Awards season runs strong from January through February, and each year we anxiously await the results. Every year seems to take us by surprise in one way or another. These awards would not be possible without you, and we want you to know we are grateful for your constant support.
Every day we set out to craft wines and provide memorable experiences for our loyal members, annual visitors, and newest fans — These awards are for you.
Winemaker Challenge International Wine Competition
We are extremely excited to announce that we have been voted Winery of the Year for the third consecutive year in the Annual Winemaker Challenge! To our hospitality staff, Brooks Painter, and our talented winemaking and viticulture teams, bravo!
Along with Winery of the Year, we are thrilled to score over 90 points and “Best Of Class” on a few of your favorite wines. The 2016 Gilsson Vineyard Zinfandel ($42) earned 96 points. This young, yet bold Zinfandel displays berry fruit aromas and depth. Robert Whitley calls Gilsson Vineyard one of “V. Sattui’s zin treasures” (and he is not wrong).
The 2017 Dry Gewurztraminer ($29) from Anderson Valley scored 94 points. This wine is exotic and complex, to say the least. Flavors of orange zest, pineapple, and lychee hit the palate immediately and will likely have you booking your next vacation before hitting the second glass.
Finally, scoring 92 points, we have our 2016 Napa Valley Malbec ($44). This vintage was a gorgeous one, and this wine clearly shows it. It’s decadent with notes of blackberry, blueberry, and spice and pays homage to our history through the vineyard in which its grapes are grown — our 27-acre estate Carsi Vineyard in Yountville, named after the Italian village Vittorio Sattui emigrated from.
“Sattui Scores a Hat Trick – The Napa Valley winery V. Sattui is famous for its picnic grounds, perhaps the most inviting and comfortable winery picnic grounds in all of California. It gets attention, too, for its unique marketing plan. V. Sattui wines are sold only at the winery or through its website. Then there are the wines. V. Sattui has achieved an enviable record of excellence on the wine competition circuit with an array of wines. And V. Sattui is nothing if not consistent. For the third consecutive year it has been named domestic Winery of the Year at the Winemaker Challenge, staged January 19-20 in San Diego. Not only did V. Sattui amass 36 medals from 40 wines entered, it claimed four best-of-class Directors awards with its 2017 Collina d’Oro Chardonnay, 2016 Grenache, 2016 Malbec and 2016 Gilsson Vineyard Zinfandel. Among V. Sattui’s 36 medals, three were awarded platinum and 14 gold.” – Robert Whitley
San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
We’re thrilled to have six double gold medal-winning wines in the 2019 SF Chronicle Wine Competition! One we’d love to highlight from our latest vintage is the 2017 Rosato Di Sangiovese ($29). Red cherry, ripe strawberry, and juicy watermelon hit your lips and will have you daydreaming of warmer days that are just around the corner. Pair this refreshing, crisp wine with a variety of charcuterie and cheeses from our artisan deli for an afternoon on our property.
In addition to the six double gold, 13 wines received gold medals — and these wines have something to say! We’re particularly thrilled about the 2015 Napa Valley Merlot ($40) gold medal. This dark ruby-colored, smooth Merlot is fruity and balanced with a powerful, lingering finish to it and will surely leave you wanting more. Pair it with duck breast, pork tenderloin, or braised veil for a harmonious combination.
Of course, a fan favorite for guests and our staff is the 2016 Entanglement ($40). This is a beautifully made, unique Rhône style GSM blend. All three varietals (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre) are de-stemmed and fermented together in a steel tank in order to increase color stability of the blend and marry all the characteristics into one.
If you’re in the area, we will be showcasing our top award winners at the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Public Tasting – this Saturday, February 16, 2019, from 1 pm to 4 pm. The event will be at the Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco. Tickets available in advance for $70 here: https://fortmason.org/box-office/?eid=30475 or at the door for $90. Come say hello!
Over the next few months, we hope you plan a visit to Napa Valley and celebrate with us at the 2019 Winery of the Year! Because for us, there would be nothing to celebrate without our fans. We raise a glass to our team, awards season, and all of you! Cheers!
