Wine Country Wildfire Update

Updated October 17, 2017

 

Status of V. Sattui Winery + How You Can Help

Dear Friends of V. Sattui Winery,

Our sincerest thanks for everyone’s outpouring of concern during this trying time in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. We are truly grateful for your messages of support and are extremely fortunate to report that our winery itself has not been affected by the fires.  Our hearts are with our neighbors, colleagues and their families who have been affected by the wildfires and less fortunate than ourselves.

We are pleased to announce V. Sattui is OPEN Daily (as of yesterday, October 16th).  We welcome your friendly faces!

For those of you awaiting wine + gift deliveries:  We are pleased to tell you Fedex picked up yesterday and your orders are out for delivery!  Thank you for your patience while we experienced interference with Fedex and UPS accessibility due to road closures.  Please be on the lookout for tracking emails from our carriers.



For those of you interested in offering assistance to fire victims:

Please visit http://www.napavalleycf.org/fire-donation-page/ to make a donation to the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund.  We are eager to take action towards the recovery, and to assist in these efforts, V. Sattui Winery and Castello di Amorosa will be making a joint contribution of $100,000 to the Napa Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) Disaster Relief Fund. The NVCF will be distributing grants from this fund to organizations providing crucial services for those impacted by the fires including, but not limited to: medical care, temporary shelter, meals and counseling.

Other ways you can help the Wine Industry? 

Buy Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley wines!  Buy them for yourselves and buy them as gifts.  Thousands of hard-working wine industry employees are directly affected by these fires and any help you can provide to stimulate the economy and reopen these wineries will directly support our workers and their families.  SHOP >

With deep appreciation,

V. Sattui Winery

Not Your Average Grape Stomp

 

V. Sattui invites you to the Crush Party of the year

 

Step behind-the-scenes of an iconic Napa Valley winery and experience V. Sattui up close and personal! Taste more than 45 award-winning wines, meet the winemakers, sip and swirl to live music, and get your feet dirty with a traditional grape stomp—  only half of the fun at V. Sattui’s annual Crush Party.

A mix of entertainment and education ( what we like to call an “edu-tainment” event;) here are 5 reasons why you can’t miss the biggest open-house party of the year.

1. Sample over 45 different wines!

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Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling– the options are endless. We invite you to discover the magic of each varietal, from their unique aromas to the flavors.

Talk shop with our growers!  Meet Mike Nunez of Preston Vineyard, grower of our flagship Rutherford cabernet, along with five of our beloved Zinfandel growers representing the Napa Valley and Dry Creek Valley AVAs. Find out what makes V. Sattui wine a prime example of regional elegance.

Find something you can’t live without? For one night only, get up to 30% off on all cases!

2.   Winemaking 101

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Have you ever wondered how such well-balanced, vibrant, and delicious wine ended up in your glass? Now’s your chance to get an inside glimpse and witness harvest in full swing on our production floor. Observe barrel fermentation, view our bottling line, taste tank samples (some just days old), and ask our Enologist, Jose Basulto, all of your winemaking questions.

3. Grape Stomp

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Grape stomping, otherwise known as pigeage, which means “punching down,” was a method of maceration used in traditional winemaking. Cellar workers repeatedly stomped on grapes with their bare feet to release juice from the grapes and initiate the fermentation process.

Today, the age-old practice is often honored at fall festivals. Wineries invite guests to celebrate harvest and experience the culture and history of winemaking. So roll up your pants and get ready to stomp the night away!

4. Meet-and-Greet

grape-varietals

Wander on over to Vittorio’s Estate Vineyard station for your chance to meet and mingle with Vineyard Manager David Bejar, Viticultural Technician Carter Mochizuki, and Vineyard Foreman Pancho Cortez. See how organic grapes are grown, learn about clonal selections, and taste different grape varietals. Get an insider’s look at how V. Sattui grapes go from vine to bottle.  

