wine country Archives - Page 2 of 2 - V. Sattui Winery

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.

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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Creative Touches for A Wine Country Wedding

With wine making and wedding planning, one thing is always true: It’s all about the details! Both making wine and planning a wedding are such fun creative processes, and we love seeing how brides and grooms find fun and unique ways to incorporate their winery wedding location into the theme of their wedding! Here are some of our favorite wine country wedding ideas we’ve seen! Big thanks to photographer Ken Viale for capturing these images for us!

Using a large-format bottle as a guest book

Let’s be honest, how often do wedded couples go back and read the guest book signed at their wedding? Having a signed large-format wedding bottle on display not only looks a lot more fun, but gives you a token to enjoy for years to come!

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Photo Credit: Ken Viale
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Photo Credit: Ken Viale

Having a wine blending ceremony

We love the idea of a wine ceremony – blending a red and a white wine together – as a creative way to symbolize two people coming together as one. It’s fun, romantic, and tastes pretty good too!

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Photo Credit: Ken Viale

Using Corks as Functional Decorations

There are so many fun and creative ways to use corks within your wedding! Some of our personal favorites have been using them as place holders and as ring holders!

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Photo Credit: Ken Viale
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Photo Credit: Ken Viale

Wine makes the prettiest backdrop!

Whether it be barrels or bottles, wine always photographs well!

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Photo Credit: Ken Viale
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Photo Credit: Ken Viale

April Showers Bring May Flowers to Weddings in Wine Country!

Love isn’t the only thing in bloom this time of year! Here at V. Sattui we’re not only surrounded by our lush and beautiful gardens, but by the many stunning flower arrangements we see at all of our weddings! To celebrate spring and all the beauty it brings, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite wedding florals. Big thanks to photographer Shannon Stellmacher for preserving these flowers with your photos!

White is a timelessly classic look, and we love how these white flowers add a little pop of life to this elegant table setting.

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For those who prefer color, why not opt for mismatched bouquets?

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If traditional isn’t really your thing, we love the mostly green bouquets we’ve been seeing lately. It’s a fun way to add a trendy and natural touch to your look!

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Flowers aren’t just for bouquets! We love the way this couple used flowers as an aisle and a back drop.

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Wineries and Weddings, A Match Made in Heaven (AKA Wine Country)

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!

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2. Rustic Charm
The rustic atmosphere of a winery takes you back in time to simpler days, and evokes a cozy, intimate feeling.

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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.

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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”?

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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!

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Sweet Emotions at V Sattui Winery Weddings

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.

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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”.

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A wedding is emotional for everyone involved, not just the bride and groom, as displayed by these proud parents.

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This happy bride is excited to celebrate her new marriage and her love of V. Sattui wine. Cheers!

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There is nothing more sweet and tender than a first dance, and knowing you’ve found your forever dance partner.

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This bride is literally jumping for joy, as she has found a man to sweep her off her feet!

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Spring Weddings Are In The Air at V. Sattui!

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!