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We are proud to announce four new inductees to our Hall of Fame for the year 2012. With our sincere appreciation and congratulations, they join a select group of other cherished members.
Nancy and Greg Andersen
Nancy first discovered V. Sattui when she moved to California in 1994, but Greg and Nancy didn’t get serious about enjoying and collecting wine until a few years later when they “rediscovered” V. Sattui through their good friends (and fellow Hall of Famers) Doug and Laura Johnson. “What keeps us coming back year after year are Tom (Davies), Chris (Rota) and the rest of the staff, “ says Greg. “They’re all fantastic in teaching us about the wines. And we really enjoy the beautiful picnic grounds, the delicious gourmet deli and of course partaking in the yearly Barrel Tasting Party. V. Sattui has something for everyone; and our favorite wines keep changing. Our current favorites include the Henry Ranch Pinot Noir, many of the Zins and Cabs, and the Carneros Chardonnay.”
Jennifer and Dave Dehlman
Jen is a nurse practitioner and Dave is director of operations for a tech company. They initially visited V. Sattui after their wedding in the summer of 1999 and their first experience included a Gamay Rouge and a Family Red on the winery's front lawn. They instantly fell in love and joined the Wine Club. They’ve since celebrated anniversaries here and have brought the Johnsons and Fordhams into the fold. “Thank You, V. Sattui for twelve years of wonderful wines and hospitality. We look forward to spending a long enjoyable life with you by our sides!” They recently took a “temporary” 3-year assignment to Shanghai and are now trying to figure out how to get V. Sattui wines to China!
Dawn and Thomas Johnson
Dawn is a chemical engineer and Thomas an IT network administrator. “The Dehlmans invited us to visit Napa Valley in 2002 to celebrate both our wedding anniversaries,” says Thomas. “It was amazing to actually visit the winery whose wine we admired so much. We loved V. Sattui and became instant Gold Cellar Club members for life! You can’t beat the people, the atmosphere, or the wine! We are all big Zinfandel fans and I believe our all-time favorite would have to be the 1999 Suzanne’s Zin! We have since wowed many friends with wines from V. Sattui and we are somehow always asked to bring the wine to parties and get-togethers!”
Vikki and Larry Fordham
Vikki and Larry are IT professionals near Cleveland. “Our first trip to Napa,” says Larry, “was organized by Thomas (Johnson) and Dave (Dehlman) who have been V. Sattui Gold Card members for a number of years. Little did we know how that trip—which culminated in a 4½ hour spectacular wine tasting at V.Sattui–would forever change our palates!” He adds, “We spend our summer weekends boating on western Lake Erie and enjoy sharing V. Sattui wines with our dockmates!” Maybe some future Hall of Famers?
Laura and Doug Johnson
San Jose, California
Doug’s history with V Sattui goes back to 1976 when he made his first visit to the winery. At that time the total production was counted in bottles rather than cases. Doug and Laura are regular visitors to the Winery, especially at the Barrel Tasting every year buying futures. Their current wine collection totals about 4000 bottles, 1000 of which are V. Sattui wines, with 10-year verticals on most of the Cabernets. “Laura prefers the Morisoli Cabernet,” says Doug, “and I prefer the Preston, so we always buy both! We enjoy the Zinfandels, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays also...actually there’s nothing we don’t like!!
Jim & Pat Kruswicki
Jim and Pat have been coming to V. Sattui Winery for the past 18 years. They regularly attend our midsummer Festa Italiana and have introduced many friends and family members to V. Sattui’s great wines. One of their favorites was the ’97 Howell Mountain Zinfandel. They say that the arrival of their Wine-of-the-Month Club shipment puts a smile on their faces each month as they enjoy trying new wines from their favorite winery!
Stan & Marge Kinoshita
The Kinoshitas have been regular customers since the mid-1970s, when Stan told the gentleman pouring samples for him in the Tasting Room how much he really enjoyed the wines. He says, “I found out later the man had been Dario Sattui...I nearly flipped! We’ve been visiting the Winery every year since. Chris and Jay have become friends in the Cellar Club and Tom always pays us a visit when we’re there. And the wines have just become better and better over the years. Aloha.”
