fine-tuned attention to detail goes the vineyard.” In the relentless pursuit into everything, which means barrel of quality at Angwin Estate, each vine is selection as well. He selects the oldest, touched 25 to 30 times per year. Beyond slow-growing French oak, extremely tightthese caresses, Larson said, there is no grained to ensure an unparalleled profile sleight of hand in pursuing a true sense characterized by elegance and integration of place produced by characteristically rather than overpowering presence. This small, tight and powerful berries with search for excellence is fueled by a desire intense flavor. to return to the classicism of the past, 70

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sparing no expense while limiting manipulation to allow the wine to be as it wants to be.

Beauty One Can Drink Nevertheless, curiosity may lead to unlikely places, said Larson. “There’s a profound force moving me forward.” Because he sees his work as a process rather than a destination, and the resulting wine as a pure expression of that process, Larson is always asking questions of the vines. He runs trials, continuously seeking improvement. These will involve learning how to increase the strength of the vines, creating biodynamic ecosystems, introducing new root stocks and discovering ways to do things that aren’t super manipulative. “And I’m fascinated by the unpredictable chaos that weather delivers in the vineyard,” he said. The result is a bold wine that dances around in your mouth, fruity without being sweet. Fresh savory herbal notes such as coriander are layered with earthy cedar, and warm tobacco anchored in a graphite minerality representing archetypical Howell Mountain AVA. Jon Larson is fond of a quote by the prophet Khalil Gibran: "Work is love made visible,” and he shared the extension of that thought, “We see our wine as work made consumable, so our work in creating Cabernet Sauvignon is love made drinkable.” FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.angwinestatevineyards.com


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PERFECT MARK 100 POINTS

2018 Kukeri Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon  BY LAURIE JO MILLER FARR

Photo by Freddy Magdaleno

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rmed with an advanced winemaking degree plus a winery internship, passion and vision led Petar Kirilov from a small town in Bulgaria to Napa Valley nearly two decades ago. In 2013, he launched Kukeri Wines to focus primarily on small lots of quality Cabernet and a few Pinots and Chardonnays. “It's a labor of love and care,” Kirilov said. During the unusual summer of 2020, he was able to reap the rewards by earning stellar results for Kukeri Wines at the Sunset International Wine Competition. Professional blind tasting panels consisted of 36 industry experts who judged wines over three days. Petar Kirilov expressed his delight that 2018 Kukeri Wines Stags Leap

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District Cabernet Sauvignon was recognized with a perfect 100 points and Best of Class plus a Double Gold award. Only 290 cases were produced for this wine (concentrated flavors of ripe blackberry, dark cherry, ripe plum, fresh mountain herbs, and savory spices on the palate), which retails at $85. The blend is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.6% Malbec, 2.8% Merlot, 2.1% Petit Verdot, and 1.5% Cabernet Franc. “I knew I had a winner, but I wasn’t expecting ‘best in class.’ What a nice surprise, especially in 2020, to have something positive happen. It means a lot to me and showcases the hard work and attention that’s gone into my small production.”

He is keen on these classic, unique sub-appellations for his big and bold Cabs, sourcing fruit from outstanding vineyards such as Howell Mountain, Rutherford, Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, and the concentrated, intense smaller berries produced by Mount Veeder vines. At the 2020 San Francisco Chronicle International Wine Competition, both the 2017 Kukeri Wines Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2017 Kukeri Wines Petaluma Gap Lakeville Vineyard Pinot Noir won Gold Medals. Plus, Kukeri’s 2018 Petaluma Gap Lakeville Vineyard Pinot Noir won a Best of Class, Double-Gold Medal, and 95 points from 2020 The Toast of the Coast Wine Competition. There’s a historical connection between the brand story and the vibrant reddish-colored horned mask depicted on the distinctive Kukeri Wine label. Grape growing and wine production have a long legacy in Bulgaria. Some 8,000 years ago, Thracians held pagan fêtes throughout the Balkan peninsula, now comprising Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey. The Kukeri Festival continues, steeped in a mystical representation of the cycle of life, death, and rebirth whereby the celebrants’ elaborate costumes feature fearsomely decorated masks to represent animals and banish malevolent spirits. Among the festival’s personae is Dionysus, the ancient Greek god of wine, grape cultivation, fertility, ritual madness, theater, and religious ecstasy.

“It means a lot to me and showcases the hard work and attention that’s gone into my small production.” Kirilov explained the connection of his brand to ties with his homeland. “I carry history and culture from my small town in Bulgaria to Northern California to work with the excellent grapes that focus on their own story, and to let people know the quality Kukeri represents by being the very best small-lot wine it can possibly be.” Judging by the outstanding awards for Kukeri Wines in 2020, this is a goal accomplished. FOR MORE INFORMATION

707-490-2067 // www.kukeriwines.com 1446 Industrial Ave., Sebastopol, CA


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NVL winery spotlight

Rebel with a Softer Cause

AKRASIA CELLARS  PHOTOS BY KIM CARROLL

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he Napa Valley has become almost synonymous with one particular varietal – Cabernet Sauvignon. According to Napa Valley Vintners, more than 34 different wine grape varieties are grown in Napa County, but 51% are dedicated to Cabernet Sauvignon. With approximately 475 physical wineries in Napa County alone producing more than 1,000 different wine brands, marketing a differentiation becomes a challenge. One would think that that it would be a monumental task for a winery that produces, on average, only 130 cases a year of Cabernet Sauvignon. “It is all about focus for us,” said Phil Pead, the owner of Akrasia Cellars. “The smaller quantity allows us to be very particular about the wine we are making.” Phil grew up in London, England, and he recollected his early experiences with European wines. “Aged Bordeaux’s are magnificent, almost magical, and Burgundies are wonderfully complex and mystical,” he said. After he moved to the US, he drank almost exclusively European wines. “It wasn’t that 74

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I was averse to drinking wines from the US; it was just that I was more knowledgeable about wines from the old country.” But that all changed when he first tasted a California Cabernet. “It was very impressive,” he said. Phil remembers that he was amazed by how approachable the wine was. He recalled how that, even though the wine was still young, the tannins were soft, and the fruit was fresh. Over the last two decades or so, the alcohol content of Napa Valley’s Cabernet wines has increased. Phil attributed this to the point-scoring of wines from reviewers. “Your wine will achieve higher scores with higher alcohol.” He went on to say that, in his opinion, the ratings have “homogenized” wine. “It used to be that you could tell the difference between wines from different AVAs, but today it is becoming more and more difficult.” So, after purchasing a vineyard located in the hallowed Rutherford region of Napa Valley, Phil set out to make a Cabernet that was more reminiscent of the first California wines he tasted. “I hate high alcohol wines.

I find them undrinkable. Wine should complement the food, not overwhelm it.” To achieve a more balanced Cabernet where alcohol and acidity were more in harmony, as Phil put it, he chose a Pinot Noir winemaker to make his Cabernet. “Patrick was a little incredulous at first,” said Phil of his winemaker, Patrick Saboe. “He didn’t know why I would choose a Pinot winemaker, but to me, it was obvious. Making Pinot is all about finesse, and I wanted that same finesse used with our Cabernet.” Today, Akrasia Cellars is on the list of some of the most prestigious restaurants in the US, and the very limited production makes it sought after with mailing list subscribers. Phil said that sommeliers love to talk about our wine. As a prominent sommelier said about Akrasia Cellars, “This is the closest thing I have had (from California) to Pichon Longueville or Pauillac in ages, elegant and restrained in its opulence.” AKRASIA CELLARS

www.akrasiacellars.com


of EXCELLENCE

2016 DIAMOND SELECTION CABERNET SAUVIGNON A limited production, reserve bottling showcasing ripe cassis, black cherry, lush tannins and sweet, subtle spice.

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POINTS

Wine Spectator | July 2020 ROMBAUER.COM

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NVL wineries

Photo courtesy of C. Elizabeth Winemaker Bill Nacarrow Photo Courtesy of C.Elizabeth

Owner-Vintners Christi Coors Ficeli and Dave Ficeli Photo courtesy of C. Elizabeth

PASSION and PROMISE: A Napa Valley Winemaking Couple Realize Their Cabernet Dream with C. Elizabeth

 BY FRAN MILLER

C.

Elizabeth Game Farm Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is defined as much by passion as it is by its memorable aromatic nose of vanilla, dried flowers, and spice. The creation of Dave Ficeli and his wife Christi Coors Ficeli, the brand and its limited-production singlevineyard wine are the realization of the duo’s dream to work together in the Napa Valley towards the creation of a family legacy. “For years, Dave and I wanted to create something together that we love,” said Christi, who met her husband when both worked for Gallo in the late ’90s before their demanding careers took them elsewhere throughout the US, including a few years in Napa in the early 2000s. “We discovered our love of wine while at Gallo, and we knew that the passion would eventually lead us back to Napa, the place we consider home. When we finally returned to Napa in 2013, with the help of winemaker Bill Nancarrow, we were able to turn our dream into reality 76

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with our first 2014 vintage of C. Elizabeth, the name of which is inspired by the many Elizabeths on my side of the family – each of whom was strong and spirited.” Bill, who also serves as winemaker for Christi’s solo project, Goosecross Cellars, is credited as the sleuthing source for C. Elizabeth’s stellar Cabernet grapes, all of which are grown on two precious blocks within Alex Vyborny’s Game Farm Vineyard on the southern edge of the Oakville AVA. The foundational parcel - the ‘Rock Pit’ - known for its remarkably rocky soils is “its own little wonderland,” said Bill. “It’s a truly exceptional plot, unlike anything I’ve seen in Napa Valley.” The Châteauneufdu-Pape-like micro-lot features 20 to 25-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 7 grapes, which are smaller and more floral. The wine gets added palate and textural elements from the adjacent ‘Trail Side’ block fruit component. Judicious aging in 3-to-4-year-old water bent American oak

barrels adds creaminess at the mid-palate, flavor complexity and structure without overpowering the fruit. The vinous result is always bold, an homage to the intrepid nature of the Elizabeths. The wine, of which production varies from vintage to vintage at roughly 200 cases, is dense, rich, and lush, representing Dave, Christi, and Bill’s vision of the best Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon they can make. “We're aiming for an exquisite Napa Valley Cab unlike all others,” said Bill. “You can go back to it again and again and it continues to evolve in the glass. It is not a one-dimensional fruit bomb.” “We make this wine for us,” added Dave, “but we are always striving for perfection with each new vintage. The slightly imperfect backward ‘e’ in the label name reminds us to keep aiming higher. This is a journey wine, not a destination wine.” FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.celizabeth.com


The URBAN Track D O W N T O W N N A PA’ S

BUSTLING WINE SCENE  BY PAUL FRANSON

It’s a relatively new phenomenon, but downtown Napa has become a prime location to taste wines. The compact area contains approximately 40 tasting venues, including single-winery tasting rooms, multiple winery collectives, stores that pour wine, wine bars, restaurants- and it’s growing.

Wine Thief Owner / Vintners Jarred Pearce and Andy Renda Photo by Laura Larson

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JaM Cellars JaM Cellars offers easy-to-love wines like Butter Chardonnay, JaM Cabernet, Toast bubbly, and Sandy dry rosé by the taste, glass, or bottle in a casual setting. Informal concerts are often on ticket, featuring both local and name acts which go late into the evening on weekends. 10am-10pm Sunday-Wednesday; 10am-midnight Thursday-Saturday. Check website for updates on venue opening. // 1460 First St. 707-265-7577 // www.jamcellars.com

Ackerman Victorian House Patio

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hough established mostly to provide visibility for wineries in remote locations or smaller vintners without their own tasting rooms, the area has developed to become an oasis of wine experiences that are easily accessible on foot. Here’s a sampling of some of downtown Napa’s wine tasting venues, each with its own unique charm, and invariably something for everyone. Depending on the time and date of visit, hours, reservation requirements, seating options, and safety guidelines may vary. Please call ahead to check current status.

Ackerman Family Vineyards Ackerman Family Vineyards pours its wine at the 1889 Ackerman Heritage House. Guests get an architectural tour of the impeccably restored Queen Anne Victorian home, followed by a seated tasting of Ackerman wines which feature Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon from its Certified Organic Stonehaven vineyard in Napa Valley’s Coombsville appellation, plus red blends. They also offer seasonally curated food pairings and events. 10am-5pm by appointment only 608 Randolph St. // 855-238-9463 www.ackermanfamilyvineyards.com 78

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Compline Wine Bar and Restaurant Compline (pronounced COMPlen) is a tasting room, wine store and restaurant with over 500 selections. The shop focuses on great wines under $40. The food and service are casual, but the ingredients are local and pristine. The patio is dog friendly. 11:30am-4pm for lunch; 5pm-8:30pm for dinner. Open daily but Tuesday. Reservations highly recommended. 1300 First St. #312 // 707-492-8150 www.complinewine.com

Feast it Forward Studio Feast It Forward is a unique venue. In addition to pouring rare wines from about 16 family-owned small wineries, it has a full demonstration kitchen and studio to produce cooking videos and often hosts music as well. Combine that with a store and showcase for cooking and lifestyle items and patios for enjoying wine and elevated views of Oxbow Commons. 11am-6pm Thursday-Tuesday, except Sunday, which opens at noon. 1031 McKinstry St. // 707-819-2403 www.feastitforward.com

Gabrielle Collection taste + Gabrielle Collection taste + is a wine tasting salon and market for

Gabrielle Collection taste + patio tasting

family-based O’Connell Family Wines and an expansive collection of culinary products from their farm in Napa Valley, including infused organic sea salts, rubs, infused honey, olive oils, herbs, and herb blends, and infused organic sugars. Other specialty products include aromatherapy cleaning spray, lavender sachets, gardeners hand soap, personal care products sourced from organic estate-grown lavender, and other pure botanicals. They even have treats for the pooch. Their tasting patio overlooks the Napa River and Creek, and they offer food pairings and snacks as well as wines, which include Gabrielle Collection Cabernets, Pietro Family Cellars, CE Cellars, and O’Connell Family Vineyards. 11am-9pm Friday and Saturday; 11am-7pm Sunday-Thursday 1000 Main St. // 707-815-0364 www.oconnellfamilywines.com

John Anthony Vineyards John Anthony Vineyards’ Tasting Lounge is conveniently located next door to the Andaz Hotel. It features their hand-crafted, terroir-driven classic styles of wine from around Napa Valley by the taste, glass, or bottle in an elegant setting. Their big, bold Syrah is a local favorite. Open late on weekends. Outdoor seating is limited, so call ahead. 10am-10pm Sunday-Wednesday; 10am-midnight Thursday-Saturday. 1440 First St. // 707-265-7711 www.javwine.com

Housley Napa Valley Sixth generation local natives pour their affordable and approachable wines in a familyfriendly setting open to all, including an expanded outdoor seating plan. They offer 11 different wines from Housley Napa Valley and Century Oak Winery.


