The V. Sattui Salumeria is a welcome addition to the winery, deli and marketplace, contributing house-made sausages and artisanal Italian meats to our already-vast repertoire of quality products.
So how did the Salumeria come about? Well, from the very beginning, Dario and Tom had wanted V. Sattui to be more than just a winery. Dario’s visits to Italy’s specialty cheese & meat shops long ago inspired him to start a winery with a marketplace back in 1976; his and Tom’s numerous trips to Italy sparked visions of V. Sattui trying their hand at artisanal Italian deli meats & charcuterie. At one point, Dario even tried making his own cheese. How did that turn out? “Not so well,” Tom says, chuckling at the memory, “the cheese maker was homesick and went back to Holland after only a month.” The idea for cured Italian meats had always been there, it was just a matter of finding the right people. Enter Stefano Masanti, Michelin-starred chef of Il Cantinone in Northern Italy, featured chef at our upcoming 30th annual Harvest Ball, and winner of the award for “Best Bresaola” in all of Italy! ALL. OF. ITALY. A country of 60 million people (20 million more than the state of California), known for its cuisine, with more Michelin-starred restaurants than the entire United States combined. So you could say that’s quite an award. Most of the recipes Stefano uses have been handed down from generation to generation by the old men in his village. And now he is handing them to us.
When I sat down to talk salumi with Gianfranco Ghiringhelli - known more commonly as Franco - he reached in his pocket to show me his business card: English on one side, Italian on the other, a mirror of the man himself. Among the usual fluff and knick-knacks found in one’s pockets, out came wadded up euros and Swiss francs; he and Tom are fresh back from their Italy trip where they were doing recon for our newly opened Salumeria, of which Franco is the Director. “We were on a fact-finding mission. We know for a fact: in Ascona, Switzerland there is no lakeside service for beer,” he jokes.
But it wasn’t all fun and games – he and Tom spent a week traveling Northern Italy, going from Salumeria to Salumeria, investigating how the masters make their salumi. In Parma, famed the world over for its melt-in-your-mouth prosciutto, they were able to tour a prosciutto factory under one condition – no cameras and no notes. And of course, they tasted again Stefano’s award-winning Bresaola. In fact, they brought over some of our own Salami and Bresaola and went head-to-head in a blind tasting with several of Stefano’s friends – all master butchers and salumi makers. Where did we rank? Number two – not bad for our initial attempts; the Salumeria has only been open for a few months. They were all very impressed with our selections.
Coming back from Italy with bellies full of artisan salumi and heads full of secret spice blends and other hush-hush recipe tips, Franco got down to business. He gets his pigs from Winkler Wooly Pigs in Windsor, a sustainably raised breed called Mangalitsa, known for its curly coat. Mangalitsa pigs are also known for having a high amount of lard - an uncommonly high amount of lard – which is great for our Crema di Lardo, a product that has caught the attention of celebrity chef and Michelin-star recipient Michael Mina, who is interested in purchasing some for his restaurants in San Francisco.
Franco breaks down the pig with great attention to detail and the sure strokes of a master butcher. First are the cheeks, which become guanciale, the back fat which becomes Crema di Lardo, the neck (coppa), and loin (lonzo). They save the leaf lard – it is highly coveted for making the best & flakiest pastry crust and is very hard to find - for some interested local bakers. Lastly, the hind leg is taken off in its entirety to become the prized prosciutto. Long, smooth cuts – no sawing is the secret he imparts to his protégé, Greg Quirici, as he directs him how to round off the guanciale. These meats then go through a process: fermentation, curing, aging, holding and then (my favorite) – eating.
The fermentation cabinet is a state-of-the-art Italian model that all the Italian Salumerias have and is the first of its kind here in the United States. It enables Franco to mimic the temperature and conditions of the regions in Italy, specific to the charcuterie produced there, at any time during the year. This means artisanal, cured Italian meats all year round. The curing cabinet is hung with our Vittorio Rosso & Classico Salamis, guanciale, pancetta (flat and rolled), lonzo, and of course, the one that started it all – Bresaola.
So what’s Franco’s favorite part of the whole thing? When people enjoy the finished product – and enjoy they will, with our house-made sausages coming hot off the grill at our weekend BBQ and our Salami and Bresaola sold slice by mouthwatering slice in our deli. We’re hoping to feature the other cuts – guanciale, lonzo, coppa – soon, though the prosciutto will be longer due to its minimum one year aging time.
So what’s next on the Salumeria docket? Goat leg prosciutto, called violino di capra - which literally translates to goat violin - a specialty of the Valchiavenna region in Italy, so called because the carver is to hold the leg against his shoulder and carve it toward himself, much like a violin. The only hiccup – finding the goats. Franco was in talks with a woman who has some out in Bodega Bay. She told him she was “down there trying to wrangle them when they bounded off down into a ravine” where she couldn’t follow. His response? “Smart goats.”
Stay tuned for the next chapter in goat wrangling and all things salumi!