Allan Pallarito lives in the mountains of Colorado and has been enjoying V. Sattui wines for over a quarter of a century. He's the President of a fiber optic company and says he has about 1,000 bottles of V. Sattui wines in his cellar, with the fortunate problem of a lot of stock over 10-to-15 years old!
Two of his prized possessions (shown here) are a bottle each of the 1985 Preston Vineyard Cabernet (Centennial Vintage) and 1980 Reserve Zinfandel, still wrapped in the original purple tissue.
Allan says, "Thank you for all the memorable moments I have enjoyed while drinking your special nectar!"
Lake Forest Park, Washington
A Seattle native, Jack Tonkin started two companies in his business career, affording the opportunity to travel and discover wines throughout the world. He moved from French whites in the 1960's to California red wines in the '90's, which make make up about three-quarters of his 600-bottle cellar. Tasting premium wines on a ten-day Napa Valley vacation brought him to V. Sattui where he found "a very laid-back winery with a deli and picnic area. We had a leisurely, wonderful afternoon. It was amazing."
Every year Jack orders a ton of wine and sends it exclusively as holiday gifts. He says. "My friends really loved your ''05 Zindfandels this year!" Those in the Seattle area can say hello to Jack, who will co-chair the Seattle Alzheimer's annual auction/dinner on March 15th.
Richard Devine is a long-time friend of the Winery. He's a manufacturer of products for the health and beauty industry and has been visiting us and buying V. Sattui wines since 1986, timing many of his visits with the events we hold each year.
Richard says, "I purchase V. Sattui wine for family and friends on a regular basis and feel that wines are some of the best in the world. Recently I bought three magnums of 2000 Preston Vineyard Cabernet and still think it's the best wine I have ever had."
Neil & Sandy Schroeder
Married 26 years, with three children, the Schroeders have lived in Colorado, Texas, New York and California and have always enjoyed V. Sattui wines wherever they've been. They share a special bond with Winery President Tom Davies for it was he who served them their first glass of V. Sattui wine years ago, a '97 Tom Davies Reserve Cabernet and "it was a big hit." says Neil.
When the whole family (father, mother, brother & sister) wanted to attend the Harvest Ball in 2005 and they had no babsitter, it was Tom who suggested they park their motor home in our vineyard "so the kids could watch Disney while the grown-ups enjoyed a wonderful night of culinary delights, music and...great wines! Thanks for the memories!" says Neil.
One more thing in common: they have a Bernese Mountain dog. Tom has three.
Lahori Ram and his wife Prito have been V. Sattui wine lovers for more than twenty years. Lahori, now Commissioner for Economic Development for the State of California. is originally from India; Prito came from the Fiji Islands. They make their home south of San Francisco.
Each time they visit V. Sattui, they bring visiting dignitaries or their extended family, to whom they have passed on their love of wine. Sons Jack and Paul are attorneys, daughter Jackie is an MBA candidate. The children attest that Lahori has more than 800 bottles in his cellar, a majority of them V. Sattui reds!
Thom’s been coming to V. Sattui Winery for twenty years now. His first visit was in 1987 and he became a Cellar Club member the following year. Despite living on the other side of the country, he still visits a couple times each year, usually for the Harvest Ball or to stock up on futures; he especially likes the Carsi and Carneros Chardonnays and Preston Cabernets. He also likes to sing, and amazed everyone a few years ago when he stood up and sang opera at a Harvest Ball. A family nurse practitioner by trade, Thom is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army and has been on activated status since 2005.
Carol & Mike Chiricuzio
She’s a vice principal and second grade teacher originally from Ohio; he’s an auto center systems administrator & internet director from Pennsylvania. They say Pittsburg, CA, where they’ve settled the last 18 years, is a “great place to live because it’s only 45 minutes from V. Sattui Winery!”
They’ve been visiting since first attending our 1992 Harvest Ball. “It was a magical evening,” Mike says. “We haven’t missed a Harvest Ball since.”