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Ackerman Family Vineyards

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The Wine Thief

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Compline Wine Bar

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Vintners Collective

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Feast it Forward

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Be Bubbly

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Gabrielle Collection taste+

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Roots Run Deep

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Jam Cellars

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Alpha Omega Collective

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John Anthony Vineyards

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Amuse Bouche

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Housley Napa Valley

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Bazan Cellars

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Mayacamas Downtown

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Cadet Wine Bar

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Rebel Vintners

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Gamling & McDuck

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RiverHouse-Blackbird Vineyards

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Robert Craig Winery

Outdoor Bathtub at Bardessono

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production, hand-crafted, familyowned labels, each with its own story and scarcely available anywhere else in the world. The vibe is local and a great place to meet the vintners who are often on-site. The wineries include AJ Pearce Wines, Brace and Bit, Buoncristiani Family Winery, Correlation Wine Co., Delgadillo Cellars, Kale Wines, Le Piche, Purlieu, and Solamente. Call ahead for appointment. 11am-6pm // 708 1st St. 707-666-2650 // www.twtnapa.com

Vintner’s Collective JaM Cellars

RiverHouse – Blackbird Vineyards RiverHouse offers a unique setting for seated wine tasting on a patio overlooking the Napa River. Guests can enjoy wines from Blackbird Vineyards and Ærena Wines and the opportunity to buy Recuerdo Wines. Inside is a curated selection of fine art, antiquities, and objets d’art by Ærena Galleries & Gardens.

Vintners Collective glass

For food, try chocolate pairings with the wines as well as olive and cheese, local chips, and popcorn that pairs amazingly with wine. 11am–7pm // 1038 Clinton St. 707-690-9192 // www.housleynapavalley.com

Mayacamas Downtown Mayacamas Downtown offers ageworthy, classically styled Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot wines from current or library vintages by the glass or by the bottle along with a selection of locally sourced cheeses for an elevated pairing experience. The tasting room showcases collectible Taschen and Assouline coffee table books, Italian leather goods, and exclusive Mayacamas merchandise such as hats and pull-tabs. 11am-6pm Wednesday-Sunday 1256 Main St. // 707-294-1433 www.mayacamas.com 80

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Rebel Vintners Rebel Vintners is a collective tasting room featuring wines from three boutique producers: Leaf and Vine, Uncharted, and Cadle Family Wines. All are owner and winemaker operated, offering small production wines from the best growing regions of Northern California. A daily six-wine flight includes two from each boutique producer for $30. They also offer a menu of small bites hand-delivered from nearby Middle Eastern Small World Restaurant.

12-5pm Thursday-Monday 604 Main St. // 707-252-4440 www.blackbirdvineyards.com

The Wine Thief Conveniently located in the popular Oxbow corridor, The Wine Thief is a vintner owned and operated tasting lounge focused on the little guy. The wines they serve are small

Vintner’s Collective was one of the pioneer tasting venues in downtown Napa and remains exceptional with its extensive roster of wine from small producer wineries. The twostory space occupies a historic stone building that was once a bordello and private tastings are hosted on the patio rooftop. Vintners include Ancien Wines, Azur Wines, Buoncristiani Family Winery, Carte Blanche Wine, Clark-Claudon Vineyards, D Cubed Cellars, Flanagan Wines, Hailstone Vineyards, Hertelendy Wines, KrisTodd Vineyards, Las Bonitas Wines, Longfellow Wines, Nellcôte On Q Wines, Patel Napa Valley, R.A. Harrison Family Cellars, Richard Perry Vineyards, Roy Estate, Tournesol Wine Estate, Treasure Wines and Vinoce Vineyards. 11am-7pm // 1245 Main St. 707-255-7150 www.vintnerscollective.com

1-7pm Thursday-Sunday; MondayWednesday by appointment. 1201 First St. // 707-637-4855 www.RebelVintners.com

Sharing the space with Rebel Vintners is Shadowbox Cellars with its own entrance around the corner. www.shadowboxcellars.com Mayacamas Downtown Tasting Room Photo by Leigh-Ann Beverley


Making extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignon at the top of Napa Valley’s Howell Mountain since 1990.

Cornerstone Cellars

Cornerstone Cellars Makingextraordinary extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignon at the Making Cabernet Sauvignon at the

Tasting Lounge in Downtown Napa 1465 First Street, Napa CA 94559

Tasting Room at Vista Collina topof of Napa Valley’s Howell Mountain since 1990. top Napa Valley’s Howell Mountain since 1990. 850 Bordeaux Way, Suite 6, Napa CA 94558

Visit our Downtown Napa Tasting Salon 625 Imperial Way Visit our Downtown NapaTasting Tasting Salon Salon 625 Imperial625 Way Imperial Way Visit our Tastings Downtown byNapa appointment (707) 252-2250 Visit our Downtown Napa Tasting(707) Salon 625 Imperial Way Tastings by appointment 252-2250

Tastings by appointment (707) 252-2250 Tastings by appointment (707) 252-2250 Visit our Downtown Napa Tasting Salon 625 Imperial Way Tastings by appointment (707) 252-2250 robertcraigwinery.com

Limited release wines from the most acclaimed regions, since 1991 We're saving a seat for you. 707.945.0388 or concierge@cornerstonecellars.com

Limited release wines from the most acclaimed regions, since 1991 robertcraigwinery.com We're saving a seat for you. 707.945.0388 or concierge@cornerstonecellars.com

robertcraigwinery.com robertcraigwinery.com robertcraigwinery.com

Outdoor dining at Bardessono

707.224.4400 930 Franklin Street Napa, CA 94559 Must be 21+

CADETBEERANDWINEBAR.COM

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NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK Be Bubbly Be Bubbly is the first and only dedicated Champagne and sparkling wine lounge in Napa Valley. It offers sparkling wines from home and abroad by the glass or by the bottle to enjoy in the lounge plus a selection of still and sparkling wines to go. Not just a tasting room, it’s a haven where locals and visitors alike can unwind and indulge in the perfect beverage. In addition to a wide range of Champagne, Be Bubbly also offers eclectic options like a sparkling Chenin Blanc or rosé from France, a bubbly Lambrusco from Italy, an exclusive Prosecco on tap or California favorites such a Schramsberg and Iron Horse. It serves small plates of charcuterie, cheese, caviar and salty chips, veggies, and hummus plus food from local restaurants on special occasions.

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9am–11pm Friday– Saturday; 9am–8pm Sunday-Thursday 1407 2nd St. // 707-637-4532 www.BeBubblyNapa.com

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12-7pm Friday-Monday. Appointments required. // 1607 First St. 707-945-1045 / www.rootsrundeep.com

other downtown spots worth noting Alpha Omega Collective Alpha Omega, Tolosa, Perinet wines 1245 First St. 707-294-6960 AOCNapa.com

Amuse Bouche 1030 Main St. 707-251-9300 amusebouchewine.com

Bazan Cellars First and Franklin Marketplace First and Franklin Marketplace is a deli, market and wine tasting venue pouring a variety of local wines all in one place. Every week different wineries showcase their specialties. Happy hour is hosted daily from 3-5 p.m. and features special snacks and winery representatives educating guests on their wines. Wineries represented include Black Stallion, Buena Vista, Ceja, Goosecross Cellars, Grgich Hills, Charles Krug, Laird, Luna, Peju, Raymond Estates/JCB, Storybook Mountain, Trefethen, and Whitehall Lane.

Get toasted today in Napa

rooms (to accommodate social distancing.) They currently offer tastings of Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Napa County Merlot from Oak Knoll and Yountville, Educated Guess Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and Bound and Determined Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

11am-5pm Monday- Saturday 1331 First St. // 707-252-1000 www.firstandfranklinmarketplace.com

Roots Run Deep Winery Roots Run Deep Winery’s new downtown Napa tasting salon provides four private tasting

960 Clinton St. 707-927-5564 mariobazancellars.com

Cadet Wine Bar 930 Franklin St 707-224-4400 cadetbeerandwinebar.com

Gamling & McDuck 1420 Second St. 707-819-2835 gamlingandmcduck.com

Robert Craig Winery 625 Imperial Way Ste 1 707-252-2250 robertcraigwine.com

Walt Wines 605 First St. 707-933-4440 waltwines.com

For a complete listing of Downtown Napa wine tasting rooms, please visit: donapa.com


Photos courtesy of Downtown Rides

Locals and Tourists Alike

ENJOY FREE RIDES I N D O W N T O W N N A PA  BY ELIZABETH SMITH

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ike Flohr is an ideas man. He is already a successful small business owner and a dedicated teacher at Vintage High School, so after discovering a complimentary, tip-based ride service while visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, he realized that it was something special. Mike discussed with his stepson and Army veteran, David Munk, the possibility of offering a similar service in Napa, yet both understood that the Scottsdale model would not provide adequate or sustainable funding. Over the next couple of years, Munk and Flohr waited until they felt Napa was ready for this type of service, using that time to define and create their business model. They contacted longtime family friend, Zach Zuniga, to assist in business development, marketing, and promotion. With his help, along with a few other friends and family members, they decided to collaborate with local wineries, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses in the form of advertorial sponsorships benefitting everyone involved.

The partnerships would subsidize the free ride service, which would, in turn, introduce riders to downtown Napa’s notable locales, reduce downtown traffic, decrease demand for parking, and help reduce air pollution. The three Napa natives conceptualized Downtown Rides with both locals and tourists in mind. Zuniga shared that the company’s mission is to be an extension of hospitality that goes beyond the front doors of hotels, restaurants, wineries, and spas by providing guests with a continuous experience of kindness and generosity that is associated with Napa. “Although millions of tourists travel to Napa annually, it still feels like a small town. I cannot go anywhere without seeing someone I know, and I love it. I think having a friend on every corner is what keeps people coming back. We are good people, and we want to help take care of anyone who comes to our home,” said Zuniga. Although Downtown Rides launched in February 2020, businesses like Downtown Joe's Restaurant and Brewery, Napa Valley

G Experience, Small World, Bazan Cellars, Housley Napa Valley, The Grape Escape, and many others quickly recognized the value of the service. Concert, festival, and marathon organizers, as well as local farmers markets, have expressed interest, which will provide Downtown Rides more opportunities to serve the community. Downtown Rides is looking forward to not only growing its fleet of carts in Napa but also expanding into neighboring cities and wine regions that hold the same values and wish to provide a similar service. As Napa reopens and returns to being one of the top travel destinations in the world, Mike and Cheri Flohr, David Munk, and Zach Zuniga are poised to safely serve travelers and residents. If one sees Downtown Rides happily driving around providing that Napa Valley experience, they are encouraged to honk, wave, or call to show support. FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.dtrnapa.com // 707-287-7003 FALL 2020

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Most of Napa Valley’s AVA’s are renowned for growing a particular variety. The Oak Knoll District AVA, on the other hand, is distinguished by its diversity. As many as 15 different grape varieties are grown within its 8,300 acres, of which half are planted to vine. From A to Z Albariño to Zinfandel - this incredible range lends to its designation as the ‘sweet spot’ of Napa Valley.

