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V Sattui Winery : History of the V Sattui Winery:

Dario Sattui remembers visiting Vittorio, his great-grandfather, who continued to live upstairs at the long dormant Bryant Street winery until his death at age 94. "As a small child, my first recollection was the aroma of wine emanating from the old building as soon as I entered," he says. He played among the barrels and ovals in the cellars, stories of the old family wine business ringing in his ears. It was then, Dario believes, that the dream of reopening the winery began.                                    
 
In 1972, after two years in Europe beyond college, Dario began his apprenticeship at various Napa Valley wineries. He still had his dream, the same dream he'd had as a child. Dario pledged he "would reestablish V. Sattui Winery to its former glory." 
 
But just how to do this was the problem. Dario had almost no capital and little practical knowledge of the wine industry. So he dedicated himself to developing the tools and skills he'd need to make the dream become a reality. Soon Dario had developed a business plan and began looking for prospective investors. Later, he found a parcel of land for sale that had a small walnut orchard with an old house on it. Dario remembers bringing prospective investors to the property telling them, "'Here is where we will build our winery,' all the while afraid that the people living on the property would throw me off for trespassing." Since he couldn't afford to purchase the property outright, he managed to get a lease-option for $500 a month. "The house was in such bad condition we lived in my VW bus for more than a month while making it suitable enough to live in."
 
Time passed as Dario continued to look for investors, but there were no takers. With his last $500, he paid for one more month on the property. Dario had only raised half the capital he needed to begin the winery, but he managed during that "last" month to talk a Napa real estate broker into buying the property, building a small winery on it, and then leasing it to Dario with an option to purchase it back sometime in the future. Still short of funds, Dario enlisted investors without money, but with the skills needed to help him create the winery building. That summer, July of 1975, they began construction, and it was finished in early 1976.
 
Renting the winemaking equipment he needed, using his great-grandfather's hand-corking machine and Vittorio's original design for the wine labels, the winery was open for business.
 
When Dario had lived in Europe, he'd remembered seeing small, family-run neighborhood delis filled with freshly made foods and wonderful selections of cheese. He was able to convert this memory into what was to become the perfect match for great wine, V. Sattui's famous Cheese Shop and Deli. Years passed and the struggle continued. Slowly, the winemaking process improved and success came. However, in those first few years, times were hard and Dario lived frugally, sometimes spending his nights sleeping on the floor of the winery so he could put what money he had into the new business. The original winery building is now the Tasting Room, Cheese Shop and Deli and Gift Shop.
 
As business grew, Dario began to be able to accumulate the best equipment available.
 
By 1985, V. Sattui Winery was able to build a beautiful stone winery amid the venerable 250 year-old oaks, reminiscent of the late 19th century wineries in Italy and France. With its two stories, tower, wine caves and underground aging cellars, its completion was a fitting tribute to help celebrate the centennial of Vittorio's dream. That same year, the 34-acre vineyard adjacent to the winery became available.
 
Renamed Suzanne's Vineyard, after his wife, it was soon joined by Carsi Vineyard in Yountville, followed in 1993 by the 556-acre Henry Ranch property in the Carneros grape-growing region, and then in 1998, a 128-acre ranch in Solano County. These, along with other acquisitions, will in the near future allow V. Sattui Winery to supply over 85% of its grape needs from five very distinct microclimates.
 
From the very beginning, Dario refused to compromise on the quality of the wine. The production and retailing concept offers insight into the reasons for V. Sattui Winery's success. Dario's vision has always been to fully integrate the process of winemaking from the grape to the consumer. This vertical control over all aspects of viticulture, winemaking, and sales is the future for V. Sattui Winery. It is because of Dario Sattui's dream that it has been able to provide the finest wines possible while continuing to sell them at a fair price directly to its customers.

V Sattui Winery

JimG944

History of the V Sattui Winery: Dario Sattui remembers visiting Vit ...

Updated: Aug 16, 2014 6:43pm PST

Castello di Amorosa : Tour Castello di Amorosa a 12th century Tuscan castle-winery where you may taste world-class Napa Valley wines made by a fourth generation winemaking family in a tradition of over 120 years.