5. BBQ & Live Music

Stefano-pizza

Aside from producing outstanding wines, if there’s one thing we know how to do, it’s how to throw a party. Each one of our signature V. Sattui events is filled with great wine, food, music, and high energy— so bring your dancing shoes!

Featuring a Tuscan-inspired menu, wine and dine under the oaks to the tunes of DGIIN. Get ready, this party is going to be one for the books.  

What: 2017 Crush Party

When: Saturday, October 7, 2017 | 6:00-10:00 p.m.

Where: V.Sattui Winery

How: Open house

Tickets are available for purchase here.

See you there!

Falling in Love with Ancient Italy

ETRUSCANS – The Banqueters of Ancient Italy 

By Lisa C. Pieraccini, Ph.D, UC Berkeley

 

Dario & lisa- VSattui
Dario Sattui & Lisa C. Pieraccini

As an archaeologist of Ancient Italy, I know what it means to work on the land (or literally, in the dirt). I spent my childhood growing up in Sonoma County where we often had family gatherings at a wonderful little winery in St. Helena (with picnic benches out in front). That special place was the V. Sattui Winery. Years later, I found myself pursuing a Ph.D. in the field of classical archaeology, with special emphasis on the Etruscans and Romans.

My career took me to Italy where I lived for many years teaching and conducting research at some of Italy’s finest museums and archaeological sites. My Italian family left Italy at the turn of the twentieth century to avoid digging ditches, to make a new life, only to have their great-granddaughter go back to Italy to do just that! I now teach at UC Berkeley where I specialize in Etruscan and early Roman art and archaeology, with a special interest in funerary rituals, Etruscan and Roman wall painting, Etruscan eating and drinking utensils, as well as the ritual and secular consumption of food and wine. I am the Project Director of the Del Chiaro Center for Ancient Italian Studies at UC Berkeley where our mission is to preserve the future of Italy’s past.

To this end, it gives me great pleasure to return to the winery where my family gathered many years ago to eat and drink, to contextualize how the ancient people of Italy, namely, the Etruscans did the same.

Etruscan-VSattui
Michelin Star Chef Stefano Masanti

Please join me at V. Sattui Winery on Sunday, September 10th from 11:30 am – 3:00 pm for a fascinating look at the Etruscan culture followed by a luncheon created by Michelin Star Chef Stefano Masanti, who will bring the Etruscan culture to life through his cuisine.

Seats are limited! Tickets are available here.

 

 

The Art of Blending

A vital step in the winemaking process, blending assures the final product will be balanced and layered with flavorful, aromatic, and textural complexities. At V. Sattui, this process is being brought to life on a regular basis with their blending seminar. Discover the art of blending and get ready for an experience of a lifetime!

What is blending? Exactly what it sounds like. A team of winemakers gathers during the winemaking process to blend various varietals. The reason? To determine which components to bring to the overall blend, and to ensure the stylistic goals and consistency that the wine consumer is looking for, and pull all the pieces together. More specifically, blending allows winemakers to: Create a recognizable house-style; minimize undesirable components; enhance desirable components; highlight a vineyard’s terroir; improve vintage consistency, and “up-blend” to enhance the wine uniqueness and overall high quality.

The possibilities with blending are endless, and the key is consistency.

How-to

 

Jose and Nayely in lab- edited

Grab your goggles and suit up, it’s time to play mad-scientist! While the art of blending wine does have a scientific approach, the rules are rather simple.

  1. Always have a goal in mind (ex. correcting a wine with too much tannin by blending in a lower tannin wine: or conversely, build intensity in a wine by using a blending component that adds to the structure and richness (for example Petite Verdot).
  2. Typically we blend wines of a similar type (Bordeaux with Bordeaux, Rhone with Rhone, etc.).
  3. By blending a high-quality wine with a weaker wine you can increase the quality of the lower wine, but what are you giving up in return? It is better to classify the components by quality and grade, and blend like-qualities.
  4. Begin blending in small quantities until you reach the desired outcome
  5. Take notes!

