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Napa Valley

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The St. Supery Experience: Day 2

…. So the Saturday St. Supery experience is all about the special programs the team has developed at St. Supery to give guests the total “St. Supery Experience” The most important thing you should know is that the winery recently remodeled their kitchen and added several exciting new entertaining areas so they will be able […]



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Visiting St. Supery: Day 1, Part 1

“Here’s your 4:30 am wake up call!” says an impossibly cheerful voice, rousing me from a melatonin-induced sleep. In the darkness of my hotel room I quickly dress … and think of the pickers who have been cutting Semillon grapes from their vines since 2am. I am in the Napa Valley this weekend to  take […]



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New WInemaker at Gary Farrell Winery

 Now it’s not typical of me to comment on new winemakers, yet I recently enjoyed recent vintages of Gary Farrell Winery so much I am taking note of Theresa Heredia as the new Winemaker on the Gary Farrell Winery team. The 2009 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir I experienced were so perfect I am curious what […]



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Food & wine Pairing at Cakebread Cellars during Symposium for Professional Wine Writers

Very interesting seminar at the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers — a “bean tasting” with various wines from Cakebread! It is based on Cakebread’s American Harvest Workshop which features five innovative chefs and eight small purveyors … a mini version for journalists visiting the symposium. Curious that the Chardonnay Reserve 09 has natural acidity, even […]



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Conversation with Michael Richmond of Bouchaine Vineyards, Carneros

  “Roasting a barrel is like roasting coffee,” says colorfully-spoken winemaker and GM of Bouchaine Vineyards, Michael Richmond. We are talking about the influence of French oak on the 2008 Pinot Noir, and as is the case when wine geeks get together, the conversation turns to toast (not the kind you have at breakfast) and […]



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Update on Marston Family Vineyard Wine Dinner at Park Avenue Spring

Elizabeth Marston and Husband Jamie of Marston Family Winery at Park Avenue Spring   Last Thursday it was very exciting to meet Elizabeth Marston and her husband Jamie, who with Elizabeth’s parents run Marston Family Vineyard in the Napa Valley. Of course, with Auction Napa Valley 2011 (# ANV11) beginning this coming June 2, 2011 […]



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Auction Napa Valley: Focus on Erna Schein Boutique Winery

“All I wanted was an almond croissant,” says winemaker and co-woner Les Behrens of Erna Schein winery (formerly known as Behrens & Hitchcock). Les is talking about the fateful day in 1996 when he and wife and winery co-owner Lisa Drinkward drove to Los Angeles and had the fortuitous idea of dropping a bottle of […]



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Auction Napa Valley 2011: Focus on Signorello Estate e-auction

  So you know all about the e-auction that opens May 29, 2011 in alignment with the Auction Napa Valley 2011, yes? I am spotlighting certain producers and interesting lots that every wine lover (and supporter of the Napa Valley’s charities) should know about. Today the focus is on Signorello Estates … a premium winery […]



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Exciting 2011 Napa Valley E-Auction Lots

  Some people like the excitement and energy of a live auction … others prefer to relax in the comfort of their own (international!) homes. Yes, the Napa Valley Auction is now also electronic … starting May 29, 2011 wine lovers around the globe can bid on and win lots.  There are lots of fun […]



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Napa’s Marston Family Vineyard Comes to NYC

  Look at the incredible aerial view of Marston Family Vineyard above … even so far away, one gets an incredible sense of the soil that produces such incredible Cabernet Sauvignon. Marston Family Vineyard was first planted in the late 1890’s on the southern slopes of Spring Mountain, just west of St. Helena. The vineyard […]



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Napa Valley Wine Auction: June 2 – 5, 2011

  Have you been to the Napa Valley Wine Auction? It is held this year June 2- 5 and is such an incredible long celebratory weekend. This past January, more than sixty winemakers and winery owners came to New York to present their wines for the trade and press in anticipation of the (trade-only) Premiere […]



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Lunch with Susan Krausz of Arkenstone Vineyards

  “Have you tasted their Sauvignon Blanc? It rocks!” To be clear, we are speaking of the 2007 Sauvignon Blanc from the Arkenstone Vineyards estate in Howell Mountain. And “rock” is the appropriate word, for even though this is a California Sauvignon Blanc, the minerality is incredible. “Limestone soil?” I ask owner Susan Krausz over […]



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Lunch with Shirley Roy of Roy Estate

It’s always fun when the Napa Vintners association comes to New York — the owners and winemakers take a break from pouring at consumer and press functions, and are able to relax a bit and talk about their wines. I first met Shirley Roy a few years ago at a trade event … and had […]



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Stags Leap & Cask 23′s Nicki Pruss comes to New York

Today the American Sommelier Society invited their members to hear Nicki Pruss, winemaker for Stags Leap present her wines. I had met Nicki last year at the Master of Wine conference in Napa, as the winery invited us to tour the vineyards and meet Nicki and tsste the wines. Today’s tastings started with 2008 Arcadia […]



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Robert Mondavi Private Selection

  .. in these economic times everyone is looking for a way to get great quality wine at a value. The "private selection" name sounds posh but the bottom line is  that this new brand offers both value and quality because of the Mondavi name. I tried both the 2008 Meritage and Cabernet Sauvignon and […]



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Sparklers: Schramsberg takes on Champagne

  Rather risky, don’t you think, to put a California sparkling wine up for comparison among some of the best houses in Champagne? Yet that’s what Hugh Davies did in NYC recently when presenting his sparkling wines to a very select group of journalists. “Of course, I can detect a California sparkler!” you might think […]



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V. Sattui Winery in the Napa Valley

Brooks Painter, winemaker   … so recently I received three wines from V. Sattui Winery, a family owned winery dedicated to making handcrafted wines in small lots. As is the current trend, the wines are only sold at the winery or direct shipped. This is a practice that makes sense in our competitive market, and […]



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Q/A with Dennis Cakebread of Cakebread Cellars

… it’s always fun to sit next to a winemaker / winery owner during a wine dinner at a top restaurant like Park Avenue Spring in New York City. It was the first time I would meet Dennis Cakebread, and it was a thrill to be able to taste the wines and pepper him with […]



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News at Ma(i)sonry & Blackbird Vineyards

Taylor Mason, Resident Chef …. it seems like I’ve been going to the Napa Valley every few weeks this year. Only February, and I’ve been in late January for the Master of Wine educational seminar and just last week, the Symposium for Professional Wine Journalists and the Premiere Napa Valley Barrel Auction. Usually Yountville looks […]



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Nearly $2 Million Raised at Premiere Napa Valley Barrel-Futures Auction

Gary Fisch (stripped shirt) of Gary’s Wine and Marketplace (location New Jersey) ,,, so here I am, freshly returned to NYC after a week in Napa tasting fantastic wine, spending time with fellow journalists at the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood, and attending many of the festivities and tastings leading up to the […]