Michael & Katherine Cuno
Randolph, New Jersey
The Cunos have enjoyed V. Sattui wines for nearly three decades. While living in the Bay Area in the 1970s and ‘80s, they became regular visitors. “In addition to great wines, the picnic area made V. Sattui family-friendly, very important to us, with three young daughters,” notes Katherine. “While we tasted, the kids played and ate animal crackers.”
When a corporate move took them to the East Coast, the Cunos became long-distance futures buyers of a wide range of Sattui reds, notably the Cabs, Zins, Pinot and Merlot.
They recently returned for a Cellar Club visit with oldest daughter Leslie who, upon sampling the Eagle Point Zinfandel pronounced it “definitely better than animal crackers” before ordering a case of futures.
Michael says, “Now our other daughters want to know when we’re taking them tasting at V. Sattui!”
Jim & Heather Amey
Oregon City, Oregon
Jim and Heather live with their two favorite Labs near Portland, where Jim owns a rep firm for electrical construction products. Jim’s been a member of our Wine of the Month Club for quite a while and is in the Red Wine program,; but he calls every month to see what the Premier program is receiving and most months gets both!
Jim likes Cabernets and other big reds; Heather prefers our Chardonnays and is actually allergic to red wines. “It took a long time to find someone with a red wine allergy,” says Jim. “It was a lengthy screening process.”
Uh, Jim, does Heather happen to have a sister?
Born in California’s Central Valley and now residing with her husband Jack in south Florida, Sue is the “Gamay Rouge Lady” and “proud of it!” she says. When she calls the Winery to place an order, she simply says, “It’s the Gamay Rouge Lady,” and we say, “Hi, Sue!”
She’s been an avid fan of V. Sattui wines since the early ‘80s and says she likes our Gamay Rouge “with lunch or dinner, by the pool, with everything!”
She and Jack adopted a retired racing greyhound who gets away quite often and likes to run. “We can’t have a fence where we live,” Sue says, “so we just let him run. He can get up to 42 mph, so it sometimes takes a while to track him down.”
The Perrys & Hamptons
Cheryl Hurd Perry and Brenda Hampton are sisters. Along with husbands Dana and Alvin, they’ve been visiting V. Sattui for years. “We love the wines and use V. Sattui as a destination for all of our guests who come to town,” says Cheryl. Brenda agrees, “The food is great, the wines are outstanding, especially the Rieslings, Madeira and Vintage Port, and the employees are wonderful.”
They attend the Tax Relief Party and each year bring more and more extended family and friends. “Last year there were eighteen of us!” says Brenda, “Alvin and I got married the next day, but we still came to the party because we didn’t want to miss all the fun!”
Dan & Alice Bowman
Raleigh, North Carolina
Dan’s teaches turfgrass science at N.C. State. He says he’d been attracted to the “free golf” in the PhD studies in turfgrass at U.C. Davis, but “in retrospect,” he laments, “I probably should have opted for viticulture and free wine!”
“My first, and most memorable, tasting at V. Sattui was in 1978. There wasn’t much to the Winery at the time, except the wines, which blew the other places we visited that day right out of the water. We’ve been drinking your wines ever since. Thank goodness you can ship to NC! My favorite is probably the Morisoli Cab, but it’s awfully hard to pick just one. My wife agrees, and we’ve concluded that if shipwrecked on a deserted island with wines from only one winery, they’d be from V. Sattui.”
Chris & Leigh Cortez
Born in Vacaville, California, Chris Cortez joined the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from Marietta College in Ohio. On one of his return visits twenty years ago, he discovered V. Sattui and became a Cellar Club member. “Buying futures is the way to go,” he says, listing Morisoli & Preston Cabernets and Duarte Zinfandels his favorites.
His wife enjoys our Chardonnays. Chris and Leigh hosted their son’s wedding at V. Sattui in 2003 and said, “It was beautiful!” Having recently retired from the Corps as a Major General, Chris plans on spending more time “helping” Jay in the Cellar Club.