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OAK KNOLL DISTRICT AVA  BY FRAN MILLER

ocated north of the City of Napa and south of Yountville, the Oak Knoll District AVA (OKD), formally recognized in 2004 as Napa’s 14th American Viticultural Area, is bordered to the west by Mt. Veeder and the east by the Silverado Trail. A quieter district than other AVAs due to its less commercialized nature, it is populated by dozens of small-scale growers and only a handful of brick and mortar wineries. Some of Napa Valley’s most prestigious brands make their home here, and many of Napa Valley’s premier winemakers source fruit from these vineyards. Of note, Calistoga-based Chateau Montelena’s historic Judgment of Paris Chardonnay winner contained grapes sourced from OKD. And the 1979 World Wine Olympics held in Paris named OKD-based Trefethen Family Vineyards’ 100% OKD Chardonnay as number one in the world. Warm weather perfectly ripens OKD’s reds, while morning fog cools its whites. This marineinfluenced climate pattern is essential for preserving aromatics in the grapes and wine. The region’s sand, gravel, and clay

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soils are porous and drain well, encouraging grapevine roots to reach down deep for water, causing a bit of stress that leads to long term health and highquality fruit. While Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are prolific here, excellent Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Viognier, Riesling, Ribolla Gialla, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, and many other varieties populate the

Photo courtesy of Oak Knoll District

Oak Knoll District Vintners Photo courtesy of OKD

region. “Even though the area looks fairly uniform, the magic in OKD occurs underground where an incredible variety of soil types, textures, and depths creates enormous variation that

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you can't see when standing on it,” said vineyard manager Doug Hill of Oak Knoll Farming. Hill discovered over time and with experimentation that OKD could even produce Merlots that

stand-up next to Right Bank Bordeauxs. “I am amazed at the variety and consistency this appellation can produce.” Rodgers Vineyards, located just off of Hwy 29, is a quintessential example of the region’s vinous multiplicity. Sixth generation growers, the Rodgers family cultivates Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Viognier, and Zinfandel grapes on its OKD ranch. “It is incredible to farm such diverse varieties, some

Oak Knoll District Clydesdales Photo courtesy of Oak Knoll District

separated by just a vineyard avenue,” said Rodgers’ president, CEO, and vineyard manager Anna Hickey, fifth-generation descendent of Portuguese immigrants who helped to establish the OKD. “We have our Pinot Noir, a touchy creature, sitting across from Merlot and next to Cabernet. Changing hats or strategies is an expectation of farmers, but in the case of OKD farming, your hat and strategy may change from block to block on a given day. The challenges of farming in the OKD are real, but the gifts of such diverse farming are just as real.” Those gifts are fabulous wines. “Freshness, brightness, and purity of varietal character are what I consider to be basic traits of OKD wines,” said OKD-born and raised Dave Pramuk, recently retired founding partner and current board member of the AVA’s Robert Biale Vineyards. “Many winemakers use OKD fruit to freshen up blends that may lack acidity and aromatics. Our OKD Zinfandels at Biale, for instance, have always been praised as being more balanced and elegant than expected for the varietal. The cooler climate helps maintain acidity and time to develop flavors and color.”


“One of my chief attractions to OKD is that acidity,” added Bryan Kays, winemaker at Trefethen Family Vineyards. “Due to our location in the valley, our grapes retain a bit more acidity, which keeps the resulting wine quite fresh. The wines are very versatile on the table and tend to have great age ability.” “Amazingly, you can grow so many varieties so successfully here, and it's largely

due to soil and climate,” said Janet Trefethen, proprietor of Trefethen, and co-president of the OKD. “The fog rolls in from San Francisco Bay toward Wappo Hill, entering the mouth of the Valley. More fog rolls off San Pablo Bay along the Napa River and provides the strongest influence in this southern end of the valley. On a typical summer day, you can leave OKD with a sweater, and

for every mile north, it gets a 1/2 degree warmer. By the time you reach Calistoga, the temperature has increased by 10 degrees. Our cool air does severely limit the crop size of the Cabernet, but it more than repays it with the increased complexity of bouquet in the final bottling. What is critical for the quality of Chardonnay and Pinot becomes a grace note for Cabernet and Merlot.

Simply put, soil and climate are the real rationales for why OKD exists.” Hickey agreed, “The Rodgers family looks at its vineyard value in dirt, not dollars. If we do not love this soil and the environment around it, it will not love us back. I am often asked about sustainability, and my answer is, ‘We’ve been here 151 years!’ We have successfully done this through many generations, and

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Boyd Famil y V ineyards is an ar tisan producer of hand crafted Estate wines from the Oak Knoll District of N a p a Va l l e y s i n c e 1 9 9 8 . V i s i t u s a t w w w. b o y d w i n e . c o m

I n the heart of O ak K noll D istrict

50th ANNIVERSARY | 1970-2020

CORLEYFAMILYNAPAVALLEY.COM | 707-253-2802 4242 BIG RANCH ROAD, NAPA, CA 94558

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to me, that is true sustainability.” Being able to steward this land and pass it on to another generation of stewards is our goal.” Beyond soil and climate, OKD’s role in the history of Napa Valley is notable. It was 1850 when the first Zinfandel was planted in its western section, now Lamoreaux Vineyards, the original Oak Knoll Ranch from which the crossroad and region derive their names. At the time, Oak Knoll Ranch was praised in statewide press as a top farm in California. A stone block carriage step engraved with ‘Oak Knoll’ remains in the location as a regional relic. The District also built its name on the old Oak Knoll train stop and Oak Knoll Schoolhouse. Among other OKD relics is Trefethen’s historic property and ranch, the site of the original Eshcol Ranch. The Trefethen family painstakingly and gorgeously rebuilt and restored the farmhouse and barn after each suffered devastating damage from the 2014 earthquake. “Certainly one of Napa Valley’s and California’s most historic and picturesque structures was saved – a testament to the Trefethen family’s pride and spirit of determination,” said Pramuk, who didn’t fully appreciate the world-class wine nature of his youth until he took a wine class in college and traveled to Europe. “And, where else than at Trefethen can you find exquisite examples of Chardonnay, Bordeaux varietals, and White Riesling grown near each other? It’s remarkable.” “Our AVA is a bit different in that we have more small growers than vintners, some with three to five acres, and as a result, there’s a great deal of camaraderie,” said Trefethen. “We share stories, comments, tips, and how to do this and that. We all try and help each other. It’s very similar to when we started in 1973. Some of our first events were like a block party; everyone was invited. We often couldn’t get them to leave!”

“Frankly, it's the people that make this such a unique place to live and work,” said Stan Boyd, proprietor of Boyd Wine, who fulfilled a lifetime dream by purchasing his property in 1998. “We have made numerous lifelong friends. Some of us decided to grow grapes, some decided to launch a wine brand, and some did both. The common thread is a lust for living life to its fullest, and a love of wine.”

“Our AVA is a bit different in that we have more small growers than vintners, some with a mere three acres, and as a result, there’s a great deal of camaraderie,” said Trefethen. Biking also brings many OKD residents together. Boyd and four others formed a bicycle club called the OKD Clydesdales. Together they have logged more than 40,000 Napa Valley miles, always starting and stopping in the OKD. Today the club counts more than 30 active OKD resident members who participate in its rides and social events. “Case in point!” said Trefethen. “The Oak Knoll District AVA – unique in its diversity - is truly all things to all people.” FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.okdnapa.com


Winemaking since the turn of the century. Visit our 40 acre estate to experience our exclusive, small production and sustainably farmed wines in an outdoor, relaxed and private environment, away from crowds and other guests. Our open air tastings emphasize the spectacular views of the Mayacamas and Stag’s Leap mountains. Relax and take it all in.

L O C AT E D

on the A C C L A I M E D

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K N O L L D I S T R I C T.

(707) 252-VINE (8463) | 1200 Orchard Ave., Napa, CA, 94558 | info@obrienestate.com O B R IEN ESTATE.COM

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FAMILY VINEYARDS Reinvigorates its Winemaking Team  BY FRAN MILLER | PHOTOS BY NEENA HEITZ

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rian and Miki Cunat of Materra/ Cunat Family Vineyards purchased their 52 bucolic Oak Knoll AVA acres in 2007, and since that time, have gradually and steadily raised the bar on all aspects of their venture. From stellar winetasting experiences to an entire revitalization of their winemaking team, Materra exudes quality. Illustrative of this quest for the best is their hiring of Chelsea Barrett as winemaker. A member of Napa Valley winemaking royalty and a Calistoga native, Barrett was raised amongst the grapes by mom Heidi of Screaming Eagle renown and dad Bo of Chateau Montelena fame. A UC Davis degree in viticulture and enology led to intern stints in Austria and Australia before Barrett returned to the Valley, where she was ultimately named winemaker at Joel Gott wines before finding her home at Materra. She also currently partners with her mom on the labels Amuse Bouche, Au Sommet, and Aviatrix. 90

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“I want wines to be balanced, delicious, and showcase the vineyard,” said Barrett. “I love keeping up with the latest research and experiments, and I’m always refining the details and striving for improvement.” Also new to the Materra team is assistant winemaker Caryn Harrison, a longtime Barrett collaborator. Michael Trujillo, whose 37 years of wine industry experience make him a Napa icon, continues to serve as consulting winemaker. The name Materra is derived from the Latin words ‘mother’ and ‘earth’ and is demonstrative of the Cunat’s commitment to nurturing their land. Their French varietal vines (Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier) are farmed using sustainable methods. Production and storage facilities also demonstrate an environmental commitment, as does the minimalist tasting room with its reclaimed wood tables, polished concrete floors, and iron fixtures.

“We are taking Materra to the next level in terms of quality,” said Harry Heitz, Materra’s director of marketing. “Chelsea and her team are experimenting with different blends and new techniques. Her leadership provides a modern flair that is helping to refine our style.” Materra’s by-appointment-only tastings, currently held within its large, lovely, and lavender and flower-filled garden, are intimate and personalized, and each begins with a chilled Sauvignon Blanc greeting. When making an appointment, guests are asked their favored flavor profiles. Are they wine novices or experts? Are they seeking to gain knowledge, or simply relax and enjoy the winery’s beautiful atmosphere? “Either way, our team provides a very satisfying tasting experience that caters to each and every preference,” said Heitz. FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.materrawines.com


FORTUNATI VINEYARDS The Tiny Winery in Oak Knoll District  BY LAYNE RANDOLPH

Photos courtesy of Fortunati Vineyards

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intners Gary and Ellen Luchtel describe Fortunati Vineyards with a lot of pride—the sort of satisfaction that comes from achieving a dream and doing something they love—creating handcrafted wines in the Oak Knoll District of the Napa Valley. “Our adventure with wine started young, in our early twenties. We traveled European back roads wine tasting. We learned what we really liked,” Ellen said. Their wine adventure continued into the next decade with home winemaking, and their enthusiasm for good wine grew from pure passion. “We scraped together our dollars, sold what we owned to purchase a parcel of land, plant vineyards, and continued to build our project slowly from the ground up; it’s all derived from sweat equity.”

Oak Knoll District’s climate and its mixture of soils set it apart. The ground in Napa Valley is sedimentary and gravelly in some areas and dense and volcanic in others. The OKD has a longer growing season than some other regions, and longer hang time provides optimal ripeness. San Pablo Bay influence creates cool summer nights and foggy mornings. This combination of climate and soil allows for the cultivation of many different varieties not commonly grown throughout the valley. Purchasing property in 2003, they produced their first wines under the Fortunati Vineyards label – Syrah co-fermented with Viognier and whole-cluster pressed Rosé of Syrah. Other estate wines soon followed – Viognier, Malbec, Port-style dessert wine, and soon to be released Cabernet Franc.

Adding to their portfolio, winemaker Gary also crafts Reserve and Signature Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from Oak Knoll Ranch along with Santa Rita Hills AVA Pinot Noir, a classic-style Bordeaux blend, and Napa Valley Chardonnay. With access to a block of old vines growing on Mt. Veeder, they craft Zinfandel. Lately, he’s experimenting with small lots of high-end, whole berry-fermented Cabernet. The wide range of varieties produced contrasts with the small quantity of each wine made – on average, 100 to 150 cases, and heavier reds handcrafted to only 250 to 350 cases. Project planning started in 2015, and by late 2019, Gary and Ellen built and opened a small winery and hospitality space within their Oak Knoll vineyards. They wanted to create something right for the parcel size so it fit into the environment. Their parcel is 10.25 acres, or as Ellen jokes, “point twenty-five to spare,” since 10 acres are required for a wine permit. “We’re just a tiny winery,” Ellen humbly said. Yet, it really just comes down to the wine, so sought-after, “It’s almost embarrassing that we sell out so quickly,” Ellen said, “They’re exceptionally priced because we don’t distribute through normal channels. We ship directly to wine enthusiasts across the country, offering premium quality at extraordinary values.” Known for the one-on-one customer attention they lavish on guests, Fortunati Vineyards is 100 percent direct-to-consumer, and they do not advertise. Business has grown through word-of-mouth, by referral. What started as two young adults’ fun while dating in college, to home winemaking experiments, to giving up “the city” life and follow their hobby, with a dream, talent, and hard work, they’ve made their vision come to fruition with their tiny winery in the Oak Knoll District.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.fortunativineyards.com FALL 2020

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CORLEY FAMILY in NAPA VALLEY Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence  BY LAYNE RANDOLPH

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hen Jay Corley came to the Napa Valley fifty years ago, he came to buy land to grow an estate vineyard with an eye to an eventual winery. He had not worked in the wine industry before, and Napa Valley was not what it is today, so it was not a foregone conclusion that a Napa winery would be a successful venture. A new winery was more than likely to fail, even with André Tchelistcheff as a consultant. “In the 1970s, it was a peculiar thing for a Los Angeles businessman to get into the wine industry without having family in the business already,” Jay’s son Stephen said. “Dad challenged himself by starting a vineyard BPTFP.” BPTFP – “Before the Paris Tasting and the French Paradox” – is Corley’s way of describing Napa Valley before the seismic shift that occurred in Napa Valley in the 70s and 80s when two significant events catapulted Napa Valley wine and the wine industry forward. Jay Corley was a grower in the 70s when the Paris Tasting (or “Judgment of Paris”) 92

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took place. During a blind tasting in Paris, a panel of French judges selected an American Chardonnay as the grand winner over some of the most prestigious French wines. That was when everything changed for American wine –Napa was already the domestic leader in winemaking, and the victory pumped new energy into the California wine industry, particularly in the Napa Valley. As Napa Valley was quickly expanding, another event shook the wine world. The phrase “French Paradox” was coined in the late 80s based on a scientific study of French patterns of low rates of cardiovascular disease despite high saturated fat consumption. The research and subsequent opinion drew a link to red wine and pointed to the wine’s beneficial health effects – and overnight, wine sales went through the roof. These two events are historical markers in the genesis of Napa Valley, and the vintners who were already on board benefited immensely. “They raised the

tide for all boats in the Napa Valley,” said Stephen. Jay’s prescient decision to start a vineyard and winery BPTFP set it in good stead to grow for decades. When Jay passed away in 2016, only four years before the winery’s 50th year, his family vowed to take the winery through the second half of its first century. While several original Napa Valley family wineries still exist, it is rare to find one where members of the actual family still run the day-to-day business. But the Corley family – a seven sibling bunch – keeps it real. Today, Jay’s sons Kevin, Chris, and Stephen manage the business: Kevin is President and Winegrower, Chris is the Winemaker, and Stephen is Director of Sales and Marketing. Stephen said, “My brothers and I have the luxury of executing a vision that’s already in place. We can spend our time trying to make it better rather than figuring out who we are. What we do is an extension of what Dad did originally.”