Once you think you have achieved the “ideal blend,” it’s time for the next step…

Blind Tasting

 

1After each winemaker puts together his or her sample blend, it’s time to taste test.

Why blind? Everyone’s palate is different, and whether we like to admit it or not, everyone is partial to their blend. A crucial moment in winemaking, it’s time to leave your ego behind. After multiple tasting rounds, discussing the good, the bad, and what might be missing, a unified sense of direction blossoms. After all, the goal is to make the wine the best it can be.

Once a decision and final blend are agreed upon, it’s back to the cellar. The barrels of wine have to be blended precisely the same way as in the lab.

Common Blends

Ali Fave1

A common misconception that “blends” are of lesser quality is just that, a misunderstanding. To help you navigate the shelves, some of the most common blends include:

  1. Bordeaux

Arguably one of the most typical blends around the world; the red Bordeaux blend consists of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. Flavors vary depending on the area and proportion of grape varietals used in the blend. On the left bank, higher amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon are added, making the wine more structured with higher tannins. On the right bank, wineries will add more Merlot and Cabernet Franc for a softer, more supple wine which might require less aging.

  1. Meritage

A Bordeaux-style blend, Meritage blends are created from French varietals grown in the New World wine regions, especially California. A red Meritage blend will generally consist of the classic Bordeaux combination: Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot (with hints of Carménère and Petit Verdot). Meritage wines can also be a white blend, for example, blending Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc together. Meritage blends are known for their versatility in the sense that they can be enjoyed young but also stand up to aging.

  1. Rhone Blends

In the Rhone River Valley of France, it is typical to blend several varietals together, such as Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre to make a complex red wine blend. These wines are very interesting and the contribution from each varietal adds complexity, aromas, and flavors to the finished wine.

Are you ready to blend?

V. Sattui

Have you always dreamed of becoming a winemaker? Making dreams come true, V. Sattui Winery invites you to our hands-on workshop August 12th to learn the magic of blending. An intimate seminar, this is your chance to create your own blend in an effort to match our prestigious Bordeaux blend, Paradiso.

Seats are limited, so grab a friend and reserve your blending experience today!

 

Call (707) 963-7774 or Book Online

 

Discovering Culinary Treasures in our Artisan Marketplace- Mt. Tam Cheese

Cheese case- Jack and Keith- smallOne of the joys of coming to V. Sattui is discovering our incredible cheese case in our Artisan Marketplace.  It’s fun to hang out in the marketplace and watch people walk in the door, and just be drawn in, like a magnet, to the dizzying display of aromatic, creamy goodness.

One of the “must haves” in our treasure chest of cheeses from around the world is made right down the road in Petaluma.  Cowgirl Creamery was started by Sue Conley and Peggy Smith in the early 1990’s in the small coastal town of Pt. Reyes normalized_peggysmith_sueconleyStation.

One of their flagship cheeses is the Mt. Tam– an elegant, triple cream, washed rind (or surface ripened) cheese made from organic cow’s milk from neighboring Straus Family Dairy. Named after Mt. Tamalpais, a Northern California landmark, this smooth and creamy cheese has a mellow, earthy flavor- sort of like white mushrooms.

CU- Mt Tam with walnutsWe like pairing this cheese with our Los Carneros Chardonnay which has some buttery notes to compliment the cheese, but also some ripe pear, fig and honeydew flavors and enough acidity that balance with the heaviness of the cheese.  We also like serving this cheese as a dessert, with a nice glass of our Late Harvest Riesling. Pairing it with some spiced roasted walnuts will really set off the creaminess of the cheese.

Next time you’re at the winery, be sure to check out our cheese case!  Our Cheesemonger, Keith Idle, or one of our other cheese experts, Jack,  are happy to answer questions, and give you tastes!