The Harsacky-Schramm-Brumberg Family
It was in the 1980s that Tom Schramm discovered V. Sattui while on a business trip. He later introduced his father-in-law, Frank, to “the fine wines and fine people of V. Sattui,” and together with their wives they have made numerous Wine Country visits in the last twenty years, with the main stop being at V. Sattui for a “wine fest” and lavish picnic.
Loyal members of the Wine of the Month Club for several years, last April they brought young Bob into the fold and, according to Frank, he’s got “four more grandsons to recruit!” and adds, “We knew V. Sattui was the ‘Best Winery in California’ long before the 2004 State Fair!”
David & Kay Holloman
Raleigh, North Carolina
While visiting San Francisco on business 18 years ago, the Hollomans spent “half a day of modest quality wines perfunctorily offered by indifferent staff at a number of Napa wineries” and pulled into V. Sattui for a picnic lunch, only to discover “far better wines cheerfully offered.” For that reason, they’ve become customers for life. “That sense of connecting with the consumer is pervasive at V. Sattui,”
Dave says, “There are many producers of fine wines in Napa [Valley,] but V. Sattui is unique in understanding their customers and getting to know them as individuals…our appreciation of wine has benefited greatly from our association with V. Sattui Winery."
Leonard and Loretta Willis
Leonard and Loretta have been married for 47 years and have been visiting V. Sattui every year since they first discovered us in 1978. “Having visited 125 different wineries in the Napa Valley, we consider V. Sattui the single best winery there, Leonard says. He is an engineer and shipbuilder.
Their restored 1895 home has a basement “dairy room” converted into a wine cellar holding 3500 bottles, 2000 of which are V. Sattui. Leonard reports they are enlarging the cellar to accommodate our next shipment!
Richard and Sandra Bracken
The Brackens, shown here with a vertical of Preston Cabernets, have been Cellar Club members for many years. Richard is on the board of directors of the American Institute of Wine & Food in Littleton, where their cellar has an entire wall devoted to V. Sattui wines! They attend the Harvest Balls and always look forward to visiting with Lilia, “a true wonder.”
“V. Sattui holds a special place in our lives,” Richard says.
You could say John is in the “body parts” business. He’s CFO of a Florida non-profit foundation providing organ and tissue transplantation, a very rewarding endeavor. Where others hunt or golf, John and his friends use their leisure time to hunt for “The Big Red,” taking them to the world’s great wine regions. Although he collects many different wines—most notably our single-vineyard Cabernets—he specializes in Vintage Port and calls our Madeira “most unique, a wonderful, fabulous wine.”
Hal and Leslie Eckert Dan and Chris Parker
Park City, Utah
Here’s a foursome that always seems to be together and one that will always let you play through. The Parkers own three shops in Park City and are knee-deep in Olympics visitors this year. They love to come to V. Sattui in the fall for the “excitement of the harvest…our wonderful Deli and great red wines.” They always come with the Eckerts (she’s a loan officer, he sells electric signs), who visit for all of our Valley’s great restaurants and wineries, but love V. Sattui and all the people here.
Dan and Hal enjoy cooking—they attended our first Cooking School and had a blast, while their wives took in the mud baths. When getting together on special evenings, the guys do all the cooking and the girls just kick back and drink wine. V. Sattui, of course.
Robert D. Schmidt, M.D. and Carolyn Schmidt
Dr. Bobby Schmidt grew up in Queens, N.Y., the second of nine children. He’s a gastroenterologist in Norman, OK, and became interested in wines in 1993, when he’d paid off his school loans and could afford to dine in places with “wine lists.”
He and his wife Carolyn love to travel and enjoy finding great wines you can’t buy everywhere. “Of the many Napa Valley wineries we’ve visited, V. Sattui, with its exceptional wines, wonderful staff and excellent customer service, is our favorite,” says Doctor Bobby.
“Recently we had a ‘brown bag’ blind-tasting party with twenty friends who’d each brought a bottle, and the ’97 Morisoli Cabernet was the top vote-getter. And the perfect way to end all our dinner parties is with the V. Sattui Madeira.”