Photos courtesy of Corley Family Napa Valley

The name Monticello was significant for Jay Corley. It became the name of one of their wine brands, it is an emblem on the wine bottles, and it is the name of the estate where the family runs the business and greets guests for tastings. The building and name reference one of America’s founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, known as a serious food and wine enthusiast. The Corley family’s founding father, Jay, was fond of Jefferson and the Virginia estate, Monticello, which means “small mountain.” Jefferson built his home on a hill and then named it Monticello. In homage, Jay built Corley’s Monticello on an eight-foot rise to fit its name. Similar to the original Monticello, the Corley building’s architecture is Italian Palladian, and the landscaping follows the Monticello model – there is always something blooming throughout the year. But the similarities do not end there. There is history in Corley’s Monticello just as there is history in Jefferson’s. The gleaming redwood boards of the Corley estate that

line the private wine salon beneath the tasting room came from the large winefermentation tanks at Sunny St. Helena Winery, where Robert Mondavi himself played as a child. When the Mondavis put them up for sale, Jay bought and re-milled them, and used them to panel the Jefferson House Reserve Room and Library, as an homage to this great Napa Valley winemaking pioneer. History came full circle when Mondavi drove down the road to Monticello for a visit. As Jay later recounted to his children, “When Bob Mondavi came down into the Reserve Room, he told me, ‘Jay, I stood inside these tanks as a child. And here I am inside these tanks again.” As another way to hold onto the estate’s history, the Corley family has reserved bottles from every vintage of Monticello Vineyards and Corley wine they have produced since 1980. Monticello Vineyards wines are the first estate wines. “We think of them as the classic varieties, classically

styled. The Corley wines are Reserve blends, single vineyard and vineyard block and clone wines made to stand alongside the best wines in the world,” said Stephen. There is an overwhelming sense of gratitude in the family today. Jay Corley brought the Corley family and the family business through the first 50 years. While taking pause to reflect on the past and celebrate the moment, the next generation of the Corley family is well positioned to lead them through the rest of their first century. Stephen explained that as their flagship wines from the 2017 harvest will release in 2020 and wines from the 2020 harvest will release in 2023, they are celebrating their 50th from 2017-2023. The Corley family invites guests to raise a glass to help them celebrate their past and future by visiting the estate or attending an upcoming event at Monticello. FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.CorleyFamilyNapaValley.com. FALL 2020

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TH E S W EE T S P OT

RODGERS VINEYARDS  BY VALERIE OWENS

Photos courtesy of Rodgers Vineyards

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ravel, sand, and clay over a rock base flowing out of the western Mayacamas Mountains define the soil topography of Rodgers Vineyards. For six generations, the Rodgers family has cultivated their land in its premier location in the Oak Knoll District in Napa Valley, serving the community and environment with love and dedication. Descended from Portuguese sailors, dairy farmers, and entrepreneurs, the family’s roots were planted in Napa, Solano, and Sonoma in 1869. Raising cattle, growing corn, tomatoes, and alfalfa, operating a dairy farm and a bottling company, the heritage set forth is an integral part of their success today. “We treasure our family history and have a legacy of farming,” said President and Chief Executive Officer of Rodgers Vineyards, Anna Hickey. “Farming is the very fabric that made America. By honoring and caring for the land, we create something extraordinary. If we don’t love our dirt, it does not love us back.” In 1941, John M. Rodgers purchased the family’s Napa Valley homestead in the 94

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Oak Knoll District planting to vine in 1969. Known as the “sweet spot,” the viticultural region is located at the southern end of the valley floor. Benefiting from the cool breeze from the San Pablo Bay and a longer growing season, the cooler climate district allows fruit to ripen gradually, producing elegant and expressive wines. “The soil characteristics differ slightly from the north to the south of Rodgers Vineyards, and varietals are chosen based on what the dirt in that portion of the ranch calls for,” said Hickey. “The Rodgers and the Smiths used to run cattle on portions of their Oak Knoll District Ranch and appreciate the assistance the cattle played in the natural replacement of nutrients and organic materials into the soil.” Family owned and operated, Rodgers Vineyards has become a leading grape grower in the Oak Knoll District. Working with a diverse portfolio of varieties, the company partners with The Prisoner Wine Company, BV Winery, Franciscan Vineyards, Sterling Vineyards, Goosecross

Cellars, Mumm Napa, Mondavi, Black Stallion Winery, Provenance Vineyards, and several boutique artisans to produce terroirdriven wines. Rodgers Vineyards also looks forward to adding new partners. “When I look out into the vineyards, I see the history of my family. A history we are blessed to share with others through the quality of our fruit. This land also holds the future of our family. I have a deep connection with the property knowing that when I walk this dirt, my great grandfather walked it, and my mother played in it as well,” expressed Hickey. Sustainable for 151 years, Rodgers Family Vineyards is committed to preserving the beauty, integrity, and sustainability of the farming community. Honoring the land of their forefathers, the family pays homage to a lineage of entrepreneurs, ranchers, and growers from generation to generation. FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.rodgersvineyards.com


The Best Kept Secret:

CHERISH

MARKET GARDEN AND ORCHARD

Photos courtesy of Cherish Market Garden and Orchard  BY VALERIE OWENS

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ome of the best-kept secrets are those that are waiting to be discovered, a secret that embodies beauty, wellness, and tradition, blending time-honored family values with a modern-day approach. For Lynne Rodgers, Cherish Market Garden and Orchard is a dream established to cultivate a sustainable community. Located in the heart of the Oak Knoll district lies a tranquil haven down a quiet country lane. Hidden within Rodgers Vineyard is a clearing, home to Cherish Market Garden and Orchard. “The garden concept and design were intended as a place for quiet enjoyment and amusement to feed the body, soul, and explore the senses,” explained Rodgers, owner of Cherish Market Garden and Orchard. “The garden allows visitors to learn about food and what it takes to optimize quality and explore variety.” For 151 years, Rodgers Family Vineyards has practiced sustainable farming, committed to preserving the land with integrity while serving the community and environment.

Following in their footsteps, Lynne Rodgers has planted roots with the hope that she can spread the seeds of goodwill through love and nutrition. “The goals around the garden concept is to keep in motion the living legacy of the Rodgers family tradition of sustainability and the love of community,” said Rodgers. “The key objective is to continue the patterns of the old ways.” A Nurse Practitioner by training, Lynne came up with the concept of the garden during a challenging period in her life. Finding herself in a place of uncertainty, Lynne dedicated herself to creating beauty. A mindset that sparked a lifestyle devoted to one belief -love thy neighbor. “One day I told my fiancé, John Rodgers, now my husband, that if I could do anything in the world, I would build a garden. We create the world that we live in. We can open our lives up to holding each other. That is what sustainability means,” expressed Rodgers. “Being the incredible man that he is, John wrote me a check and said, ‘Lynne, go build your garden.’”

Founded in February of 2020, Cherish Market Garden and Orchard is a dream come true and features seasonal produce and high-quality eggs. It is also a benefactor of the Agape Program, a local food pantry benefiting families and neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic. With a desire to create a better world by cherishing family and community, Lynne's lush, multi-acre garden will welcome the local community by appointment to experience the Rodgers Family farming legacy in 2021. Upon their visit, guests will enjoy a beautiful tea house, a Koi filled pond, friendly ducks and chickens, and a Zen garden with seasonal crops and flowers. “As the world and our community continue to change away from the agrarian model, the market garden and orchard allows us to hold down a place of our shared heritage that is still a stabilizer of our culture. It is a stewardship of the land, family legacy, and conservation of the local American Family Farmer tradition,” said Rodgers. FALL 2020

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CRAZY COCKTAILS TO-GO for

BY FRAN MILLER

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Eiko's Spicy Mango Margarita


Gran Electrica's Margarita Electricas

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he past several months have necessitated innovation within the hospitality industry. No more so than for restaurants and bars, the clientele of which seeks not only a cold beverage and a tasty meal, but also a sense of community. Many of Napa Valley’s eateries answered the communal call for camaraderie by converting their signature cocktails to ‘to-go’ status, allowing customers to carry-out and recreate the restaurant/bar experience at home. Some eateries scrambled to design their to-go programs while others slid easily into the batching groove. But one thing was and is clear: these restaurants created much more than tasty concoctions. Their creativity helped to buoy spirits and to generate and sustain solidarity within the Valley by offering not only creative thirst quenchers, but a means of connection. Here are a few proclaimed most popular by thirsty locals and visitors. At Gran Electrica, the Margarita Electrica is a perpetual hit. “It is our classic margarita, and we’ve been told that it packs a mean punch!” said proprietor Tamer Hamawi. “It was super popular from the get-go, and we have sold thousands at this point. The recipe is easy and classic, featuring fine tequila, dry Triple Sec, and fresh-squeezed lime juice, all sweetened with a bit of organic agave nectar. “We bottle in-house and found the 12oz bottle to be the perfect size to make two generous margaritas,” added Hamawi. “We seal it with a tamper-evident hot pink lid (to match our interior color palette) and label it with a day of the dead sugar skull sticker. We also provide instructions  on how best to serve.” // granelectra.com The ‘Heritage Cocktail Program’ that Heritage Eats launched earlier this spring turned out to be a pleasant surprise for the

Eiko's Cosmo to Go

family-owned, fast-fine restaurant. “We have never really dabbled too much in cocktails,” said founder and owner Ali Koenig. “However, Charles, our talented general manager, has an extensive background in all things food and beverage, and he was able to use his creativity to come up with some super delicious options for us. We have been pleased by the reception and are excited to evolve the program as time goes on. Like Gran Electrica, margaritas are the hit at Heritage Eats. Their simple recipe of agave wine, Triple Sec, lime juice, and agave syrup yields a tart yet balanced drink served best over ice and alongside an order of Heritage Eats tacos. All of Heritage Eats cocktails (mai tai, red sangria, white sangria, and margarita) are sold by the quart. // heritageeats.com “Our most popular cocktail at Eiko’s is our Eiko’s Cosmo,” said Eiko’s general manager Allison Halum. The drink is made with signature dragon fruit vodka, lime juice, cranberry

Heritage Eats Margaritas by the Quart

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Tre Posti Margaritas To Go

juice, and elderflower liqueur, and for the to-go version, the drink’s fabulous violetflavored, purple sparkled rim shimmer is served on the side for self-application at home. “At Napa Noodles, our go-to is either the Frosé (made with Butternut Rosé, Hanger One Rosé Vodka, and Kelvin Organic Frosé Mix) or our signature Spicy Mango Margarita (made with Tanteo Habanero Tequila, Triple Sec, mango puree, house-made Sweet & Sour, and a splash of orange juice).” // eikosnapa.com // napanoodles.com While all of Tarla Grill’s cocktails are available for take-out, customers particularly favor two of the Mediterranean hot-spots concoctions: the bespoke Spanish Sangria (made with Rioja, St. Supéry Brandy, fresh fruits, and Mediterranean spices), and the classic Bloody Mary. Their cocktail menu pairs well with their popular menu which features tapas, delicious Mediterranean entrées, and daily chef specials. // tarlagrill.com

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AVOW's Lavender Lemonade

Yet again, margaritas rule at Tre Posti, where varied flavor options include watermelon, prickly pear, cucumber, strawberry, and pineapple, to name a few. “Our margaritas are the perfect pairing with our

Ca Momi's Heart Crafted Cocktails

Curbside Lunch, Weekend Chef’s Market, or dinner menu offerings,” said Kimmie Husted of Tre Posti Events & Catering. “We’ve been so fortunate to have many of our local customers visit us weekly to enjoy our latest creations, especially on Taco Tuesday!” Tre Posti packages its margaritas in either reusable beverage bottles or in a deconstructed format allowing guests to mix their own at home. // treposti.com The best-seller at AVOW is their Lavender Roof Top Lemonade, made with lavender-infused syrup, freshly squeezed lemon and lime juices, Triple Sec, and vodka. “Our to-go cocktail program has been great!” said AVOW’s executive chef Mike Williams. “It has given our staff both a creative outlet as well as a challenge to create a cocktail that can be easily enjoyed at home while still keeping that same handcrafted feel one would get while dining at AVOW.” // avownapa.com The Girlfriend, featuring Barr Hill Honey Gin, house-made lavender syrup, fresh organic lemon juice, and Cocchi Barolo Chinato Sweet Vermouth, has been Ca’ Momi Osteria’s favored go-to and to-go cocktail since it made its debut back in 2015. “Whether enjoyed with dinner, while dancing, or social distancing at home, it has become everyone’s favorite garden-to-glass cocktail with a refreshing profile of lavender and citrus,” said Fabiola Watson, Ca’ Momi Osteria’s creative manager. “Each of our heartcrafted cocktails contains all-natural ingredients, and all of them are available for take-out or delivery. Each cocktail is packaged in a glass jar so one can simply add ice, shake and enjoy. // camomi.com

Tarla Grill's Classic Bloody Mary


Photo courtesy of Pizzeria Tra Vigne

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THAT’S AMORE! N A PA VA L L E Y ’ S

Best

PIZZA  BY ELIZABETH SMITH

Early immigrants to the Napa Valley include Italians and Swiss-Italians, who arrived in Napa County as early as the 1860s and whose immigration here continued for many decades. This history, combined with the Napa Valley wine industry, the availability of fresh, local, organic ingredients, and chefs with decades of experience, it is apt that many of Napa Valley’s most popular restaurants focus on pizza and other Italianinspired dishes. FALL 2020

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Cary, began at the restaurant in 1990 as a delivery driver and worked his way to serve as general manager 1995. In 2010, he and his wife, Denise, purchased the restaurant from founder John Johnston. The Carys, along with daughter Chelsie Blakley, ensure that this fun, old-school Napa pizza parlor in the River Park Shopping Center, where locals frequently get together to watch sports, stays true to its classic roots. Their pizza dough is made using spring wheat flour from the Midwest, which is cool fermented 24 to 48 hours, hand-rolled, and baked in a revolving-deck pizza oven. The restaurant uses fresh, local ingredients, such as Salinas Valley tomatoes and mozzarella. “We teach our pizza makers to create each pizza with pride as though it were for their best friend,” said Cary. Fazerrati’s offers 16 different pizzas, including the customer favorite, Real Italian – the restaurant’s version of Margherita – as well as Fazerrati’s Supreme, The Ragin’ Cajun, the Create Your Own. // 1517 W. Imola Ave., Napa // www.fazerratispizza.com

Foodshed Pizza Line up Photo courtesy of FoodShed

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hether it be a Roman-style crust, a traditional family dough recipe, house-cured meats, or unique toppings such as salad or fried eggs, there is an abundance of pizza options with compelling allure. Below is a list of some local favorites.