 

Tom’s Best Buy List

‘Tis the season for spending quality time with good friends, family, eating favorite foods, and savoring delicious wine.  We decided to ask Tom Davies, President of V. Sattui Winery, who has been working here for 35 years for guidance on gifting, tasting, or cellaring, V. Sattui wines.  Here are Tom’s recommendations:

tom-in-tux-croppedAs you create your holiday gift lists, don’t forget that wine, and the story that every bottle holds, is a great gift.  At V. Sattui, we make gift-giving easy by shipping to every state (except Utah). We can also personalize your gift with custom gift tags with your own message hanging on the bottle. We encourage you to be sure to include YOU on the gift list too!

Here are some of my V. Sattui recommendations for gifting, tasting, and cellaring:

 

GIFTING:
Madeira– Many of you know the cult following this wine has! Solera-made, wood-aged, and fortified V. Sattui Madeirawith brandy, this dessert wine is sweet and luscious with flavors of almonds, caramel, toffee and orange zest. It is great with holiday desserts, and some of us like to take it outside and enjoy a fine cigar with it!

2012 Preston Cabernet Sauvignon– Just about everyone covets and appreciates a fine Napa Valley Cabernet. The Preston Vineyard is one of our flagship vineyard sources in the Rutherford appellation. It is a powerful, complex cabernet that is silky on the palate, with sweet black fruit flavors that are balanced with full-bodied texture and a long finish.

2011 Prestige Cuvée—Everyone loves a celebration with bubbles! This Prestige Cuvée is our best sparkling wine to date. The late-disgorged sparkling has a classic toasty brut blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

TASTING:
2014 Los Carneros Chardonnay– out of the thousands of wines submitted for the San Francisco Chronicle’s Wine Competition, this wine was awarded the White Wine Sweepstakes winner. This is a crisp, elegant Chardonnay with ripe pear, fig, and honeydew notes that slip right into a finish of white peach.

2013-Entanglement2013 Entanglement -This rich, complex blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre shows pomegranate fruit flavors combined with earthiness and dried herbs. It is a great wine for pairing with a variety of foods, so it is perfect to serve at all of your holiday gatherings.

2014 Carneros Pinot Noir- The sweet smell of a holiday potpourri tickles your nose when you open this estate-grown cool climate Pinot. With anise, clove, and cinnamon on the nose, this wine’s mild body with flavors of peppercorn, and wild, brambly cherry play beautifully with a symphony of holiday favorites like honey-baked ham, scalloped potatoes, and roasted root vegetables.

CELLARING:
2012 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon– 2012 has been hailed as the “Vintage of the Decade” for Napa Valley Cabernet. It was a year of near-perfect weather conditions for grape growing, and our Mt. Veeder Cabernet reflects this in a rich, powerful Cabernet with broad shoulders and impressive dimension. Selected as “Wine of the Year” and the “Best Cabernet Sauvignon” at the 2015 Monterey International Wine competition, you can’t go wrong with purchasing at least a case of this wine and savoring it for years to come.

2012 Paradiso that great 2012 vintage also gave us an abundant crop of high quality fruit for our proprietary Bordeaux-style blend. This wine is 2012 Paradisomade of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and smaller amounts of Petite Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Lay this wine for five to eight years, and you will enjoy its elegant texture and polished tannins.

2013 Howell Mountain Zinfandel Grapes for this wine come from Napa County’s highest vineyard which is also biodynamically farmed and certified organic. What’s best about this wine is the impeccable balance it shows off. This is a Zinfandel made in a style that is both restrained and loaded with flavor. It is delicious today, however those with patience will be rewarded. With proper storage it will improve over the next 5-8 years and drink well for at least 4-6 after that.

 

The Best Three V. Sattui Wines to Enjoy with Fresh Crab

Despite a little fog and drizzle, you’ll notice that folks in Northern California have a little extra spring in their step today. The reason? Crab season officially opens today! In the Bay Area and Napa Valley serving up fresh Dungeness crab at the Thanksgiving table, or as a meal in the days before or after Thanksgiving, is a beloved tradition. We invite you to join us in this tradition of enjoying crab and wine, wherever you are!

