Toast a Great Country with a Great Wine- V. Sattui Madeira

Madeira and brownie sandwich- editedRevive an old custom this July 4th and toast our stars and stripes with Madeira!

While the wine is named after the Portuguese-held island some 500 miles off the coast of Morocco, celebrating Madeira in America is a long-held tradition. Few people today associate Madeira with Colonial America when, in fact, it was a household beverage during the latter half of the 18th Century. The East Coast is mostly hot and humid and much of it has high water tables which precluded any form of cellaring table wines. Madeira is virtually indestructible; so it became the wine of choice and maintained its popularity right up to the Great Experiment – Prohibition.

When the final draft of the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th 1776, members of our first Congress consumed some 50 bottles of Madeira. What a celebration that must have been! Other great occasions calling for Madeira included George Washington’s marriage to Martha, Washington’s inauguration in 1789, and the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.1200px-Declaration_independence

Madeira came to America by way of European ships that would make regular stops at the island of Madeira to “freshen” with the island’s abundance of fresh water and take on its wine as ballast. Vintners of Madeira knew their wines would not survive an Atlantic journey without a little help so they added brandy as a preservative. What they didn’t know was the heat from traveling the equator would oxidize alcohols into aldehydes, which added a marvelous nutty character to the wine. After this discovery, intentional heating of the wine was done in estufas (heated vessels) and it continues today. Vintners also adopted the Spanish solera system in which young wines go into barrels and matriculate by constant blending to the bottling barrels over many decades and even centuries. The younger wines freshen the older vintages while the older wines impart their wisdom to the newer arrivals.

V. Sattui Madeira shares this historic tapestry, as Vittorio Sattui procured a number of barrels from the island and started his own solera at his winery in San Francisco in 1887. When you enjoy V. Sattui Madeira there may be a few drops of this vintage in your very glass which connects you with history. Vittorio had to hide his decades-old solera around North Beach in San Francisco during Prohibition, as surely the Feds would have destroyed it. So, this wine has its own bit of romantic history.

colonial- holding wineFrom fortification to heating, V. Sattui Madeira continues to be made in the time honored traditions of the island, rendering a complexity of caramel, dried plum, honey, maple, vanilla combined with hazelnuts, almonds and chocolate. All of this is re-enforced with smooth, silky, and balanced sweet sensations on the palate. This is the oldest Madeira produced in the U.S. and it’s as though the wine waited all of these years and decades to come to life on your palate.

Our Madeira is compatible with so many foods. Friendships range from pumpkin pie to tiramisu. By the way, we use the Madeira to make tiramisu in our deli. It’s wonderful with nuts like a hazelnut torte and any recipe that calls for dried fruit, vanilla, and caramel (Flan). We love it as a float with our house made Vanilla Bean Gelato. Let your dessert imagination be your pairing highway.

It’s also a good cooking wine. Try this: cook your meat of choice in a pan or grill pan and remove it. Pour in our Madeira along with an equal part of Sattui Family Red. Deglaze the pan and allow a few minutes to reduce the sauce. Plate your meat, add the sauce and enjoy. REALLY enjoy!

Nick and Marie’s Wine Country Wedding

Wedding season is definitely in full swing! We’ve been having so much fun working with all the brides and grooms to help them pull off their dream-wedding. All of them have been so special, and we want to share some with you! Here’s a little inside-view of Nick and Marie’s wedding a few weeks ago! Thanks to Colson Griffith Photography for sharing these photos with us!

It rained all day prior to their evening nuptials, but the sun came out just before the ceremony began. I think that stroke of luck means good things for their future, and definitely led to some awesome photos!

 

Photos by Colson Griffith Photography. www.colsongriffith.com

Photos by Colson Griffith Photography. www.colsongriffith.com

Photos by Colson Griffith Photography. www.colsongriffith.com

Photos by Colson Griffith Photography. www.colsongriffith.com

One of the most fun parts of each wedding is meeting the family. This little ring bearer was such a cutie!

Photos by Colson Griffith Photography. www.colsongriffith.com

Big thanks to Marie and Nick for letting us be a part of your special day! We wish you the best of luck, cheers!

Photos by Colson Griffith Photography. www.colsongriffith.com

Photos by Colson Griffith Photography. www.colsongriffith.com

Discovering Stefano, Raffaella, and Il Cantinone

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Stefano and Raffaella in the kitchen of their restaurant, Il Cantinone, in Madesimo, Italy.

This week we are getting ready to host our first Pop-Up Dinner with Chef Stefano Masanti and his wife, Raffaella.  Our winery president, Tom Davies, met Stefano and Raffaella a few years ago while traveling with his wife and daughter through Italy.  It was actually Tom’s daughter, Michaela, who chose the small, charming hotel in the town of Madesimo as their destination.  Little did the Davies family know that stop would include one of the most delicious and memorable meals, and would lead to a long friendship between the two families, and now, their businesses too.  

Michaela shares her version of discovering Stefano, Raffaella, and their Il Cantinone Restaurant:

I first met Stefano Masanti and Raffaella Mazzina when I was traveling in Italy with my parents. We were staying in Sesto Calende, near where my family originated, and not sure of our next move. As a fourteen year old flipping through guidebooks, my criteria for a hotel exhausted itself at ‘has a pool’. However, something about the Sport Hotel Alpina, located in the Italian Alps, stuck; I shared this with my parents and we headed there the next day.