AZZURRO PIZZERIA E ENOTECA

Photo courtesy of Azzurro Pizzeria E Enoteca

Cynthia and Michael Gyetvan, borrowing money from family, opened the original Azzurro Pizzeria e Enoteca at Second and Franklin Streets in 2001 which eventually relocated to its larger, current location on Main Street in 2008. Michael, a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, brings with him over 30 years of experience as a chef, while Cynthia manages the business. What makes Azzurro different from other pizza restaurants is the dough, which has evolved over the years into what it is today. It is made daily with organic 00 flour, yeast, olive oil, salt, and Napa water. Customers rave about the pizza menu, which has not changed since the restaurant’s inception in 2001. Specialties include Manciata – pizza crust with a salad on top – a seasonal Pie of the Day, Create your Own Pasta (for adults and children), and other customer favorites like the Margherita and Formaggio pizzas, roasted beets, baked rigatoni, and Caesar salad. Azzurro also offers both glutenfree dough and pasta. // 1260 Main St., Napa // www.azzurropizzeria.com

Founders Valentina Guolo-Migotto, Dario De Conti, and Stefano Migotto developed the winery of the same name in 2006, the Enoteca in 2010, then the restaurant in 2015. Ca’ Momi prides itself on “heartcrafted” cuisine made with local organic ingredients with authentic Italian flavors, preparation, and presentation. The restaurant makes pizza according to Vera Pizza Napoletana guidelines, which means it is cooked for 90 seconds in a 900-degree wood-burning stove. Ca’ Momi is one of the few restaurants in the United States to carry the Verace Pizza Napoletana, Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani, and Ospitalitầ Italiana certifications. House specialties include the Pizza Porchetta e Rucola, the Organic Pizza Margherita DOP, and You had me at Pizza! Dinner, which includes burrata and verdure, two pizza choices, a salad, and dessert with portions for two to eight people. Glutenfree crust and flatbread are available, as are vegan options. // 1141 First St, Napa // www.camomiosteria.com

CA’ MOMI OSTERIA

FAZERRATI’S PIZZA

Downtown Napa’s Ca’ Momi Osteria coins itself as “built on Napa Valley soil, but rooted in soulful Italian tradition.”

In 2020, Fazerrati’s Pizza, which locals affectionally call Fazi’s, celebrates its 30th anniversary. Napa native and owner, Troy

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FILIPPI’S PIZZA GROTTO The history of what is now known as Filippi’s Pizza Grotto is more 70 years old. The story began when Italianborn Vincent DePhilippis and his Frenchborn wife, Madeleine Manfredi, arrived in the United States in 1922. They later met in New York, married in 1925, moved to San Diego in 1947, and in 1950, opened their first Italian restaurant. Today there are 15 family-owned and operated Filippi’s Pizza Grotto restaurants. Thomas Finch, who brings his longtime chef and culinary experience from the Four Seasons Clift Hotel and Marriott International, opened Napa’s restaurant in March 2005. It is known for its pizza pie – a crust filled with a variety of ingredients and spices, then covered with mozzarella and baked in a brick oven – as well as its garlic knots, lasagna, and meatballs. A local customer favorite is The Italian Feast for Two, which includes a pizza, two house salads, two plates of pasta, and house-made focaccia. Gluten-free options are available. // 635 First St., Napa // www.realcheesepizza.com

FOODSHED TAKE AWAY Foodshed Take Away is the latest project of Napa natives, high school classmates, and longtime culinary stars, Giovanni Guerrera and Sean Pramuk. Guerrera was living and


local & organic ingredients

garden to glass cocktails

Where in-the-know locals go for Napa's best pizza

TAKE OUT ∙ DELIVERY quick service 1141 first street downtown napa 707.224.6664 www.camomi.com

Home of the “Original" Mozzarella Al Minuto 1016 Main St • St. Helena CA 94574 707-967-9999 • pizzeriatravigne.com 7-O-7 Happy Hour Every Day 4-6pm $1.00 Oysters and more ca’ momi winery & italian wines

certified pizza napoletana

Bring this ad when you dine in & get a treat!

3385 Old California Way, Napa 707.255.3340 | foodshedpizza.org

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Other Pizza Restaurants Not To Miss

NVL food working in Rome, Italy, when he conceived the idea of a sustainable, community restaurant and teaching kitchen that focuses on what the Napa Valley has to offer in terms of agricultural, natural, and human resources. What makes the restaurant’s pizza unique is its doughmaking, inspired by Roman street food pizza, a 48-hour fermentation process that creates a crunchy and chewy sourdough crust. The house specialties are the restaurant’s burrata cheese pizza with tomato, olive oil, and oregano and its pepperoni pizza with tomato, fresh mozzarella, roasted fennel, and red onion. Foodshed also offers a variety of dishes like soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta, and packaged meals to go along with a wine-bar and bottle shop with over 100 wines. Gluten-free and vegan menu items are available. // 3385 Old California Way, Napa // www.foodshedpizza.org

Bistro Don Giovanni www.bistrodongiovanni.com Ciccio www.ciccionapavalley.com Live Fire Pizza www.livefireoxbow.com Mary’s Pizza Shack www.maryspizzashack.com Oenotri www.oenotri.com Papa Joe’s Pizza www.papajoespizzaca.com That Pizza Place www.sthelenapizza.com The Forge Pizza www.theforgepizza.com

PIZZERIA TRA VIGNE AND RESTAURANT Pizzeria Tra Vigne and Restaurant, under the helm of managing partner, Cynthia

Fazerrati's Pizza // Photo by Valentín Atayde

FOUR GENERATIONS OF OUR FAMILY... SERVING YOURS.

707.254.9700 | 645 FIRST STREET, NAPA WWW.REALCHEESEPIZZA.COM

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Ariosta, and chef Anthony “Nash” Cognetti, is a St. Helena Main Street “community staple,” having served locals and tourists for over 25 years. It is the restaurant’s sourdough pizza crust, an ode to San Francisco, which distinguishes it from other pizza restaurants. The crust is made more like bread than pizza dough, going through a multiday fermentation process that gives it a characteristic sourdough tartness while remaining both crispy and chewy. Piadine, another customer favorite, is made from pizza crust topped with sauces and salads. The menu includes salads, pasta, sandwiches, and its irresistible Original Mozzarella “al Minuto” – hot and briny, hand-pulled mozzarella served with grilled garlic bruschetta, olive oil, and rosemary – a favorite menu item obtained from the former Tra Vigne Restaurant that closed in 2015. Vegan and gluten-free options are available. Tra Vigne’s patio is popular for outdoor dining and their daily 7-0-7 happy hours with daily drink specials and $1 oysters on the half shell. // 1016 Main St., St. Helena // www.pizzeriatravigne.com


NVL food

Sweetie Pies Pivots Satisfying More Than a Sweet Tooth

Photos courtesy of Sweetie Pies  BY FRAN MILLER

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oni Chiappetta took a slight detour this past spring from baking her popular pies, cakes, and cookies. The longtime proprietor of the Napa Mill-located Sweetie Pies saw a need, and she filled it. Chiapetta turned her bakery into a general store, selling bread, flour, eggs, and yeast. She then moved to crafting full dinners, each made with locally sourced, high-quality ingredients and offered for pre-order and pick-up. Her menu included savory chicken pot pie, flavorful pastas, and tasty meatloaf and mashed potatoes. “Comfort foods,” she said. “Items your mother might make.” Her quick thinking and ability to adapt allowed her to keep Sweetie Pies open, much to the delight of anyone who has ever sampled a Sweetie Pies confection. An East Coast native with a culinary background, Chiappetta moved to Napa in 1990 to help open Table 29 as bread and pastry chef – now Bistro Don Giovanni. She founded Sweetie Pies in 1994 and moved to her current location in 2000. In addition to her brick and mortar shop, her sweet treats are sold throughout the Valley at 106

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Her confections provoke smiles and giggles, bringing a bit of levity to what Chiappetta admits has been a very scary and stressful time. retail locations such as Gary’s Marketplace, Oakville Grocery, Sunshine Market, and her neighborhood grocery, Brown’s Valley Market. Consistent customer favorites include her Summer Berries Cake, Whoopie Pies, Anzac and S’mores cookies, and her award-winning pumpkin and apple pies. More recently, her creative ‘Toilet Paper Cake’ has become an Instagram-able sensation: chocolate cake with milk chocolate mousse, covered in vanilla buttercream, in the shape of…a roll of toilet paper. She also makes ‘mask’ cakes. Her confections

provoke smiles and giggles, bringing a bit of levity to what Chiappetta admits has been a very scary and stressful time. “We managed to do well despite all of the setbacks,” said Chiappetta, who has always proudly paid it forward by supporting local schools, charities, and charitable events. A music school grad, she finds relaxation as a singer with Live Band Karaoke Sonoma, delivering driveway performances the third Thursday of each month, viewable via Facebook. She’s also a member of Sing Napa Valley, the local community choir. Chiappetta’s take-out dinner program has been so popular that she is continuing the practice. In addition to the above-listed items, the rotating menu includes crepes manicotti, beer can chicken, and steak salad. Far away fans can order her soul-soothing chicken pot pie via Goldbelly, the curated online marketplace for gourmet foods that also features a selection of Sweetie Pies pies, coffee cakes, and cookies. Future plans include a pick up window for carry-out orders and a grab-andgo case for breakfast and lunch items. FOR MORE INFORMATION www.sweetiepies.com


• • • A M I N D F U L A P P R O A C H T O E L E VA T E D L I V I N G • • •

As one of Napa Valley ’s hotel gems, LEED Platinum Certified Bardessono provides a luxurious experience for guests within a sustainable environment. Deep green with luxur y and a subtle aesthetic, the hotel offers ultimate indulgence through Lucy restaurant ’s farm-to-fork fare, in-room spa treatments, electric Lexus vehicles, curated art collection and rooftop pool access. Now offering a grand respite with enhanced amenities, The Maple Grove Villas extend embellished Napa Valley experiences for an effortless, cultural immersion. Premier luxur y at ever y turn.

(707) 204-6000 | BARDESSONO.COM 6 5 2 6 Y O U N T S T, Y O U N T V I L L E, C A 9 4 5 9 9

Sparkling with tradition, Hotel Yountville is a wine-countr y retreat with enticing charm. Eighty romantic, spacious guest rooms housed in stone buildings constructed of stacked Napa river rocks feature four-poster beds, oversized tubs and fireplaces. Indulge in a treatment at The Spa, dine at Heritage Oak and recharge at the decadent pool courtyard with bar. Then, usher in the evening with a toast to the deep-rooted stor y of the Heritage Oak tree as it glistens with light with traditional tiny pours of signature cocktails – a colorful reprieve from a day of wine tasting. An intimately luxurious experience awaits at one of Napa Valley ’s top hotels.