Giving back to our community is one of our greatest pleasures at V. Sattui Winery. We believe leadership is a responsibility and this gives us great purpose. We give back not only to the Napa Valley community, but also to our team members who we consider family.
Caring for the Land
Napa Valley is known for its rural and agricultural land on which world-class grapes are grown. We work tirelessly alongside the Napa County Agricultural Reserve to preserve the land of the valley because without it, Napa would lose its identity. We have protected nearly 600 acres of land through conservation easements to ensure that the land is protected from commercial and residential development. We are taking a stand for our community because we couldn’t do what we do without it. Our long-term goal is to have all of our land, totaling about 1,000 acres, to be protected for generations to come. Here is how you can help preserve the beautiful Napa Valley with us.
Children Are the Future
In 2007, we teamed up with the Napa Valley Vintners’ Adopt-A-School program. We are fortunate enough, and take great pride in, sponsoring 8th graders at Robert Louis Stevenson (RLS) Middle School. With education being one of our core values, we focus on the impact we strive to have by teaching core subjects at the winery for a day, along with introducing them to the science of winemaking. We also introduce mathematical applications in business and language arts as it applies to consumers and employees. Our mission is to shape the future of business and what that looks like to the young students of our community. It’s a privilege and rewarding to see our efforts come full circle when we hire new team members who are alumni of the St. Helena Unified School District.
Impactful Helping Hands
If you have ever visited our picnic grounds, you probably are familiar with the picnic pack. We owe a lot to the dedicated students of the Napa Valley Unified School District Post-Secondary Project, who take the time in crafting our “Green Picnic Pack.” Our biggest desire is to support these students with pre-employment skills when transitioning from high school to work, and we are honored to call them part of our V. Sattui family. Next time you purchase a picnic pack, know you are also supporting these students which helps all of us make one overarching positive difference in the world.
Meals on Wheels
The most recent project we are proud to take part in is the purchase of a new food delivery truck. We collaborated with our sister winery, Castello di Amorosa, to transport daily meals to the senior citizens of our community who can no longer drive, but wish to still live alone. The volunteers of the Napa Valley Meals on Wheels program deliver over 400 meals daily throughout the valley. We are giving back to those who have given so much to us as long-time residents and local business supporters in our hometown.
Giving Back is Who We Are
There are many ways we aim to give back and be a leader in our community. We will continue to do so because this is the foundation on which our business was built. Dario Sattui couldn’t have said it better: “Giving, without expectation of anything in return other than the pure enjoyment and satisfaction of helping someone or a cause, is a great feeling. Together, we can make a difference.”
Sommeliers are an incredible asset not only for the wine industry, but for you as a consumer. A sommelier, by definition, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine service, as well as wine and food pairing. Don’t be intimated, though. You should take advantage of this wine expert! But first, let’s expand on what goes into being a sommelier.
“Old World” Somms vs “New World” Somms
The wine industry is constantly evolving and so are sommeliers. Traditionally, sommeliers were viewed as highly educated wine connoisseurs in black suits with their tastevin hanging around their neck primarily recommending wines for dining guests. But today, somms have become the celebrity ambassadors of hospitality for the wine industry, with a hand in everything from the wine menu, staff trainings to collaborating with the chefs on food pairings. You can also find certified sommeliers in many urban wine bars and winery tasting rooms – including two at V. Sattui! Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a novice wine drinker, a somm will always aim to provide you an unforgettable experience.
What it Takes to Become A Sommelier
The immediate answer to becoming a certified somm is hard work and dedication to the program and wine itself. You have to live, eat and breath all things wine. For some background, there are 249 wine professionals in the world who have the highest title of Master Sommelier, 155 of those are in the U.S., and only 25 of them are women. They have the privilege of putting “M.S” after their name.
You can start this process by taking the four courses through The Court of Master Sommeliers, along with passing each exam. Another well-known organization is the Wine and Spirits Trust, or WSET, which is an academic program out of the United Kingdom.
5 Questions to Ask a Sommelier
Whether you’re at dinner, in a wine shop or visiting V. Sattui Winery, here are 5 great questions you may ask a sommelier.
- What is your favorite bottle of wine under $75?
