Tag Archives: Napa Valley

The Varietal Show Hangs At Lang & Reed In Napa Valley

Get comfy for an in depth conversation about Lang & Reed, with Proprietor and Winemaker John Skupny. On The Varietal Show we will taste and get the stories behind his Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Franc de Pied from his St Helena winery, as well as how he and wife Tracey transplanted from the midwest to land in Napa Valley. So much to say we just could not fit it all in!

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NVL: #MerlotMe Month In Napa Valley!

It is MERLOT MONTH and timely to share my varietal article that appeared in Napa Valley Life. Here is a starter to lure you in, finish it up by following the READ MORE link to their site. . . Cheers!

MERLOT: Tracking its renaissance in Napa Valley

Over the past 50 years, it’s hard to imagine where the wine mecca of Napa Valley would be if not for Merlot’s early success, the noble red grape variety that burst on the scene in the late 1970s. Especially when one considers the series of phenomenal accomplishments that this amiable grape made as the leading wine purchased by American wine consumers, retailers, and sommeliers in the 1980s and 1990s.

In the beginning, Merlot was mainly used as a blending grape in the famous wine-growing region of Bordeaux in France before it arrived in the New World. But that started to change after classic Napa Valley brands like Louis M. Martini, Newton, Sterling, and Trefethen slowly worked with the grape after World War II, and Duckhorn Vineyards became the first winery to bottle the variety on its own in the late 1970s.

When the inaugural  Duckhorn releases hit the market in 1978, the  Merlot was priced at $10.50 and the Cabernet Sauvignon at $10.00. According to veteran winemaker Tom Rinaldi, who crafted the spirited Duckhorn wines for the first three decades, the price differ- ence reflected not only the great potential of Merlot in the marketplace but also the challenges that go along with finding the best sites to plant a grape that performs best in more moderate climate areas. . .

NVL: Rosé Style Wines for All Occasions

With a nod to National Rosé Day on June 12th, read my varietal article from the April 2021 issue of Napa Valley Life! Here is a starter to lure you in, finish it up by following the READ MORE link to their site. . . Cheers! Christopher

Drink Pink

“Pink sunshine” and “freshness in a glass” are catchy phrases Robert Sinskey winemaker Jeff Virnig uses to describe the winery’s latest release of the 2020 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, a complex pink wine with bright, fruity flavors, crisp acidity, and long dry finish. With a brilliant pale salmon hue, this signature style has become the benchmark for where classy pink wines have come over the past thirty years and one of the many reasons wine lovers flock to Napa Valley in the springtime to get their hands on these energetic young wines before they sell out.

The road to rosé’s popularity in Napa Valley did not happen overnight.

When Virnig started making rosé in1991, his goal was to create a fun, quaffable, food-friendly wine that added instant excitement to gatherings any time it was served. But at the time, the impression pink wines were making on American consumers was swayed by the sugary imports like Mateus and Lancers, which flooded the marketplace in the late 1960s. When Sutter Home Family Vineyards winemaker Bob Trinchero released their White Zinfandel in 1975, people went crazy for it, but it was still snubbed by serious wine drinkers.

As a result, the first few vintages of the Robert Sinskey Vin Gris were sold to wine buyers and sommeliers in New York City, who catered to world travelers that were already familiar with the drier  styles  of rosé produced in France, Italy, Spain and German. As the years passed, this learning curve gave Virnig and other adventurous winemakers of Napa Valley time to develop special techniques now being used to create various expressions of rosé wines.

NVL: Napa Valley & Cabernet Sauvignon

Back in November 2020, my Cabernet Sauvignon varietal article appeared in Napa Valley Life. Here is a starter to lure you in, finish it up by following the READ MORE link to their site. . . Cheers! Christopher

A Perfect Match

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.

At  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 Rutherford- based 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 large- scale plantings, which began when Robert Mondavi opened his winery in Oakville in 1966 . . .

Chardonnay Classic: On Site In Napa Valley! May 20-22

The 2021 Chardonnay Classic, from May 20-22, 2021 will reunite wine enthusiasts’ minds and palates to celebrate the greatness of Chardonnay. One of the world’s most beloved, dynamic, and delicious grape varieties. This inaugural gathering will feature some of the finest domestic and international producers of Chardonnay and will take place at the Meritage and Vista Collina Resorts.

A weekend of indulgence curated by master sommeliers and acclaimed winemakers set in the beautiful Napa Valley. The program features iconic wine country experiences, gourmet lunches, luxury dinners and 22 unique tastings that culminate in a Grand Tasting of Chardonnay. Vintners, industry experts, and enthusiasts alike gather together to celebrate the incredible range of Chardonnay!

Purchase your full weekend ticket before 5/8 and save $300 with Early Bird pricing! Use promo code CHARD15 to claim the savings. To purchase your Chardonnay Classic ticket(s) click “TICKETS”.