At V. Sattui we have three wines we love to pair with crab.

2014-napa-valley-chardonnay

V. Sattui Napa Valley Chardonnay
A smooth, balanced Chardonnay that has enough acidity to pair with many foods. If you plan to serve your crab with melted butter, this wine a great match!

V. Sattui Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc2015-napa-valley-sauvignon-blanc
Balanced acidity with subtle grassy, fig, and citrus flavors make this a great pairing with crab when you use a lot of herbs or fruity dipping sauces.

2015-carsi-vineyard-semillonCarsi Vineyard Semillon
Fermented entirely in stainless steel, this wine has a silky texture with upfront minerality and a nutty, figgy character that pairs well with all kinds of seafood dishes. We love it with fresh crab, especially when it’s served as a salad, or seasoned with Asian or Hispanic spices.

If you’ve ever been to our Artisan Deli & Marketplace, then chances are you couldn’t resist our delicious house-made crab cakes. To help you share the Thanksgiving tradition of including crab in your holiday meal, we are offering our recipe for these tasty bites. Serve them as an appetizer, a side dish, or have them for Thanksgiving breakfast, topped with a poached egg.

 

 

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The Crab Cakes offered in V. Sattui Winery’s Artisan Deli & Marketplace are made fresh daily. Be sure to try them on your next visit!

V. Sattui’s Crab Cakes
Makes 7-8 servings

1 pound fresh crab meat, cracked and cleaned
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow pepper, diced
½ bunch green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 cup Panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
2 cups regular bread crumbs

Drain crab meat well. Sauté the bell peppers and green onions in butter
until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool.

In a bowl add all ingredients except for the regular bread crumbs. Mix well.

Form crab cakes by placing some of the mixture into a ½ cup measuring cup and then forming a solid patty with your hands. Dredge the cakes in the bread crumbs, and deep fry them in oil at 325 degrees. Serve hot with lemon wedges and your favorite V. Sattui wine!

Viva Moscato!

(14) MoscatoWARNING: Consumption of this product may cause uncontrollable humming, skipping and dancing.

Happy Moscato Day! Millions of folks on the northern side of the Mediterranean Sea from Portugal and Spain to Italy and Greece can’t be wrong as it is widely grown and enjoyed. For many, a sip of Moscato is like a sip of sunshine. You just have to smile.

One place on which the wine world’s spotlight shines is Asti in Northern Italy’s Piemonte Region. Here, Asti Spumante is produced, which is moscato refermented into a sparkling wine with the same effervescent pressure as a Champagne – La Spuma is “the foam” in Italian. Numerous places throughout Italy produce a sparkling wine with less effervescence (about the same as Prosecco) called Moscato Frizzante – La frizza means “the gas” in Italian.

V. Sattui Moscato is fashioned in a very Italian style and the wine is “carbonated” naturally by a second fermentation in a sealed stainless steel tank which does not allow the natural bubbles to escape; just like Spumante. Fermenting in a bottle creates a yeasty wine because of the wine’s intimate contact with yeast. Fermenting in a much larger vessel reduces yeast contact to the point where the wine’s delicate fruitiness remains essentially intact.proscuitto-wrapped-figs

Our Moscato Frizzante exudes the personality of the Muscat grape with peach, orange blossoms and melon. La Frizza creates a lovely edge in the wine which prevents the subtle sweetness from being cloying. A marvelous dessert wine on a hot summer night.

Please DO attempt this at home: cut a little pocket in a Mission fig and stuff it with a semi soft goat cheese. Wrap with prosciutto and affix it to the fig with a water soaked toothpick. Grill until the cheese runs a bit and the prosciutto becomes crisp. Place on a platter, serve V. Sattui Moscato and stand back so that you can watch your guests’ knees buckle.