Bruce & Pat Howard
After retiring in the late 1960s from a major league pitching career with the White Sox, Orioles and Senators, Bruce Howard opened an insurance agency in Sarasota. He says, “When we first visited V. Sattui in the early ‘90s we learned a lot from our talks and tours with Tom Davies.” Bruce is a fan of our reds, especially the ’97 Davies Reserve and the 2000 Henry Pinot Noir, while his wife Pat favors the Dry Johannisberg and the Napa Valley White Wines.
“We currently have over sixteen cases of V. Sattui wines in our cellar and recently opened Preston Cabs from ’92, ’94 and ’97 that were outstanding. We plan at least one return trip each year, always looking forward to our visits with Tom and introducing V. Sattui to family and friends.”
Richard & Patti Allopenna
Ever since V. Sattui opened its doors in the 1970s, Rich and Patti Allopenna have been among our most loyal and devoted fans.
Rich, originally from Brooklyn, and Patti, born in Yokohama, Japan, have been residents of Northern California since 1980. Rich is one of the principals at Consolidated Engineering in Pleasanton and, in their spare time, he and Patti enjoy traveling or remodeling their spacious home in the eastern Sierras. With a cellar capacity of six hundred bottles, of which five hundred have the V. Sattui label, the Allopennas are true Sattui fans.
Among their favorites are the Cabernets from Preston and Suzanne’s Vineyards, and their special choices are the ’86 Preston and the 110th Anniversary Reserve Madeira. The Allopenas are regular guests here at the winery, frequent attendees at our parties and have been cherished ambassadors of V. Sattui for the last twenty-five years.
Hugh Weedon has been a friend of the winery for several years. After serving in the Army’s 88th Division in WW II in Italy and later the 82nd Airborne Division, Hugh worked in the corporate world in sales and training, mostly in New York and Philadelphia, before settling down in Vermont, where he retired in 1990. He lives in the village of Adamant, just eight miles north of Montpelier, the state Capital, and home of the Adamant Music School, the premier center for piano study in the Northeast.
He’s found a rewarding second career as a fund-raiser and board member for various arts councils, colleges and charities, including the Red Cross. “Since traveling took me away from the central Vermont community during my years of working, I decided to spend a good deal of my [retired] time with charities related to education and quality of life,” Hugh says. But he still has time to be an avid collector of V. Sattui wines and visits the winery every year.
Kevin and DeAnn Osborne
Walnut Creek, California
High school sweethearts, Kevin and DeAnn were strictly white wine drinkers until being introduced to V. Sattui in 1980 when our Gamay Rouge quickly became their “staple drinking wine.” Soon they acquired tastes for reds and for many years became endeared to our Preston Cabernets. They still reminisce about opening a 15-liter ’80 Reserve with a bunch of friends at a Super Bowl party.
Now Morisoli Cabernet fans, Kevin likes to brag about little he paid for his collection by purchasing futures at volume pricing at our Tax Relief Parties, “the only way to go,” he says. She’s a teacher, he owns a scuba store, together they’re unofficial V. Sattui ambassadors, bringing many friends who have become devoted customers and part of our extended family.
Lee & Anne Kramer
The Kramers have been friends of V. Sattui since 1985. “We fell in love with the beautiful grounds, the deli and all the great people who work there,” Anne says, “but especially the wines. We get kidded at our wine club dinners because we bring so many V. Sattui wines, but they’re the ones that are always gone at the end of the evening.”
Even though they are resident Napans (Napkins?) and have hundreds of wineries at their disposal, Lee and Anne are loyal VSW Gold Card members and “fervent lovers of our Morisoli Cabernets, the Carsi Chardonnay…and especially the Howell Mountain Zinfandels…we’re so happy you’re producing Howell Mountain Zins again!”
C.R. & B.J. Hutchison and Rex & Judy Graves
“’Hutch’ put a pipeline through Napa in 1980 or’81 for Kaiser, memory fails” recalls Rex. “He’d go to V. Sattui, get some sausages, cheese, bread and a bottle of wine for six bucks and have a great lunch under the big oak tree. He brought back some Madeira and we were hooked!”