• • • YO U N T V I L L E H E R I TAG E , R E I M AG I N E D • • • (707) 967-7900 | HOTELYOUNTVILLE.COM FALL9 2020 6 4 6 2 W A S H I N G TO N S T, Y O U N T V I L L E, C A 4 5 9 9107


NVL travel

S O L AG E R E S O RT ’ S

Photo courtesy of Solage-Auberge Resorts

Superlative Amenities  BY FRAN MILLER

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s luxury hotels continue to proliferate throughout Northern California wine country, one established resort maintains its status as a Napa Valley favorite. Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection, has long served as the region’s ideal spot to retreat, relax, and rejuvenate. And a recent, stunning remodel of the Calistoga property serves to revive its preferred standing. Most notable are changes to the resort’s swimming pool, the largest in the Valley. Visitors have come to know and love the iconic pool for its relaxing yet fun atmosphere. Solage has taken this ideal refuge, well-suited equally for couples, solo travelers, and families, and made it even more luxurious. Enhancements include the addition of six beautiful new cabanas, each featuring soft seating, fully stocked refrigerators, televisions, privacy curtains, and a team member dedicated to catering to guests’ every whim. New poolside furnishings include plush lounge chairs; a jacuzzi tub is also new, as is a separate three-foot 108

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deep ‘Splash Pad’ for families, and a lawn area for games and picnics. An incredible poolside food and beverage menu allows guests to experience the very best of the resort’s two outstanding restaurants: the new laid-back Pico Bar serving cocktails, wine, and bites, and Solbar, where Chef Gustavo Rios serves innovative and elevated comfort food dishes influenced by both his Latin background and his experience with European techniques. One of Solage’s most popular amenities is the gratis offer of beach cruiser bikes two per studio/cottage – allowing for relaxed exploration of the resort’s hometown of Calistoga. “We are always looking for new ways to bring the spirit of Calistoga to our guests,” said Devin Hawkins, Area Marketing Manager, Auberge Resorts. “In addition to the offer of the bikes, we work closely with local purveyors and have put together an assortment of in-room goodies dubbed ‘Napa Pantry’ for guests to purchase. These boxes feature locally-made items such as fig

jam, handcrafted dark chocolates, delicious meats and cheeses, and our very own smallbatch whiskey.” The resort also offers live music on Wednesdays on the twinkle-lit Solbar patio, complimentary wine tastings on Thursdays and Fridays, fireside s’mores on Friday and Saturday evenings, and in the summer, SOL Summer Saturdays featuring a rotating list of wineries, breweries, and artisans. “We are blessed to be located in such a wonderful community that has always been warm and welcoming, and we try to bring that same energy to our guests the moment they arrive at Solage,” said Hawkins. “We are a family, and we want our guests to feel like they are a part of that family. We are constantly learning from our guests and what they look for in a getaway to make sure their experience with us is special and truly one of a kind.” FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.aubergeresorts.com


The Only Private Golf Club in Napa Valley F U L L O R S I N G L E G O L F • T E N N I S • B O C C E • S O C I A L • J U N I O R • C O R P O R AT E N O N - R E S I D E N T • W E D D I N G D E S T I NAT I O N • S P E C I A L E V E N T S

Limited Membership Opportunities Available.

INQUIRIES WELCOME | 707.603.3486 | akreisler@napavalleycc.com | www.NapaValleyCC.com


NVL side trip

PASO ROBLES DELIVERS

the

Wow factor

IN A W H I S P E R  BY LAURIE JO MILLER FARR

Denner Vineyards Comus Vista // Photo courtesy of Denner Vineyards

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Socially Distanced Downtown Dining Photo courtesy of Travel Paso

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ake it 48 hours in Paso Robles, a top pick winecentric destination 270 miles south of Napa via US-101. Save enough time to make the southbound leg of the drive on scenic Highway 1 to benefit from unobstructed ocean views. Take it slow. Nobody should rush past the beauty spot coastal standouts: Monterey Bay, Big Sur, San Simeon. Make a sharp left onto CA 46 just before reaching Harmony, the Central Coast’s tiniest town (population: 18, winery: 1), for the final 30 minutes’ drive into Paso Robles.

EAT AND DRINK Paso locals are quick to point out that “everybody seems to know one another.” With a population of just over 30,000, the vibe is much more small-town charm than urban sophisticate. Anchored by a European-style town square called Downtown City Park, the inviting green patch shaded by oak trees has taken on a new post-pandemic purpose. Presented by Justin Vineyards and Winery, a concierge escorts diners to sanitized, socially- distanced farmhouse tables under sunbrellas and bistro lights. A reservations system operates Thursday through Sundays; takeout orders from nearby restaurants are encouraged, and

Niner Wine Estates Farm to Table Menu Photo courtesy of Niner Wine Estates

Socially Distanced Downtown Dining Photo courtesy of Travel Paso

downtown manages to preserve its vitality in a win-win solution. go.travelpaso.com/savorpaso

roads, rambling vineyards, and lichen-covered oak trees.

Paso Market Walk on Spring Street is a new 16,000 squarefoot showcase for a curated collection of local specialty producers—cheeses, olive oils, coffee roasters, bakers, gelato makers, ranchers, vintners, and brewers. PasoMarketWalk.com

Clos Selène: Inspired by their love for each other and passion for wine, proprietors Guillaume and Selène Fabre left their home

On the West Side:

in Bordeaux to launch their wine label in Paso Robles. Book ahead for an authentic French-accented outdoor tasting experience at this charming boutique winery where the wines are named for their five children. Clos Selène produces Rhône and Bordeaux

Tin City is a safe and smart place destination; a two-block community of industrial warehouses for small-production wineries, breweries, distilleries, and cider houses- with handmade sheep milk ice cream for good measure. TinCityPasoRobles.com

WINERIES In 1983, only 18 wineries called Paso Robles home when the AVA was introduced. Now 300 wineries make this California’s fastest-growing wine region supporting 40 varietals from Albariño to Zinfandel. Three times the size of Napa, there’s differentiation among the appellation’s 11 viticultural areas due to diverse soil types, elevations, and rainfall. The region’s diurnal temperature variation of 40º to 50º F is a striking characteristic. Within several minutes’ drive from downtown, the countrified persona of Paso Robles opens up to miles of winding FALL 2020

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Bruce Menro's Sensorio Light Display Photo Courtesy of Travel Paso

NVL side trip varieties on the vineyard estate in the Willow Creek District AVA. ClosSelene.com

Did You Know?

Niner Wine Estates: Find out why “farm-to-table” is never a cliché at Niner Wine Estates. Reserve a private table outside in the shade for a gourmet picnic lunch and wine (by the bottle, glass, or flight) on the pretty estate. They’re known for estategrown Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay as well as the flagship blend, Fog Catcher, which are all produced on Heart Hill, iconized by a cluster of oak trees shaped like a heart. NinerWine.com

In January 1954, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio spent their honeymoon night in Paso Robles at the Clifton Motel (long gone) after getting married at San Francisco City Hall.

DAOU Family Estates: Founded thirteen years ago by Lebanese brothers Georges and Daniel Daou, this stunning winery is located on DAOU Mountain, at an elevation of 2,200 feet. Today, the winery is fulfilling the promise of Adelaida District as the world’s next benchmark for Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Sauvignon Blanc. DAOUVineyards.com Denner Vineyards: Come to the place where the wines and the views are equally good; book an appointment to drink in both. Contemporary architecture meets old vines at Denner Vineyards, widely known for its sweeping expanse over the valley and its interesting varietals such as Vermentino and outstanding Rhone blends. DennerVineyards.com

On the East Side: Sculpterra Winery & Sculpture Garden presents the unexpected. Larger-than-life outdoor creations marry the concepts of art and wine throughout the property’s gardens. Proprietor Dr. Warren Frankel and his wife Kathy founded the winery and tasting room in 2007 after growing grapes since 1979. Ironworks by Robert Bentley and spectacular bronze 112

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Sculpterra Winery and Sculpture Garden Photo courtesy of Sculpterra Winery

and granite sculptures created by John Jagger and resident artist Dale Evers are curated throughout the grounds. Reserve an outdoor tasting in the shade or bring the dog and kids for a walk in the garden. Sculpterra.com Cass Winery: In the back roads countryside, Cass Winery has a relaxed, hacienda-style feel. Enjoy lunch outdoors beside the vineyard where guests can take a stroll. Its 145 acres produce all-estate Rhône varieties: Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Viognier, Roussanne, and Marsanne. CassWines.com

silhouettes of hills and stately oaks. SensorioPaso.com Paso isn’t just wine, beer, and cider tasting; it’s olive oil, too. Tens of thousands of trees produce fresh and bold extra virgin olive oil in a milling process that visitors can appreciate in person at the farms during the late fall harvest.

STAY

THINGS TO DO

Clean and safe is the overarching message from the hotels and resorts of Paso Robles. These properties are ADA compliant and dog friendly. NOTE: Indoor restaurants, spas, and bars may remain closed per state guidelines.

Unmissable. Held over through January 2021, “Bruce Munro: Field of Light at Sensorio” is Paso’s big surprise. The outdoor art installation of 60,000 illuminated glass orbs spread across 15 acres of meadow comes to life each evening at dusk. Choose a path through the field of mesmerizing, soft pastel lights set off by

Allegretto Vineyard Resort: Elegant and art-filled, the Tuscanstyle AAA Four Diamond property has detailed health and safety information accessible online. Some rooms have semi-private patios leading to an outdoor heated pool by the vineyard. AllegrettoVineyardResort.com

Paso Robles Inn: Set in gardens on the downtown square established in 1889, Paso Robles Inn attracted wealthy patrons for the natural sulphur mineral waters. pasoroblesinn.com Its offspring is The Piccolo, a new contemporary 24-room luxury property with Tetto, a rooftop space for drinks served with food. ThePiccolo.com Hotel Cheval: Located less than one block off the historic town square, Hotel Cheval is a delightful looking boutique hotel of international acclaim. Sixteen rooms are built around a central courtyard with a firepit. Guest rooms have fireplaces too. HotelCheval.com Stables Inn: Enjoy the warmth of the outdoor fire at Hotel Cheval’s new sister property located three blocks from downtown. With only 18 rooms, the horsey-themed look is whitewashed and unpretentious. StablesInnPaso.com


INDIGENÉ CELLARS: Smooth Wine Tasting in Downtown Paso  BY LAURIE JO MILLER FARR

Photos courtesy of Indigené Cellars

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ake a note of the convenient location of the Indigené Cellars tasting room in prime downtown Paso Robles. It’s one of two dozen in the Paso Robles Wine District that facilitates guests to “taste the diversity” of the region’s 40 local varietals. Raymond Smith, proprietor and winemaker at Indigené Cellars, explains that “native” is the keyword behind the name in a clear expression of wines native to their environment. He said, “We do terroir-based programs that exhibit how wines differ depending on the intricate soil composition and weather patterns, and especially these factors in tandem. We cultivate wines in this program with the same varietal, same clones, and even similar barrel programs to show these distinct differences.” Smith’s philosophy is a solid one, judging by a collection of gold medals and double gold awards. Speaking of “native,” Ray Smith hails from Oakland. Visiting friends in Paso Robles while searching for a career in mass communications, a sideways turn led to an entry-level role at a winery where he quickly fell in love with the business. Smith considers himself fortunate that in this job as a mobile bottler, he had the opportunity to taste wines and observe many different winemaking concepts and styles

from all over California. Forging strong relationships with growers and producers, he recalled, “This gave me a first-hand experience of how microclimates dictate wine structures and flavor profiles.” When Smith arrived in Paso back in the late 1980s, the wine scene was nascent. He recalled fewer than 30 wineries at the time, all very hands-on and connected. He found the closeknit community provided unwavering support, drawing him in even closer. As the first Black winemaker in Paso Robles, Smith has witnessed the phenomenal growth of the industry. Smith

pointed out that super small lots of old vine fruit with low tonnage and welldrained soils produce a wide variety of options for crafting superior wine of depth and structure. Indigené Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Grenache Blanc, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and other wines focus on distinguishing aromas and a balanced fruit-driven palate to create unique noteworthy varietals and elegant blends. Everybody who knows this city says the wine tasting room is located in one of those “stumble across places” that make downtown Paso Robles so appealing. Indigené Cellars has re-opened their downtown tasting room in its coveted spot just steps off the main plaza in the alley that runs between 12th and 13th streets beside Jeffry’s Wine Country BBQ. Tasting for six or fewer (age 21+) is by 24-hour advance appointment, available Thursday through Saturday at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m.; on Sunday at 12 p.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. Area safety guidelines such as face masks are required when not sipping. Small production Indigené Cellars wines are primarily sold direct-to-consumer to ensure integrity and consistency. FOR MORE INFORMATION www.indigenecellars.com FALL 2020

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NVL people & art

Photo by Layne Randolph

JESSEL MILLER Divine Inspiration

 BY LAYNE RANDOLPH

J

essel Miller is having the time of her life. She has spent decades at the heart and soul of Napa Valley’s art world, owning and operating the beloved Jessel Gallery on Atlas Peak Road since 1984. Jessel originally envisioned the former whiskey distillery as a giant gallery promoting her own and other artist’s avant-garde work, 114

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only to discover that was not commercially viable in the Napa Valley. She began painting vineyards and landscapes — “Whatever it took to keep a roof over us, and the bills paid,” she candidly explains. Over the years, the 6,500 square foot space evolved into an intoxicating mix of gallery-business-studioteaching facility-Napa Valley landmark.

Jessel is a bit of a Renaissance woman, fitting for an artist who studied her craft in the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence, Italy. She is an acclaimed artist, the author of six books (a seventh to be released soon), an art and painting instructor, a songwriter, and an accomplished businesswoman.


The vast collection of art she has created over the years acts as a map of her personal journey as an artist. Her earliest work shows the dreamlike imagery that reappears later, then a series of exquisite portraits are followed by a series of vibrant, abstract nature paintings and still life works that evoke the atmosphere and emotion of the scenes better than real life. And then 2020 happened. The global pandemic forced businesses to shut down and for the world to take a breather. The temporary closure of the gallery was like a palate cleanser for Jessel’s artistic inspiration. Intuitive and perceptive, she told herself, “I need to mulch. Something is coming, and I need to step out of the way. Within weeks, I was dragged into the studio at three in the morning, and the art was just coming out of me. It needed to speak,” she said. Her experience as an artist enabled her to express on canvas messages that were coming through her as their conduit. The result was a veritable explosion of divinely inspired paintings. Her latest creations are a mixture of fantasy and reality, and her use of dazzling color heightens the Chagall-like allegories that run through these thoughtprovoking fairy tale images of fish, birds,

Martin Luther King by Jessel Miller

“Within weeks, I was dragged into the studio at three in the morning, and the art was just coming out of me. It needed to speak.”

