Vineyards and wineries have long evoked notions of romance. Their rustic, vintage charm and earthy atmosphere create a magical setting unlike any other. It’s no surprise that an increasing number of brides-to-be are jumping on the winery wedding bandwagon these days, especially in California. Here at V. Sattui, we’re proud to share our beautiful landscape with our brides and grooms, and are thrilled to help make their special day extra beautiful. We love every aspect of the weddings we host here in wine country, but we’ll narrow it down here to our top 5 favorite reasons! Also, special thanks to photographers Richard Wood and Ken Viale for capturing these moments!
1. Gorgeous Landscapes in Every Season
Between the lush green leaves of spring and summer, the spectacular crimson and gold leaves of fall, and the delicate cover crop flowers of winter, our vineyards serve as a stunning backdrop during every season!
2. Rustic Charm
The rustic atmosphere of a winery takes you back in time to simpler days, and evokes a cozy, intimate feeling.
3. Wineries are a Perfect Setting for Beautiful Florals
What’s a wedding without beautiful flowers, right? Here at V. Sattui, our natural landscape perfectly complements beautifully crafted floral arrangements.
4. We Love Wine!
Everyone looks forward to sipping on something delicious at a wedding, and winery weddings definitely cater to that need! In a time when the “farm to table” trend is so popular, why not carry it through with “vineyard to glass”?
5. Wineries Offer Unique and Personal Options for Décor
It’s fun to tie in decorations and party favors with the theme of the venue!
Weddings are truly joyous occasions. The dresses, the food, reuniting with friends and family, and all the other details that come together in a wedding, all add up to a really great party. Weddings are more than just a fun party though, they’re also very personal and emotional. At V. Sattui, we’re lucky to get to share these emotions with our couples by laughing along with their funny memories, witnessing moments that tug at our heartstrings, and experiencing what makes each couple unique. Here are a few of our favorite memories, captured by photographers Richard Wood and Ken Viale, that display some of these emotions.
This groom, overcome with emotion, can’t believe his luck when he sees his bride for the first time.
Though it is amazing to be surrounded by friends and family, it’s important to take a moment to catch your breath and cherish the special moments before you say “I do”.
A wedding is emotional for everyone involved, not just the bride and groom, as displayed by these proud parents.
This happy bride is excited to celebrate her new marriage and her love of V. Sattui wine. Cheers!
There is nothing more sweet and tender than a first dance, and knowing you’ve found your forever dance partner.
This bride is literally jumping for joy, as she has found a man to sweep her off her feet!
Today we celebrate the day V. Sattui winery opened its doors in Napa Valley, 40 years ago!
A Dream Come True
Dario Sattui’s Great Grandfather originally started V. Sattui Winery in San Francisco in 1885. The winery was forced to close in 1920 when Prohibition became law. But on March 4, 1976, Dario’s dream of resurrecting the family winery in Napa Valley became a reality. He remembers opening day well.
“I was really nervous,” says Dario. “My wife at the time thought opening a winery was a crazy idea. I was optimistic. I knew I was willing to work hard, and I had dreamed of reopening my great grandfather’s winery for years. We made $141 in 9 hours on that first day. We collected it in a wooden box since we didn’t even have a cash register. I started to think maybe my wife was right.”
But Dario persisted. At the end of the first year he’d sold 1800 cases and made a small profit. But it came at a cost. Dario and his wife lived very frugally. At one point he needed to store barrels of wine, and the only extra space he had was the living room of the tiny house behind the winery. The weight of the barrels was so heavy, the floor started to sink, and eventually the foundation had to be fixed!
“You name it, we didn’t have it,” says Tom Davies, who was hired in 1980 and one of the first 10 employees at the winery. Today, he is the President and a co-owner of V. Sattui. “When we used the phone, we called people collect most of the time. We used pitch forks to move our grapes into the hopper during harvest. We didn’t have equipment for that.”
The small winery crew even corked and labeled their bottles of wine by hand.
Innovation Leads to Success
Although budgets were tight, Tom says it was a thrilling time to be at V. Sattui and in the wine industry.
“I wanted to be in the wine business, and it was exciting! Any given day we were doing something different, and we were learning as we were doing it. There was a lot of innovation and we were pioneers. We had to be.”
That innovation led to V. Sattui being one of the very first wineries to start a wine club and events for members like our annual Harvest Ball. V. Sattui was the first in Napa Valley to offer wine futures, host weddings, and create our world-famous Italian deli, expansive cheese case, and gorgeous picnic grounds.
Success followed. In 1983 V. Sattui won its first medal- a bronze for a Chardonnay.
“I was the winemaker, and I wasn’t a very good one,” says Dario. “I couldn’t afford a winemaker, so I learned from my mistakes, and got help from people along the way. I was elated when we won a bronze medal!”
The medals kept coming, and in 1990 Dario promoted Rick Rosenbrand, to winemaker, whose father was also a winemaker at Beaulieu Vineyard. Eventually Brooks Painter was hired as winemaker and continues his reign today, making 60 different wines. Just recently V. Sattui’s 2014 Los Carneros Chardonnay received a 92-point score from the Wine Spectator and won the Sweepstakes for White Wines at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. The SF Chronicle Competition also awarded us two “Best of Class” categories, 4 Double Gold medals, and 11 Gold medals. We believe our winemaking skills have definitely matured with us!
Dario and Tom plan for V. Sattui to continue making the best wines we can, and will continue to provide a great experience when you come to visit us. The V. Sattui staff loves to share things we love: good wine, hand-crafted foods, and gathering with friends. We plan to keep doing that for at least the next 40 years!
We can hardly contain ourselves as our spring weddings are right around the corner! A huge thank you to photographers: Ken Viale, Richard Wood, and Marie A Rummel, for sharing the images below. Their artful eyes capture the magic of these unforgettable moments!
Spring in Napa Valley is one of the most beautiful times of the year. You’ll find pretty yellows, greens, pink and classic ivories –all of which make us want to exclaim “I do”!
The combination of new buds in bloom and clean, fresh air also makes taking photos a breeze. Add in Napa Valley’s golden sunsets, and you see why V. Sattui is the perfect destination for blissful beginnings.
Ooh, and the breeze carries the aromas of our fresh lavender ! All the more reason to sneak one last kiss before the ceremony.
The wild mustards glow almost as bright as the look in our couples’ eyes as they enjoy their first moments in wedded bliss. Are you ready to go mad for our mustard? #mustardmadness
But, nothing shines as bright as the smiles and lightheartedness of bridesmaids who are giddy from the aromas of fresh roses.
In April we get to reunite with our favorite Michelin-star Italian chef, Stefano Masanti, and his beautiful partner in life, and in all things gourmet, Raffa! From April into November they will create unforgettable wedding receptions at V. Sattui including Stefano’s creative, delicious cuisine and Raffa’s attention to every detail in the service and decoration of each couples’ dream day.
C’mon Spring Fever! We are ready! Have any spring V. Sattui wedding moments you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you!