“Judy and I came to the Harvest Ball in ’85 or ’86 (there’s that memory thing again) and were lucky enough to be seated with [artist} Diane Peterson.” They’ve been Cellar Club members ever since. “We’ve had some great times at V. Sattui and look forward to many more. You guys have come a long way since Daryl’s tux with a patch in the seat! And by the way, the ’78 wuz not vinegar…it was fantastic!”
Ben & Laurie Parodi
According to Ben and Laurie, as twenty-something college students with little money, V. Sattui was the place to go to sip good wine and nibble cheese and French bread in a beautiful Napa Valley setting. “Back then, buying wines to age wasn’t as important as drinking them on the spot,” remembers Laurie.
“But in spite of this goal, we graduated to more complex wines early on” and twenty years later, they’ve built a big inventory by purchasing V. Sattui futures, and most of their friends and family are now proud Cellar Club members. In fact Ben’s brother Mike thinks he should be partnered with Ben for the Hall of Fame instead of Laurie!
Their favorites: All the Zins, Preston & Morisoli Cabs, Carsi Chardonnay & the Dry Johannisberg Riesling.
Robert & Mary Rodack
Ed & Andrea Zubow
Sedona & Phoenix, Arizona
After keeping V. Sattui to themselves since the 1980s, the Rodacks shared their love of fine wine with their nephew and his wife (the Zubows) about six years ago and, along with a growing list of family and friends from across the country, they've made the annual trip to our Tax Relief Party a family tradition where they enjoy tasting from the barrel and buying futures. They all work in the financial industry and, as evidenced by the many varietals in each of their cellars, the four agree it's impossible to pick a consensus favorite. That said, Robert says it's pretty common at family gatherings to hear them debate over which of our Rieslings is better. "As you'd imagine, we usually end up drinking both and the debate continues!"
[Pictured: Left to right: Mary & Robert Rodack, Andrea & Ed Zubow]
Eric & Amy Semifero
Who'd imagine that a couple of teachers from Dallas-Fort Worth would visit V. Sattui more than their own families in 2009? The Semiferos (he teaches biology, she teaches art) been devoted patrons for quite a while; but in the past year they've been to the Harvest Ball, the Crush Party, Gary Vaynerchuck's book signing… they even renewed their vows here for their 10th wedding anniversary! Amy says, "V. Sattui is like a second home for us. The wines never disappoint us (I like the Pinot Noirs and Vintage Port; Eric likes the Ramazzotti Zin and Sauvignon Blanc.) The deli is amazing. And we love the staff…they've always treated us like a couple of their friends. Even though we have our own individual interests, this is one we both share. V. Sattui has ignited a passion for wine in both Eric and me."
Santa Clara, California
Jim owns a commercial glass company near San Jose and has been a V. Sattui Cellar Club member for ten years. "V. Sattui truly is my home in the Napa Valley," he says. "Everyone one there makes me feel like family. Tom and Jay have great wine knowledge and are happy to share it with you. The cellar takes me back in time, and I love the grounds where we can enjoy great wines and food with friends and family. And the wine is amazing…I love the reds." He's got the wine to prove it. He sent us several photos of his collection and we couldn't spot another winery's label among them! "I've got thirty cases of V. Sattui wines," Jim says proudly, "and I look forward to getting many more!"
Gerald & Angie Kaiser
Gerald has been an avid supporter of V. Sattui since 1983 when his parents brought him here while he was in college. He estimates he's been here well over fifty times in the years since then, "not bad when I live in Georgia. I've probably purchased close to a hundred cases over the past 24 years…and personally brought over a hundred different people to the winery, not to mention all those I've sent there." "We always have a great time at the winery," he says. "We like to visit in the Cellar with Chris (Rota)…and Dick (Ciapponi) is our all-time favorite; he always does a wonderful job entertaining us and our acquaintances. He's been a joy to visit with over the years. I'm proud of my heritage with V. Sattui. We always look at the V. Sattui experience as one of the highlights of our trips to the West Coast."