- We are ordering the fish, which wine do you recommend to go with it?
- I typically enjoy Burgundy wines. Do you have any wines from that region or a wine comparable in style?
- What wines are you excited about on your list at the moment?
- I love fruity Zinfandels. Are there any other fruity wines you recommend?
Meet the V. Sattui Winery Sommeliers
V. Sattui is lucky to have two brilliant sommeliers on staff. They are here to answer your questions and help you discover your palette at V. Sattui Winery!
Meet Marija Jovanovic
Marija has been a part of the V. Sattui family for three years. Her passion lies in the library of wines we offer and in travel tourism. Marija holds a WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Level 3 Advanced Certificate and is a Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Marija is a pro at relaying her passion for wine, food, and people to our guests every day. Experience her expertise at one of our upcoming Wine & Food Pairings.
Meet Martin Slavin
Martin (otherwise known as Marty) has been with us for more than three years and is a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers. He holds a Certified Wine Professional certification from The Culinary Institute of America. Martin discovered his love for wine and food in New York City where he worked at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel followed by the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley Hills, CA. Marty left the food business to pursue his passion for wine, and we’re lucky enough to have access to his skill set in all things wine.
5 Questions to Ask V. Sattui’s Sommeliers on your next Visit
- We bought a goat cheese and an aged cheddar from the Artisan Deli for our picnic. Which V. Sattui wine do you recommend to pair with them?
- I love your 2016 Dry Riesling. What other white wine would you recommend for my palette?
- I have been exploring red blends recently. Do you have any we could taste?
- We plan to come for a V. Sattui BBQ on Sunday. Which wines do you recommend to go with the food?
- Which Cabernet Sauvignon do you recommend that is under $60?
By asking these questions, you are getting to know your palette, the sommelier, and wines you may or may not like — even wines you never thought you would enjoy! So next time you V. Sattui, be sure to ask our somms any questions you may have and expand your wine knowledge along the way. Cheers!
V. Sattui’s Sonoma County Jewels.
In today’s world, anyone who attempts to rank either Napa or Sonoma County as one better than the other is seriously misinformed. At V. Sattui, we have long been aware of the jewels that Sonoma County possess and we access tons of grapes for our top, premium wines from extraordinary vineyard sites in a number of Sonoma’s distinctive sub-appellations.
It is a cooler region than Napa because of its closer proximity to the Pacific Ocean and the topography diverts, channels and segments maritime penetration in such a way that exceptional – even somewhat magical – growing sites are created in the various nooks and crannies of the Sonoma hills and mountains. Another dimension is the wide array of soils from the Rock Pile Appellation – which is what the name suggests – to the sandy alluvial soils along the Russian River to the calcium carbonate (read chalk) found in Chalk Hill Appellation. These phenomena combine to create a wider impact from AVA to AVA (American Viticultural Area or BATF approved Appellation) and a wider diversity of varietals suited to those micro-regions.
Growers in Sonoma County have sensed these unique conditions by planting accordingly in these micro-climates. As a result, the wines they produce have become very terroir driven and display a developed a sense of area identity. Russian River Pinot Noir, for example has an identifiable profile as does Dry Creek Zinfandel and so on. This, of course, leads me to our Sonoma County Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as well as a couple of our Flagship Sonoma Zinfandels.
2015 Sonoma County Chardonnay: The Bella Vista Vineyard lies just a few hundred yards from the Napa Line in the northern part of the Mayacamas Mountain Range. These eastern slopes are noted growing areas for Chardonnay. This vineyard is on the crown of the mountain where there is always a lot of air movement and abundant sunshine above the fog level. The soil is clay loam with tons of gravel. Simply put, it’s everything a Chardonnay vine would like.
2015 Sonoma County Pinot Noir: This wine is beyond the Carneros Appellation (Sonoma side), which borders San Pablo Bay. It is literally in the Bay on Skagg’s Island (along with the Coast Guard). Talk about bathing this varietal with the cool air it loves. And, here’s a twist: This vineyard belongs to Reynaldo Robledos and his family. He is the first Mexican immigrant field worker to own and operate a winery with vineyards in the U.S. (350 acres). Not enough can be said for his dedication, passion and just plain, hard work. We have a special sensitivity toward immigrants, as we salute the Sattui Family’s journey from Italy to California with a special wine called La Merica.