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One of Stefano’s creative dishes served at Il Cantinone.

When we arrived, we found the hotel also had a small restaurant called Il Cantinone.  Shortly after arriving we ordered food. Lots of food. The best food I have ever had. Stefano prepared his tasting menu for us, which essentially entails course after course of creativity and the juxtaposition of wonderful flavor profiles. Raffaella, an exceptional Sommelier, carefully selected and poured each wine. While my mother and I had to bow out after a handful of courses, my father continued to taste well into the double-digits. Even as a young teenager, I considered that meal one of the most impressive experiences I have ever been part of.

Harvest Ball. I knew Stefano and Raffaella were special when they simply said “yes”. While I was undoubtedly excited for the beginning of the relationship between Stefano and Raffaella and V. Sattui, I had no idea what that would ultimately mean to me.

Each year from April to November, Stefano and Raffaella join us as our in-house special events chef and catering manager, respectively. Following my graduation from college last May, I began working alongside Stefano and Raffaella at V. Sattui. I always had a deep respect for their relationship and partnership with the Winery and my family; however, I did not expect that a year later Stefano and Raffaella would be among my dearest friends.

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Stefano at work at V. Sattui’s Harvest Ball in September, 2014.

Stefano and Raffaella share both their goodness and talent with everyone and to be honest, it is hard to say which outshines the other. Among the most humble and generous people I know, Stefano and Raffaella also boast monumental accomplishments in the world of food and hospitality.

In addition to Stefano receiving a Michelin star, their restaurant, Il Cantinone, was named the best Italian restaurant that promotes local food and farmers by Gambero Rosso, a well-respected food and wine publication. Furthermore, Il Cantinone was selected as one of the best 60 restaurants in Italy and top 10 in Lombardia by L’Espresso Guide. Stefano is also Vice President of “CHIC, Charming Italian Chef”, one of the most important chefs’ associations of this time. Finally, Stefano was awarded Italian Chef of the Year for the promotion of Italian culture at the 2014 Merano Wine Festival.

I am so happy they have become family to both me and to the Winery I was raised in, and that we now have the opportunity to share their magic and the exceptionality of their restaurant with you at the Il Cantinone Pop-Up Dinner! Trust me, you do not want to miss this one.

Romantic Moments at a Wine Country Wedding

Call it sappy, but here at V. Sattui we just love love! We can’t help it, we’re hopeless romantics! There’s nothing sweeter than the happiness between two love birds joining their lives together, and we’re lucky to get to witness it so often. We’ve seen so many beautiful and romantic moments, and we want to share them with you! Here are some of our favorites.

 

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How perfect is it that her bouquet matches the colors of the sunset?

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This couple didn’t let a little rain spoil their night! They can tough out any storm together.

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We loved this couple’s private little dance within the vineyard. So romantic!

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Peek-a-boo! This veiled kiss is just the cutest.

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Sometimes you just need a moment away from the hustle and bustle of the wedding to enjoy each other’s company.

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The barrels are such a fun backdrop for this stolen moment!

 

 

 

Making Centerpieces the Center of Attention at your Destination Wedding!

Here at V. Sattui, we love it when brides get creative with their centerpieces. The wedding meal is such an important part of the celebration, and the table decorations can really make a huge statement! These days, brides are steering clear of bland and boring flower vase designs and old school decorations like mirrors and floating candles, and instead coming up with much more unique ideas that show more of their personality. Here are some of our favorites that we’ve seen!

Forget the vase, these candelabra-based flower arrangements are way trendier! The height really elevates –pun intended—the elegance of the table, and we love having flowers and leaves trickle down from above.

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Speaking of adding height to the tables, check out these beautiful branch decorations! The hanging flowers and crystals helped make this look extra magical.

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We love how these Disney-themed and rustic-themed weddings went for a non-traditional approach by opting for centerpieces that weren’t just flowers! The silhouettes and the barrels were such creative touches.

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Napa Valley Summer Weddings – Warm Days and Warm Hearts!

Summer is right around the corner, and we’re loving all this warm weather we’ve been having! One of the reasons this sunshine is so great is because it opens up a lot of opportunities for some gorgeous outdoor weddings. Take a peek here at some of our favorite set ups! Special thanks to photographer Alexander Rubin for helping us capture them!

Nothing says sunshine quite like yellow! We love the playfulness of this hombre flower-petal aisle, especially in contrast to the sophisticated wrought-iron chairs.

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Photo Cred: Alexander Rubin
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Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin

Lawn weddings are quintessentially summery, and the sunflowers with pops of red make this wedding whimsical and fun! The mix-matched ultra-comfy seats are a casual and unique twist too.

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Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin
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Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin

Vineyards are the perfect backdrop to a rustic, country-themed wedding, and we this set up is the perfect match for that! Our favorite part is the red truck, which is actually a cooler! That truck puts the “fun” in functional!

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Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin
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Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin

One of the best things about summer is the warm summer nights! Twinkling lights in the dark are so romantic, so we’re happy it’s warm enough to stay outside and enjoy them!

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