I’M READY TO LIVE

By My Own Design

elephants, and turtles to create the dreamlike imagery of “Jesselism.” And then there are the faces—faces abstracted from her exacting skill as a portrait artist—faces reflecting a world of cultures shining through the chaos, floating in a glimmering celestial universe, deftly conveying the titles of her latest collections, “Honored Souls” and “Soulful Voices.” These paintings, although spectacularly beautiful, convey more profound global significance – the silver lining of the pandemic. The world is resting; water is cleaner, the air is purer, animals and fish are thriving in the rejuvenated ecosystem, and the world is spiritually linked. There has been overwhelming recognition that her illustrious life’s work has culminated in this collection of intensely emotional paintings and that her moment is now. When asked if she agreed, the naturally exuberant Jessel exclaimed, “It is now! I can feel it!” Jessel has dedicated her life to other artists through www.JesselGallery.com, and now, for the first time, she has launched a website devoted solely to her work, www.jesselmiller.com. FOR MORE INFORMATION www.JesselGallery.com

// www.JesselMiller.com

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tmpeartree.com | 925.281.4955 All information (including, but not limited to prices, views, school assignments and ratings, availability, broker commission programs, incentives, floor plans, site plans, features, standards and options, assessments and fees, planned amenities, programs, conceptual artists’ renderings and community development plans) is not guaranteed and remains subject to changes or delay without notice. Maps and plans are not to scale and all dimensions are approximate. Prices may not include lot premiums, upgrades and options. Community Association or other fees may be required. All homes are subject to prior sale. No Purchase Agreement may be negotiated or signed by a prospective buyer for the purchase of a home until the Community’s applicable Conditional or Final Public Report has been issued by the Department of Real Estate (DRE). Marketing materials do not reflect a racial, age, familial status or ethnic preference. This material shall not constitute a valid offer in any state where prior registration is required or if void by law. Please see a Taylor Morrison Community Sales Manager for details and www.taylormorrison.com for additional disclaimers. Taylor Morrison Services, Inc., DRE #00968975. © August 2020,Taylor Morrison of California, LLC. All rights reserved. 08/17/20 1580

FROM THE HIGH $500s FALL 2020

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NVL money & wealth

SIX ELDER FRAUD SCAMS

and How to Help Prevent Them Use these tips to help you protect your loved ones from the threat of financial fraud that’s increasingly targeting older Americans.

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fall victim to some form of finanor grandparent who lives cial fraud, notes Blomberg.” alone. They hire someone Here are six common elder to replace the roof for on their aging fraud • Start saving retirement andscams, take along with stratehouse and give the roofer half gies you can use to help protect advantage of having longevity on the money up front. And that’s your loved ones. the last they of the roofer. to No an employeryour side.seeContribute 1. Pros who are not legit: Con matter how close your relationsponsored savings plan such asoften a advertise “foolproof” artists ship, can you be sure they’d let investments or claim special ex401(k) — athappened? least at a level that meets you know what pertise in working with retirees Elder fraud is on the rise, any company match. or older clients. One California but it remains a vastly underthief advertised inexpensive “Older people •reported Talk tocrime. your local Merrill advisor, who are often reluctant to complain will-preparation services. After gaining clients’ trust, he talked can being assistduped,” with putting a about says Tomtogether them into investing with him by Blomberg, dean of Florida plan to help pursue your goals. State University’s College of promising 12% annual returns. Criminology and Criminal Checks from investors went straight to his personal offshore For more Justice. “Theyinformation, may fear appear-contact account, and he made off with ing foolish or worry that wellMerrill Lynch Financial Advisor meaning relatives will pressure $11 million before he was Eric in the finally caught. What you can do: them F. to Gonzales move to a retirement community, depriving Napa, CA, office them of Remind family members that letheir independence.” Even so, gitimate businesses will happily at 707.254.4606 by 2020, more than 20 million wait while you check their referAmericans age 65 and older will ences. If they’re unsure about a or eric_gonzales@ml.com.

2. Unbelievable billing practices: After storms or other natural disasters, scam artists often go door to door, telling homeowners that their properties have been damaged and offering to make repairs at a big discount, says Blomberg. Then they may only pretend to do the work and demand payment. Similarly, auto mechanics may charge for parts not installed and work not performed, he adds. What you can do: Help older relatives keep their properties and cars in good repair, and urge them not to hire anyone who can’t provide clear identification and references. 3. Internet and telephone fraud: These scam artists may be thousands of miles away, and they

often play on people’s trusting nature and desire to help others. A caller may ask for a donation for a worthy-sounding cause. And yet another congratulates you for winning a $1 million prize — and says all you need to do to claim it is provide your Social Security number to confirm your identity and pay a special collection fee. What you can do: Set a firm policy not to give personal information over the phone and remind older relatives to do the same, suggests Debra Greenberg, a director in the Retirement & Personal Wealth Solutions Group at Bank of  America. “And if you want to make a pledge to a charity, ask to receive something in writing first,” Greenberg says. Ignore internet offers with obscure origins and prizes that come out of the blue and require a fee to collect.

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S” or “Merrill”) makes available certain investment products sponsored, managed, distributed or provided by companies that are affiliates of Bank  of  America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”). MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC and a wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp.

ck

Investment products:

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erest,

company, it’s also wise to ask for a second opinion from someone they trust.

Are Not FDIC Insured

Are Not Bank Guaranteed

May Lose Value

© 2020 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. | MAP3184764 | WP-08-20-0229.B | 472503PM-0420 | 08/2020

CenterNAPAVALLEYLIFE.COM for Retirement Research 116 1

at Boston College. “How Does Student Debt Affect Early Career


4. Not-so-free lunches: Older Americans are often targeted by unscrupulous salespeople offering a free lunch or dinner in return for listening to a sales pitch. As often as not, that pitch turns out to be a very hard sell. They can find themselves being pulled into a dubious purchase before the “free” meal is over. What you can do: Make sure that family members know not to sign a contract, make an agreement or pay any money unless a trusted friend or family member is involved, says Blomberg.

One way for family members to get an early warning about potential red flags is through the Merrill Trusted Contact Person Form, notes Cynthia Hutchins, director of Financial Gerontology at Bank  of  America. “It authorizes an advisor to reach out to a family member or trusted family friend, if they spot unusual financial activity,” she says.

M. S A N D O VA L

ARCHITECTS,INC. Architecture | Historic Preservation | Design

6. Family fraud: Perhaps the most distressing form of fraud involves other family members. Problems may start innocently, 5. “Friends” with ulterior motives: when a son or daughter gains Good friends are priceless, but control of a retired parent’s con artists posing as sense friends can accounts to help pay bills. After money cost you dearly. Someone who a while, the line between the lives nearby may offer to assist finances of the parent and the with chores and errands, or even child may become blurred, and to serve as a home health aide — the temptation to dip into the and soon begin “helping” with funds becomes irresistible. When how to say no — if family members turn to you for financial support. financial transactions, gaining the parent dies, other siblings RESIDENTIAL + access to accounts. What you can could find that their expected COMMERCIAL has vanished. What a position to provide Yetbe theamong “Financesinheritance in develop a basic philosophy that applies to do: These cases it.can you can do: Even if one sibling Retirement” survey foundtothat few respondents everyone. Explain that this philosophy helped the most difficult prevent, takes on the your job offamily helping with had with budgeted to victims be able to help family build its wealth and 7 0 7that . 6 3 any 7 . 4 loan 3 6 3 or• m s a n d o v a l a r c h i t e c t s . c o m lonely forming an members a parent’s finances, try to will build financially, despite giving an average gift decisions be made based on your core emotional attachment to the of $6,500 transparency into the annually to family.Try “We to create such values, suchprocess as a strong work ethic, pride and perpetrator. getbudgets your for from the beginning, with other things as travel or shopping, so why not for self-sufficiency. If you’re dreading the prospect Fonts: Avenir Light Avenir Roman retired parents or grandparents family members staying involved family giving?” asks Bill Hunter, Retirement of refusing a request, prepare your reasons to talk openly with you about through regular, open conversaClient Experience, Strategy beforehand so that you can explain them their finances,Director, especially if you& Solutions also consider at Bank of America. unemotionally. When you can’t afford to give, know there are cognitive issues, tions. You might asking your financial advisor to for your decision. outline the reasons Hunter you determine how much andadvises offer that to review checking set up a multigenerational family you accounts can commit this purpose without When a family business is involved, notes fortosigns of trouble. If discuss financial disrupting current to Schmieder, it’s possible that your relatives don’t you seeyour a lotretirement of checks planning made outand meeting concerns. livingtoneeds. When you haveyou thatdon’t figure, understand the company’s financial limitations. cash, or to someone Fonts: Avenir Black Avenir Roman usefuleveryone precaution consider other priorities. Areflag. there any Another “Not may be aware, for instance, that know,your consider that a red be to have parents assign lifestyle changes you may needsignato make may in order company owners have an obligation to reinvest Other red flags: suspect power of attorney to a trusted to keep giving to family during tough times? their profits into their businesses to maintain tures on checks and financial or 9 OUT OF EVERY 10 parentshebecome Our mission is to help them do just that. Mostlegal important, before give, unbe surelawyer. to set If thegrowth,” says. Use this opportunity to explain documents, oryou sudden, PMS 7460 SENIORS unable to handle their own asideexplained an emergency fund yourself that the company’s profits aren’t a ready source C100, M34, Y14, K0 changes tofor powers of to help R0, G134, B184 affairs, this can legal formalensure that you will or have a comfortable foradd gifts or loans. attorney, wills trusts. Maybe cushion HEX: #0084b7 ity to the process and may help in retirement. Senior a certificate of deposit has been As you consider each request, it’s Helpers always stans ready to serve your family’s needs with: prevent abuse. PMS 361 3. Set firm guidelines saying penalyes. Decide in important to remember that gifts or loans to redeemed early,for despite • Proprietary LIFEProfile™ Risk Analysis and personalized C75, M4, Y100, K0 In all of these cases, the best Senior Helpers Smart Care Plan™ to identify and address advance circumstances family members will have a direct impact on R63, ties, under or youwhat notice unusual wireyou would G174, B42 offense is usually a good defense. Hex: #40ae49 concerns important for successful aging feel transfers. comfortable or lending money. your retirement planning. Therethe might be an most Aregiving checks bouncing Criminals usually look for the • Consistent, data-driven approach “If you’re going to make a gift of the money, unwritten fifth rule, says Hunter: “Beware of or bills going unpaid? Is there path of least resistance, sogenerous, if you Proven care programs for Dementia, Round-the-Clock thinksuspicious about using theactivity occasion a teaching being overly or you•could end up ATM —as such Care, Transition Care, and Short and Long-term hourly make it clear you won’t be fooled, moment,” suggests Hunter. Without needing financial help yourself.”needs as withdrawals that took placesounding chances preachy or the judgmental, to explain when accounttry holder was to your are they’ll relative how you’ve yourself in a position to bedridden? Allput could be clues move on. provide this assistance. Have you kept your debt that something isn’t right. under control, for instance, or lived within your means or avoided high-interest credit cards? Contact us today to learn more: “For FOR young adultsINFORMATION: in the family, this could be a 707.200.6665 | SeniorHelpers.com/napa MORE valuable lesson,” he Financial says. Merrill Lynch Advisor HCO #284700002 All rights reserved. Senior Helpers locations are independently owned and operated. Eric F. Gonzales Napa, “If you expect to be paid back, CA create a loan ©2020 SH Franchising, LLC. 707-254-4606 // eric_gonzales@ml.com document,” recommends Joe C. Schmieder, principal consultant of the Family Business For more information, contact Consulting Group. This may include details on FALL 2020 how frequently repayments will be made and Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor

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to be missed! Allegria offers a great assortment of delicious desserts, including the And, we tiramisu. offer interesting small plates and salads, rotisserie meats and poultry and classic homemade seasonal entrees with a C CASA twist.

eggs benedict and fried chicken, or branch out and try our chicken and waffles or one of our signature burgers. A fun spot to meet up with friends or enjoy a meal with the whole family! 1122 First Street, Napa, CA 94559 1141 First Street Napa CA 94559 707--812--6853 | jaxwhitemulediner.com (707) 257-4992 | www.camomienoteca.com/

1026 1st St, Napa, CA 94559 707-254-8006 | www.ristoranteallegria.com 610 1st St #B, Napa, CA 94559 / Oxbow Market

NVL dining guide

T

707-226-7700 | www.myccasa.com

special special dining dining

RL mediterranean grill

WINE COUNTRY EL FRESCOITALIAN TRADITIONAL MEDITERRANEAN

MEDITERRANEAN COMFORT CUISINE AMERICAN GRILL & BAR TARLA - True to our namesake, the Tarlacomfort Grill aims to and yieldisnourishing, creative, and CELADON offers award-winning food located in the Napa River DOWNTOWN JOES - global Anfrom American style grill united with quality andtheir freshness. Our culturally eats originating Turkeyon and Greece, lands heralded for Inn. Enjoy exciting an unforgettable dining experience our heated outdoor patio or in our menu is locally resourced then cooked with the flair that is true Napa Valley. We cuisine and a culture that takes pride in the relationship between mankind and the intimate indoor dining area. The seasonally influenced menu features flavors from the proudly feature salads, burgers, sandwiches, steaks, decadent land! We take our responsibility of ensuring the origins ofseafood, our ingredients seriously house made Mediterranean, Asia, and more the Americas. desserts, and modern pub grub. and pride ourselves on using local, seasonal and organic fare whenever possible.