2014 Russian River Zinfandel: A prime example of what this region can produce. A finger of fog follows the river inland, permeating and expanding over its banks long before the larger area is encompassed. This provides nice heat during the day which Zinfandel requires as well as an extraordinary diurnal temperature range of 35° to 40° (temps between day and night). This locks acids and flavors into the fruit which are showcased well in this wine.
2013 Gilsson Vineyard Zinfandel: Gilsson Vineyard fruit grows in the eastern reaches of the Russian River Valley; in the “elbow” of a neighboring Sonoma appellation – Chalk Hill. From a drone’s eye, one can actually see bands of chalk striating throughout the hill. The combination of the Valley’s cool climate, quick drainage from the chalk and nutrient bound clay, causes the vine to struggle to produce its fruit. The end result is a wine with amplified notes of fruit, framed in depth and structure.
Care to sample these Sattui Sonoma jewels?
Now through August 15th, enjoy $1 Ground Shipping on all mix-or-match cases of the four Sonoma County wines listed above! Receive 15% OFF 1 case and 20% OFF 2 or more cases.
Our romantically elegant barrel cellar is the most versatile event space on property! The classic oak barrels serve as beautiful decor, while aging our beloved Ports & Madeira. These are just a few of our favorite transformations!
This is the time of year we pull out those special bottles from the cellar we’ve been saving for a significant occasion. Wine is meant to be shared with those we love! But before you know it, the wine cellar starts looking a bit empty, and it’s time to restock.
We asked Dario Sattui, owner of V. Sattui Winery, what wines he would choose to stock in his cellar (we limited him to just four!). Here are his top choices.
Paradiso is our Bordeaux-style red blend, and this vintage has been praised for tasting as good as a high-end Bordeaux, but with a much more palatable price. Included in its long list of awards is “Wine of the Year” and “Best Red Wine”, earning 97 points and a platinum medal at the Critics Challenge. This wine is great now, but within the next 7-10 years it will get even better.
2012 was an exceptional year for growing grapes in the Napa Valley. Near perfect weather conditions created a rare combination of high quality fruit and an abundant crop. In addition, this wine comes from an area with rugged mountain terrain and conditions that demand handcraftsmanship at the highest level. Brooks Painter, our Director of Winemaking, has done an excellent job with this one.
Selected as the “Wine of the Year” and the “Best Cabernet Sauvignon” with a score of 98 points at the 2015 Monterey International Wine Competition, this is definitely a Napa Valley cab you want to add to your cellar.
This wine is fabulous right now and will bring even greater rewards 10 years down the road.
2013 Morisoli Cabernet
This wine comes from Gary & Melody Morisoli’s Vineyard located in the heart of the famed “Rutherford Bench”. Gary is a third-generation farmer on this property, a special part of Napa Valley where some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley is grown. Our 2013 vintage has not yet been released to the public, but it’s already been awarded 97 points and named “Best of Class” and “Best Red Wine” in the 2016 Monterey Wine Competition. Look for this wine’s release in early 2017 and make some room to save it for the next 10-15 years.
2012 Reserve Merlot
The elegance and concentration of our 2012 Merlot inspired us to bottle a small barrel selection separately as a “Reserve” wine. It has a very deep ruby-purple color in the glass, and sweet, red berry fruit aromas explode in the nose. This wine shows layers of aromas and a depth of flavor seen only in great vintages, and the 2012 was definitely a vintage to remember, with near perfect weather conditions for growing grapes in the Napa Valley.
Judges at the San Diego International Wine Competition awarded this wine a Platinum medal and 94 points. We plan to release our 2012 Reserve Merlot at our Winemaker’s Dinner in May 2017, and we suggest enjoying this wine over the next 8-10 years.
With December around the corner and the cold weather setting in, we draw comfort and warmth looking back on one of our favorite Summer 2016 weddings. Thanks to One Love Photography for capturing these beautiful shots!