Melissa and Mike are an absolutely picture perfect couple and we were truly honored to host their June wedding here at V. Sattui Winery! This fabulous couple was joined by family and friends for a beautiful courtyard ceremony before exiting with a shower of rose petals and cheers. Thank you Shannon Stellmacher for sharing these photos and congratulations to Melissa and Mike!
Hanna & Brian's August wedding was set to perfection. The couple strolled through our estate Cabernet vineyards as the grapes were turning a deep red before harvest. Hanna looked absolutely gorgeous in her gown as she made her entrance into the elegant courtyard for the ceremony, where she and Brian exchanged the promise of a lifetime. The celebrations continued into the evening with dinner, dancing, and fabulous wines. Thank you Shannon Stellmacher for capturing their special day!
With the sun just starting to fade over the horizon, Monica walked down the aisle looking absolutely radiant as she stood next to Bill for their October ceremony. The long tables looked beautiful in the Barrel Room for an elegant dinner reception. Thank you Richard Wood for sharing photos from their special day, and congratulatiosn Monica and Bill!
Autumn in Napa brings the energy of grape harvest, the bright colors of leaves turning golden and red, and the beauty of a love story! V. Sattui winery was all the more excited this October to host the wedding of Sara and Kevin. Aftern their lawn ceremony, the couple welcomed their guests to the candlelit Barrel Room for dinner and dancing, and offered s'mores and a lounge space in the courtyard. Richard Wood captured and shared their special day. Cheers to Sara and Kevin and hope to see you both again soon!
Zinfandel arrived in the United States in the 1820s and was first cultivated along the East Coast. It was brought to California in the 1850s and by the late 19th century was the state's most widely planted grape. It was very popular with home winemakers during Prohibition, but its reputation declined in the years following repeal. The grape was generally relegated to workhorse status. That began to change in the mid-to-late 1960s as winemakers and savvy drinkers began to discover the elegance and versatility that great Zinfandel could offer. Credit Ridge Vineyards of Saratoga, founded in 1962, for putting a serious face on the grape with their ground-breaking single vineyard wines.
V. Sattui’s Zinfandels were first released in 1975 with only a modest blend and a single Howell Mountain bottling. We now offer eight different vineyard-designated Zins, each distinctive and representative of its origin. SHOP NOW >>
FROM THE VIDEO ARCHIVES: Watch the Wine Guys explain the term "old Vine" Zinfandel
1 quart brown chicken stock
1 quart vegetable stock
1 turkey carcass, with meat removed
2 bay leaves
12 whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil
2 garlic gloves, smashed and chopped
1 onion, small diced
1 carrot, small diced
1 stalk of celery, small diced
3 cups mixed vegetables
3 cups dark turkey meat, small to medium diced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh italian parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Remove the turkey carcass and discard. Strain the stockpot contents into a container and set aside.1. Put the stock, turkey carcass, 1 bay leaf and 6 peppercorns in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer for one hour, uncovered.
In a large soup pot over medium heat add the oil and garlic. Stir until the garlic just starts to brown. Add the onion, carrot and celery and stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking for about 7 minutes, stirring often. Add the stock, remaining bay leaf and peppercorns and bring to a simmer. Add the mixed vegetables, turkey, thyme and rosemary seasoning. Bring to a simmer, cover, turn off the heat and let sit five minutes. Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste. The peppercorns will sink to the bottom. Serve in warm soup bowls.
Size Does Matter!
When it comes to bottle sizes, the bigger the bottle, the greater potential for aging wines for the long term. Here’s why: the space between the top of the wine in the bottle and the bottom of the cork is referred to as the ullage. This space contains a very limited amount of air, which over time, oxidizes the wine very slowly. This slow, oxidative process is part of the magic that happens in a bottle of wine as it ages and it allows the wine to mellow and soften. Over time, corks also allow a minute amount of oxygen into the bottle, further accelerating the aging process.
The oxidation rate in bottled wine is a function of the ratio of air to wine in the bottle and the length of time of aging. Because big bottles contain more wine with about the same amount of ullage, these bottles can age much longer, compared with the traditional 750ml bottle, and can achieve complexities and flavors unique to their size. Large format bottles also allow us to drink older vintages long after 750ml bottlings have become old and tired. For these reasons, big bottles are preferred by collectors and wine enthusiasts.
Magnum to Nebuchadnezzar
Wine bottles range in size from the airline 187ml (quarter of a bottle) to sovereign, a bottle that holds 67 bottles or nearly six cases of wine (now that’s a party wine!) Each year, we bottle a limited number of magnums (2 bottles), double magnums (4 bottles), imperials (8 bottles) and Nebuchadnezzars (equal to 21 bottles) of our Preston and Morisoli Vineyard and Reserve Cabernets.
We guarantee that you will be the biggest hit at your next party if you show up with one of these gargantuan bottles. The wax seal is brittle and breaks off easily with a few raps of a dinner knife handle or similar blunt object, and please be sure to use a good waiter’s corkscrew and pull slowly and straight! How do you pour wine from a big bottle? Very carefully.
We have listed the most recent vintages in magnum and double magnum online.
For older vintages and larger formats call 707-963-7774