MOMI a traditional Italian & organic food restaurant premium, locallyLA TOQUE’SCAChef KenisFrank’s landmark Napa Valley restaurant is the serving proud recipient SMALL WORLD - ingredients A world flavor awaits at Small Restaurant, where theand sourced, organic whenever possible inWorld support of localevolves purveyors of both a Michelin Star and The GrandofAward from Wine Spectator. The menu menu the vibrant cuisine of the Mediterranean andofthe Middle East. Falafel, like-minded businesses across Napa Valley. constantly to showfeatures off each season’s finest ingredients from a network local farmers Hummus, Babaus Ganoush, Schwarma, Pitafoods Sandwiches, Garden and purveyors who supply with some of the finest in the world. OurFresh wineSalads, and pairings areFresh-Made considered Baklava. by many to be the ultimate food and wine experience.

500 Street, Suite G, Napa, CA 94559 1480Main 1st St, Napa, CASt, 94559 902 Napa, CA 94559 707-254-9690 |Main celadonnapa.com 707-255-5599 | www.tarlagrill.com 707-258-2337 | www.downtownjoes.com

Street (Downtown Napa, CA 94559 The Westin 928 Verasa Napa, 1314 McKinstry St,Napa), Napa, CA 94559 1141Coombs First Street Napa CA 94559 707-224-7743 707-257-5157 | www.latoque.com (707) 257-4992| SmallWorldRestaurant.com | www.camomienoteca.com/

挀漀漀欀

琀愀瘀攀爀渀 ☀

JAPENESE CUISINE AMERICAN CUISINE EIKO’S - Eiko’s delivers imaginative twists on traditional Japanese cuisine. Our vision NAPKINS - An American restaurant withJapanese an exciting sceneincluding for locals and travelfor the menu combines modern andcuisine authentic traditional cuisine ers who happen fish upon them.Weekend brunch (11 amfrom to 3our pm)local and markets one of the best seasonal, fresh sustainable and ingredients delivered daily happy hours in Napa (food and drink fromour 3 tochefs 7 pm). Weekend and purveyors. In addition to traditional raw fish specials preparation, creates a nights the bar turns electric entertainment livetaste performances and dancing to DJs selection ofarea innovative dishes with inspired by our localincluding culture and profiles featuring Napa as influence and inspiration. 1001 2nd St, Napa, CA 94559 1385 Napa Town Center, Napa, CA 94559 707-927-5333 | www.napkinsnapa.com 707-501-4444 | www.eikosnapa.com

瀀椀稀稀攀爀椀愀

ITALIAN AMERICAN GRILL & BAR BAR + GRILL DOWNTOWN JOES style grillexperience united withthrough quality food, and freshness. Our IL POSTO TRATTORIA - We offer- An theAmerican traditional italian TAVERN &the PIZZERIA isNapa acooked cozy, brick-walled with table & barWe seating menu is locallyinresourced then withOur themenu flairgastropub that is true Napa Valley. served in a COOK casual setting beautiful Valley. offers a variety slecfor seasonal American and Italian dishes and neapolitan-inspired pizza .house Perfectmade for proudlysalads, featurepizza’s salads,along burgers, steaks, decadent tion of antipasta’s, withsandwiches, freshly madeseafood, pasta dishes. friends and families can stoppub in after work and enjoy a true tavern atmosphere. desserts, and more modern grub. 4211 Solano Ave, Napa, CA 94559 707-251-8600 | Main www.ilpostonapa.com 1304 St,Napa, St Helena, CA 94574 902 Main St, CA 94559 707-963-8082 707-258-2337 || www.cooktavern.com www.downtownjoes.com

special special dining dining section section NAPAVALLEYLIFEMAGAZINE.COM NAPAVALLEYLIFEMAGAZINE.COM

FOODSPRING & WINE2017 2017

TRADITIONAL ORGANICITALIAN ITALIAN

71 81

discover dining+

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AMERICAN CUISINE MEXICAN / TEX-MEX GASTROPUB & NANOBREWERY

CA' MOMIisOSTERIA provides Napa Valley with an obsessively authentic Italian CA MOMI a traditional Italianthe & organic food restaurant serving premium, locallyexperience. Theyingredients serve up locally-sourced organic ingredients featured in their sourced, organic whenever possible in support of local purveyors and historic Italian recipes, certified pizzaValley. Napoletana and garden to glass cocktails, all like-minded businesses across Napa in the heart of downtown Napa. Ca’ Momi Osteria also offers tastings of Ca’ Momi Napa Valley and Italian wines plus late night live music each weekend.

NAPKINS - An American restaurant withatan exciting scene for locals and travelaapproach casual dining destination aimed providing localsorder with an experiC CASA - WeHOP offerCREEK a fresh tocuisine tacos and much more. Fresh, made-toers who happen upon them.Weekend brunch (11 am to 3 pm) and of the best ence built around a warm welcoming atmosphere, they can enjoy aone locally sourced white corn tortillas topped with ingredients like seasoned buffalo, rotisserie lamb, happy hours Napaunique (food and specials from 3 toand 7Valley pm). Weekend nights hours the bar menu, coupled with craft beers, spirits and aioli Napa wines. Happier grilled prawns, fresh crab,inmicro greens, goatdrink cheese, chipotle Serrano salsa. area turns electric with entertainment including livelarge performances and dancing Monday-Friday 2pm-6pm. Family and rotisserie dog friendly, parties welcome inside to or DJs on And, we offer interesting small plates and salads, meats and poultry and our relaxing side patio. Cheers! seasonal entrees with a creek C CASA twist.

1141 First Street Street,Napa Napa,CA CA94559 94559 | 707-224-6664 | www.camomi.com 1141 First (707) 257-4992 | www.camomienoteca.com/

1001Browns 2nd St, Napa, 3253 Valley CA Rd,94559 Napa, CA 94558 | 707-257-7708 | hopcreekpub.com 707-927-5333 | www.napkinsnapa.com 610 1st St #B, Napa, CA 94559 / Oxbow Market 707-226-7700 | www.myccasa.com

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to be missed! Allegria offers a great assortment of delicious desserts, including the eggs benedict and fried chicken, or branch out and try our chicken and waffles or one classic homemade tiramisu. of our signature burgers. A fun spot to meet up with friends or enjoy a meal with the whole family! St, Napa, CA 94559 1122 First Street, Napa, CA Napa 94559 Valley Wine List Award winners are recognized1026 for1st their outstanding selections of Napa Valley wines. 707-254-8006 | www.ristoranteallegria.com 707--812--6853 | jaxwhitemulediner.com

special special dining dining

special special dining dining

RL

T

mediterranean grill

TRADITIONAL ITALIAN WINE COUNTRY EL FRESCO TRADITIONAL ITALIAN AMERICAN STEAKHOUSE CA MOMI is a traditional Italian & organic food restaurant serving premium, locallysourced, organic ingredients whenever possible in support of local purveyors and - When you want a delicious Prime ribrecipient dinner, steak or fresh CA MOMI a traditional Italian & organic food restaurant serving premium, locallyLA TOQUE’STRANCAS Chef KenisSTEAKHOUSE Frank’s landmark Napa Valley restaurant is the proud like-minded businesses Napa Valley. seafood, the place to goacross isAward thewhenever Trancas Steakhouse. Many called their bar the sourced, organic ingredients possible in support of local purveyors and of both a Michelin Star and The Grand from Wine Spectator. Thehave menu evolves

MEDITERRANEAN TARLA - True to our namesake, the Tarla Grill aims to yield nourishing, creative, and culturally exciting eats originating from Turkey and Greece, lands heralded for their cuisine and a culture that takes pride in the relationship between mankind and the land! We take our responsibility of ensuring the origins of our ingredients seriously and pride ourselves on using local, seasonal and organic fare whenever possible.

of the west. The across barstools areValley. occupied locals every night of the week. The like-minded businesses Napa constantly toCheers show off each season’s finest ingredients from abynetwork of local farmers walls aresupply covered photosofof happy (you know who you are somebody and purveyors who us with some the finestcustomers foods in the world. Our wine you make the wall.) Theyultimate do havefood pictures of celebrities including owners pairings are when considered by many to be the and wine experience. 1141 Napa CA 94559 NormFirst andStreet Christy Sawicki. (707) 257-4992 | www.camomienoteca.com/ The Westin Verasa Napa, 1314 McKinstry St, Napa, CA 94559 1141 First Street Napa CA 94559 707-257-5157 | Trancas www.latoque.com (707) 257-4992 | www.camomienoteca.com/ 999 Street, Napa, CA 94558 707-258-9990 | trancassteakhouse.com

1480 1st St, Napa, CA 94559 707-255-5599 | www.tarlagrill.com

MEXICAN / TEX-MEX JAPENESE CUISINE C CASA - We offer a fresh approach to tacos and much more. Fresh, made-to- order EIKO’S - Eiko’s delivers imaginative twists on traditional Japanese cuisine. Our vision white corn tortillas topped with ingredients like seasoned buffalo, rotisserie lamb, for the menu combines modern and authentic traditional Japanese cuisine including grilled prawns, fresh crab, micro greens, goat cheese, chipotle aioli and Serrano salsa. seasonal, fresh sustainable fish and ingredients delivered daily from our local markets And, we offer interesting small plates and salads, rotisserie meats and poultry and and purveyors. Inwith addition to traditional seasonal entrees a C CASA twist. raw fish preparation, our chefs creates a selection of innovative dishes inspired by our local culture and taste profiles featuring Napa as influence and inspiration. 610 1st St #B, Napa, CA 94559 / Oxbow Market 1385 Napa Town Center, Napa, CA 94559 | www.myccasa.com 707-226-7700 707-501-4444 | www.eikosnapa.com

80 70

discover dining+

al dining ial dining section section

AMERICAN GRILL & BAR AMERICAN CUISINE ITALIAN AMERICAN GRILL & BAR DOWNTOWN JOES - An American style grill united with quality and freshness. Our NAPA is GENERAL STORE -then Refreshing locals andflair visitors since 2002. Our riverside menu locally resourced cooked with the that is true Napa Valley. WeOurpatio DOWNTOWN JOES - An style grill united withthrough quality and freshness. IL POSTO TRATTORIA - We offer theAmerican traditional italian experience food, is an ideal spot for enjoying a meal with friends (including four-legged friends) and proudly feature salads, burgers, sandwiches, seafood, steaks, decadent houseWe made menu is locally resourced then cooked with the flair that is true Napa Valley. served in a casual setting in the beautiful Napa Valley. Our menu offers a variety slecfamily. Join for breakfast or lunch week - and our award-winning weekdesserts, andusmore modern pub grub.during the proudly feature salads, burgers, sandwiches, seafood, steaks, decadent house made tion of antipasta’s, salads, pizza’s along with freshly made pasta dishes. end brunch. Come for the food, stay for the great wines and artisan gifts!  We support desserts, more modern pub grub. local foodand purveyors and locally source our ingredients.  4211 Solano902 Ave, Napa, CA 94559 Main St, Napa, CA 94559 707-251-8600 | www.ilpostonapa.com 707-258-2337 | Napa, www.downtownjoes.com 540 CA 94559 902 Main Street St, Napa, CA 94559

Reserve online| www.downtownjoes.com at NapaGeneralStore.com or by calling 707-259-0762 707-258-2337

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MEDITERRANEAN AMERICAN EATERY SMALL WORLD - A world of flavor awaits at Small World Restaurant, where thebreakTHE GRILL AT SILVERADO, is a one-of-a-kind Napa Valley restaurant, serving menu features the and vibrant of the Mediterranean and theWine Middle East. Falafel, fast, lunch, dinner bar cuisine appetizers. The restaurant features Country Cuisine, Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Schwarma, Pita Sandwiches, Garden Salads,Napa, and the emphasizing fresh and sustainable products. Just minutes fromFresh downtown Fresh-Made Baklava. Grill overlooks one of the most beautiful golf courses on earth and offers a respite from the daily routine for everyone who visits. 928 Coombs Street (Downtown Napa), Napa, CA 94559 1600 Atlas Peak|Rd, Napa, CA 94558 | 707-257-5400 | www.silveradoresort.com 707-224-7743 SmallWorldRestaurant.com

AMERICAN CUISINE AMERICAN CUISINE NAPKINS - An American cuisine restaurant with an exciting scene for locals and travelers who happen upon them.Weekend brunch (11an amexciting to 3 pm) andfor onelocals of theand best NAPKINS - An American cuisine restaurant with scene travelhappy hours in Napa and drink specials 3 to nights the bar ers who happen upon(food them.Weekend brunch from (11 am to73pm). pm) Weekend and one of the best area turns electric with entertainment including live performances and dancing to happy hours in Napa (food and drink specials from 3 to 7 pm). Weekend nights the DJs bar

area turns electric with entertainment including live performances and dancing to DJs

1001 2nd St, Napa, CA 94559 707-927-5333 | www.napkinsnapa.com 1001 2nd St, Napa, CA 94559

707-927-5333 | www.napkinsnapa.com

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SHOPPING

FOOD + WINE

ÆRENA Galleries

Angele

Amelia’s Gifts

Basalt

Helen Lyall

Celadon

Ivy, Twig & Twine

Morimoto Napa

Napa River Velo

Napa General Store

Napa Valley Welcome Center Scott Lyall Clothes

RiverHouse by Bespoke Collection Sweetie Pies

Shoppe 12

Vintage Sweet Shoppe

Shoppe 12 girl

PAMPERING + STAY

Sidestreet Zuniga Optical

The best

Experience Napa Valley has to offer... in the Heart of Downtown Napa • exquisite restaurants + eateries • luxurious spas • live entertainment • one-of-a-kind shops • extraordinary accommodations

Napa River Inn

The Spa at Napa River Inn

NAPASRIVERFRONT.COM • FACEBOOK.COM/NAPASRIVERFRONT


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Napa Valley Life Magazine - Fall 2020 Edition  

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