Revive 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.
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.
From 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Speaking of adding height to the tables, check out these beautiful branch decorations! The hanging flowers and crystals helped make this look extra magical.
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.
It’s great to be in Napa Valley any time of year, but this week is a bit more colorful, glamorous, and generous. Auction Napa Valley begins Thursday, June 2nd, and runs through Sunday, June 5th. This is one of the most celebrated charity wine events, and the benefits from it linger much longer than just four days.
Auction Napa Valley is hosted by the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) association, and with the generosity of bidders, vintners, event partners and volunteers, we are all creating a healthier community for children, families and adults. The NVV’s contributions to community health and children’s education nonprofits allow them to serve more than 100,000 clients of all ages annually.
At V. Sattui, we are proud to partner with the NVV and support these efforts to keep Napa County one of the best communities to live, work, and visit. We have created an E-Auction Lot, which allows both folks attending Auction Napa Valley, and those who cannot physically be here to participate in the event too. The E-Auction is open now and closes on Sunday, June 5th. Our lot is an Imperial sized bottle of 2012 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon. This is equal to eight regular sized (750 ml) bottles of one of our best single vineyard Napa Valley Cabernets. It has won several awards and earned numerous points, including being named “Wine of the Year” and “Best Cabernet” by the 2016 Monterey International Wine Competition.
We hope you’ll make a bid on this E-Auction lot, and we hope you win!
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.
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.
No one can deny that Italians are passionate people, especially about art, family, food, wine and romance! Here at V. Sattui, we’re very proud of our Italian roots and the special touch they add to our weddings. That’s amore!
What could be more romantic than getting married in an Italian villa? Our stone buildings are charmingly rustic, and the rounded archways provide natural alters in our ceremony spaces.
Italians are known for their strong family bonds, and our brides and grooms feel the same way about their families too. With multiple options for hosting your ceremony, V. Sattui can comfortably accommodate up to 250 guests, so your whole family can celebrate with you!
When it comes to delicious food and wine, Italians definitely take the gold. Here at V. Sattui, we’re very lucky to have Michelin-star chef Stefano Masanti on hand to create incredible food that complements our fine wines. What brings people together better than a good meal and wine?
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!
‘Tis the season to celebrate, and show friends and family how much we care about them. We encourage you to THINK BIG!
Large format bottles are the unsung heroes of the wine industry. Not only do they make an impression at the table, they age better than their standard counterparts, making for a wise and generous investment.
Many people save the larger bottles for very special occasions such as Christmas Dinner when all of the family is gathered around the table, or New Year’s Eve to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter. If you’ve been to V. Sattui Winery’s Harvest Ball, you know we choose that night as a great occasion to open our large format bottles of older vintages and share with our party guests.
We find the presence of a large format bottle can make any occasion a special, and successful, one – a gathering of friends, the first time meeting the parents, a weekend out-of-town. Our Vice President of Operations, John Winkelhaus, recently hosted a dinner party for 12 people where he opened a magnum of 2007 V. Sattui Morisoli Cabernet, and a magnum of our 2012 Crow Ridge Zinfandel.
“The wines tasted beautifully, since they age so well in the larger bottles,” says John. “It was really a memorable evening of good friends and great wine served with a prime rib dinner, and later, a great cheese course. Opening the large format bottles made our guests feel special and added a detail that made the night extra special.”
Our large format bottles also make great gifts, especially for BIG occasions. One of V. Sattui’s longtime wine tenders, Marty Slavin, says he purchased a magnum to commemorate his son’s birth. He also gives them to salute marquee occasions like weddings and retirements.
“I like to buy a large bottle with the vintage year of the special occasion for a gift,” says Marty. “It’s a nice way to memorialize the moment, and be able to remember the event by enjoying a really great wine later.”
And because they age so well, you have plenty of time to decide which occasion is the right one. Simply make sure they are stored on their side, so the cork stays wet, at cellar temperature (55°F). Our extensive portfolio of large format wines goes back decades. Our Magnum-sized offerings are the most diverse, though we do feature Double Magnums, Imperials and Nebuchadnezzars.