The Winery: After decades of researching and studying medieval castles throughout Europe, Dario Sattui began his marathon building project in 1993.

The 121,000 square foot Castello includes, 107 unique rooms, 8,000 tons of hand-squared stones, 8 levels (4 below ground), 900 feet of caves, a completely hand-painted Great Hall, a drawbridge, moat, dungeon and torture chamber, a consecrated chapel, one of the most impressive wine barrel rooms in the U.S. constructed with ancient brick Roman cross-vaulted ceilings.

Yet, the Castle is merely a backdrop to showcase some of Napa Valley’s best wines. The castle produces a tiny 15,000 cases which are sold only at the winery; directly to the customer.

The Vineyards and Wines: Castello di Amorosa has 30 acres of vineyards surrounding its great, hand-chiseled walls, gates, and guard towers, planted with Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon which produce low yields and intensely flavored wines. The Castle produces hand-crafted Italian style wines including Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco and a Super Tuscan Blend all made to pair beautifully with food.

Castello di Amorosa

JimG944

Tour Castello di Amorosa a 12th century Tuscan castle-winery where you ...

Updated: Aug 16, 2014 6:12pm PST

Domaine Carneros Vineyards & Winery : Welcome to Domaine Carneros Vineyards & Winery
Domaine Carneros in the heart of Carneros, is the California expression of the tradition and excellence of its founder, Champagne Taittinger. Established in 1987, Domaine Carneros is considered a regional landmark. Exquisite views of endless vineyard-covered hills are the perfect setting to savor their wines. 

History
In the late 1970’s, Claude Taittinger, the president of Champagne Taittinger, proclaimed his faith in the future of American wines and began the search on U.S. soil for a suitable winery site. In 1987, Champagne Taittinger, along with partner Kobrand Corporation, selected a 138 acre parcel in the heart of Carneros, a viticultural appellation they recognized to have the potential to produce world class sparkling wines. Also in 1987, Claude Taittinger selected Eileen Crane to oversee the planning and development of the property, as the winery’s first and only winemaker. 
CEO/Founding Winemaker Eileen Crane has been at the helm of Domaine Carneros since the first harvest and continues to oversee and direct winemaking and operational duties.

Domaine Carneros Vineyards & Winery

JimG944

Welcome to Domaine Carneros Vineyards & Winery Domaine Carneros in th ...

Updated: Apr 29, 2012 4:34pm PST

Stags Leap : On the watershed of the Stags Leap Palisades, one of California’s earliest wine estates…
 
The Stags’ Leap Estate
 On one of California’s earliest wine estates, a unique terroir and ideal microclimate support a classical standard of viticulture, land use, and winemaking that is as relevant today as it was over a century ago.
 
An intimate valley within the greater Napa Valley, Stags’ Leap is a place of natural beauty, storied buildings and gardens, a lively history, and a reputation for elegant wines showing finesse and intensity.

Stags Leap

JimG944

On the watershed of the Stags Leap Palisades, one of California’s ea ...

Updated: Sep 27, 2011 7:09pm PST

Clos du Val Winery : Experience Clos Du Val’s 35 year tradition of producing classic, estate-style wines of balance, complexity and elegance. Visit Clos Du Val in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley, California.

About Clos Du Val
In 1970, American businessman John Goelet sent French-born winemaker Bernard Portet off with a passport and a mission to find new territory with the potential to produce world-class wines. Two years and five continents later, Portet landed in California. Portet got a sense of Napa Valley’s microclimates by driving through the area with his arm out the car window. Struck by the cool evenings and idyllic terrain of the then-undiscovered Stags Leap District, he proposed the area to Goelet. Convinced, Goelet acquired 150 acres of land and founded Clos Du Val, a “small estate of a small valley,” in 1972. Soon thereafter Clos Du Val became one of the first wineries to stake a claim on some of the finest hillside land in the cool-climate region of Carneros, purchasing 180 acres in 1973.