One magnum contains 1.5L of wine, which is the equivalent of two standard wine bottles. When is the last time you were in excellent company, enjoying one of those deep belly laughs, and loving the wine being shared, and a second or third bottle of wine needed to be opened? Those nights are perfect for large formats.
Be sure to keep an eye out for our new limited membership Magnum Club- which will launch in 2016!
New Year’s Eve. It’s happening. And all you need to know is bubbles, bubbles, bubbles… and brandy??
We’ve put together a fool-proof celebration box to cover your New Year’s Eve celebration:
This sparkling wine is like getting the fancy French stuff with a cool California twist. We use the traditional French methode champenoise and apply it to our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes grown right here in Napa Valley. This is a labor of love, truly, where the wine undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle to create those lovely bubbles, bubbles, bubbles. Then, we add a little sugar (known as dosage) to bring the sweetness up to a level known as brut (1.3% residual sugar [RS]). Et voilà! Pop the cork and get ready for green apple, some toasted notes and a pleasant yeastiness.
Made in the same methode champenoise as our Prestige Cuvée, we start off with Valdigué grapes (and a little Grenache). Valdigué is the same grape we use for our well-known and well-loved Gamay Rouge, so you know this sparkling wine will have those bright and juicy cherry and strawberry flavors. When it is time for the dosage, we add a little more sugar to this one (2.6% RS).
It’s a beautiful pink color, and perfect for those sparkling rose fans (you know who you are!).
Oh, Moscato. With it’s ticklishly tiny bubbles, this one is definitely a fan favorite. We start out with its namesake – Muscat grapes. It is made a little differently than the first two, using what is known as the charmat method. This means the secondary fermentation happens right in the tank, so we can keep the wine nice and light and fruity. And it shows – orange blossom, peach, apricot and lychee burst forth from this fun wine. We keep the alcohol low, and the sugars a little higher (8.1% RS), for an effervescent experience.
So here’s where the brandy comes in. We take that sweet and delicate Muscat grape juice (not wine, just juice) and throw in some brandy, just to step it up a bit. The result is this ambrosial liquid. It tastes like honey, toasted hazelnuts, and vanilla. Oh heaven! And it so versatile – serve warm, serve chilled; in glass or on ice cream, or you can even add it to a glass of Moscato for a crazy delicious drink! And once it’s opened, it will last for six months to a year. So if you decide to hide it away halfway through the party to save it for yourself for later… don’t worry, we won’t tell – we completely understand!
New Year’s Eve – handled! Now all you have to worry about is your outfit…
It’s that time of year when we all want to “do good”. Maybe it’s the crazy things happening in our world, maybe it’s the colder weather that forces us to be inside with each other longer, or maybe it’s because we were trained to “be good” for Santa at a very young age.
At V. Sattui Winery, we are giving you, (and us!), a very easy way to “do good”. Bring a children’s book, help a local child, and receive a free tasting. The books will be donated to Napa County Child Start Inc.’s Raising a Reader Program, which promotes lifelong learning for children. We’re off to a good start, having asked our employees to donate books at our recent holiday party. We’d love to get your help in collecting hundreds more to give to local kids in our community.
Your new, unwrapped children’s book (ages 0-9 years) will eventually be sent home with a child to share with their parents and families. While Raising a Reader is targeted to preschool children, the benefits are family‐wide as reading supports parent-child interaction, enhances a child’s ability to listen, and encourages a family routine of having “special time” together.
Just hearing a loving adult read, helps children expand their vocabulary, knowledge and imagination. It also makes them aware of the spoken and written language. It helps children listen better (wouldn’t we all love that?).
We will collect the children’s books in our Main Tasting Room through the month of December. We are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except December 24th when the winery closes at 3 p.m., and we are closed for business on Christmas Day.
Guests who donate a book will receive a complimentary tasting at the winery.
Let’s give the gift of reading! We hope to see you soon!
A great Cabernet calls for a great cut of meat; cooked to perfection and paired with a smooth sauce and succulent side dishes. Our favorite side dishes for this recipe are creamy polenta and asparagus, and we love pairing this dish with our Mt Veeder Cabernet. The grapes for this mountain-bred Cabernet come from the upper blocks of our beautiful and historic Henry Ranch property.
Filet Mignon with Morel Mushrooms
4 filet mignons, about 6 ounces each
4 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 shallot, minced
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef stock
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon each thyme & parsley, chopped
2 ounces dried morel mushrooms, hydrated and roughly chopped
Heat your grill and rub the filets with half the oil and season with salt and pepper. Set the filets aside while you prepare the sauce.
In a small sauce pan add the shallot and red wine. Bring to a boil and reduce by half. Add the stock and reduce by half. Add the vinegar and sugar. Stir to combine. Add the thyme, parsley and mushrooms. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer while you grill the steaks.
Grill the steaks to your desired temperature. It should take about 12-15 minutes to reach medium rare.
Place a steak on each of four warmed plates, spoon the sauce over each steak and serve with your side dishes.
Photo credits: The Gourmet Gourmand
Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you are enjoying some time with friends, family, and of course, some great V. Sattui wine! Think you might have some turkey leftover after your big feast tomorrow? We enlisted some help from local chef John Ash.
In addition to being a renowned chef, author, and food and wine educator, many refer to Chef John Ash as the “Father of Wine Country Cuisine”. In 1980 he opened his namesake restaurant, John Ash & Company, in Santa Rosa, CA. It was the first restaurant in Northern California wine country to focus on local, seasonal ingredients used to create dishes that complemented the wines being made in the region. It continues to be critically acclaimed today.
John travels the world teaching cooking classes to both home cooks and professionals. And for John, wine is always considered an essential part of the flavors of a meal.
The following recipe is from John’s Culinary Birds cookbook. Tortillitas are a little-known savory pancake from Spain that make delicious little tapas. They are meant to be served with Romesco Sauce (recipe is also below), and John recommends serving them with our Dry Riesling. Enjoy–and use up that turkey!
Tortillitas with Turkey
From Chef John Ash
Makes 4-6 Pancakes
½ cup leftover turkey meat, cut into small ½” to 1” pieces
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup chickpea flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
2 tabelspoons mixed chopped fresh herbs (such as rosemary, parsley, thyme, cilantro)
Combine turkey with cumin, coriander and black pepper and mix. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a small skillet over medium heat and cook the turkey until lightly browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Season to your taste with salt and set aside.
For the batter, in a bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 cup of water and stir to combine; consistency should resemble pancake batter (if batter is too thick, add more water, a tablespoon at a time). Stir in the scallions, cooked turkey and any juices and the herbs.
Add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil to a 9 or 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, pour one-third of the batter into the center of the pan and tilt to form a pancake, spreading the batter gently with a spatula if necessary.
Cook until the pancake is set around the edges, about 1 minute. Flip the pancake and continue cooking for another couple of minutes, then flip it again and cook for another 30 seconds or so, until it is crisp on the outside but still moist inside. Remove from the pan and serve immediately, cut into wedges, Romesco sauce on the side to spoon over top. Cook the remaining pancakes in the same way and serve warm.
Makes 2 cups
2 large tomatoes
1 large dried ancho chile
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup peeled hazelnuts
¼ cup blanched almonds
1 (1/2-inch thick) slice firm white bread, cut into ½-cubes
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
¼ cup drained piquillo or pimento peppers, rinsed
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or to taste
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the tomatoes under a hot broiler and roast until lightly charred and softened. Chop them and set aside, saving all the juices.
While the tomatoes are roasting, slice the chile open lengthwise and discard the stem and seeds; then tear the chile into small pieces. Heat the oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, add the chile, and cook, stirring until the oil is fragrant and the chile turns a brighter red, about 20 seconds. Transfer the chile with a slotted spoon to a heatproof bowl.
Add the hazelnuts to the skillet along with the almonds, bread, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the bread and garlic are golden, 2-3 minutes. Add the mixture (including oil) to the chile in the bowl and let cool.
Combine the chile mixture, piquillos, and vinegar in food processor and purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional vinegar if needed. Thin with water if desired. Can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored covered and refrigerated. Serve at room temperature.