Portet’s old-world approach to winemaking combined with Napa Valley fruit established Clos Du Val’s tradition of classic estate-style wines of balance, elegance and complexity. The first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon in 1972 was one of only six California Cabernets selected for the now-legendary 1976 Paris Tasting. That same vintage took first place in a rematch 10 years later, proving that Clos Du Val wines age with grace.

Today co-founder and vice chairman Bernard Portet is joined by vice president of vineyards and winery operations John Clews. The two make blending decisions as a team and share a passion for creating wines that complement a meal and have the proven ability to age for many years. Clos Du Val's elegant wines illustrate that a classic is always in style.

Clos du Val Winery

JimG944

Experience Clos Du Val’s 35 year tradition of producing classic, est ...

Updated: Sep 27, 2011 6:58pm PST

Opus One Winery : One of the biggest names in the wine-making business, Opus One started out as a collaborative venture between Robert Mondavi and the late Baron Philippe De Rothschild. A sprawling winery, it uses only state-of-the-art production techniques and turns out about 25,000 cases of wine annually. Priced at $150 a bottle, it certainly is a hefty price for a bottle of wine. Wine connoisseurs, however, don't seem to mind paying this sum at all - Opus One is reputed to produce some of the best wine in the world.

Opus One Winery

JimG944

One of the biggest names in the wine-making business, Opus One started ...

Updated: Jan 27, 2011 7:01pm PST

Phelps Winery : Founded in 1972, Joseph Phelps Vineyards is an independent, estate-based winery located outside of St. Helena. Perched on a knoll in bucolic Spring Valley, the graceful redwood winery overlooks vineyard-studded hills, the town of St. Helena and the Mayacamas Mountains to the west. 

After years of studying the complex relationship between wine quality and place, and understanding the importance of "terroir," Phelps has developed estate-owned vineyards in the premiere growing regions of Stag's Leap, Rutherford, Oakville, Oak Knoll and the eastern foothills of Napa. In Sonoma County, an ambitious project was undertaken in 1999 to purchase land and develop vineyards along the western frontier of the Sonoma Coast, and today Phelps has 80 acres of Pinot Noir and 20 acres of Chardonnay planted in Freestone. A small winery in the midst of the Freestone vineyards is currently under construction.

Varietals produced annually at Phelps include Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Insignia (one of California's most successful first growth luxury blends), Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, several Rhône-style wines, and a luscious dessert wine made from Scheurebe.

Annual production fluctuates between 65-80,000 cases, and it is a source of pride that 90% of all wine produced comes from estate-owned vineyards.

Phelps Winery

JimG944

Founded in 1972, Joseph Phelps Vineyards is an independent, estate-bas ...

Updated: Jan 27, 2011 6:07pm PST

Geyser Peak Winery : Terroir where the land gives rise to a wine's personality. The French have a distinctive term for the uniqueness a vineyard contributes to a wine's flavor. Terroir (pronounced ter-wahr) is the unique combination of each vineyard's natural factors: soil, climate, altitude, length of season, and even slope of the ground. Changing these characteristics can produce strikingly different wines from the same fruit variety, very much the way a particular kind of coffee can taste different if the bean is grown in Kenya versus Hawaii.Geyser Peak Winery sources most of its grapes from the unique terroirs of beautiful Sonoma County. Home to a diverse topography, Sonoma County reaches from the Pacific Ocean to the drier inland areas, from lush valleys to steep rocky hillsides. This diversity makes Sonoma County one of the most exciting places on earth to grow grapes and make wine.

Geyser Peak Winery

JimG944

Terroir where the land gives rise to a wine's personality. The French ...

Updated: Jan 25, 2011 6:34am PST

Napa & San Fran Trip - signs along the way.... : Places we visited on out trip in 2010

Napa & San Fran Trip - signs along th...

Greg Olear

Places we visited on out trip in 2010

Updated: Jul 21, 2010 7:39pm PST

Napa Top 35 : Napa & San Fran Trip June 2010

Napa Top 35

Greg Olear

Napa & San Fran Trip June 2010

Updated: Jul 08, 2010 8:50am PST

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