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.
Photo courtesy Ken Viale Photography
Photo courtesy Ken Viale Photography
Photo courtesy Ken Viale Photography
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!
Photo courtesy Ken Viale Photography
Photo courtesy Ken Viale Photography
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?
The largest secular observance day in the world, Earth Day is celebrated by more than one billion people every year! This annual celebration reminds us of the obligation we have to both the earth and to one another. It also allows us to reflect and recognize the good works we have accomplished toward this universal goal—which we are so proud to share with you!
Since 2006, we have been chipping away at the 908,388 pounds of carbon dioxide and 838 pounds of nitrogen oxide that our solar electric system will prevent from entering the environment during the system’s 30-year life span. The system itself is made up of 198 high efficiency solar modules—which not only reduces our electric costs, it significantly cuts harmful emissions that traditional utility sources produce. Installed by Akeena Solar, our solar electric system, adorning our extensive warehouse, is undoubtedly one our great investments.
The continuation of our Fish Friendly Farming certification ensures the protection of Carneros Creek, which runs through our Carneros Estate at the Henry Ranch. By preventing harmful runoffs from entering creeks and steams, we are working to restore and sustain our wildlife habitats. In addition, we are also improving the existing water quality—making life all the better for steelhead trout, which is one of the many species in our beautiful watershed that relies on clean water.
Essential to sustainable farming, cover cropping plays a large role in our vineyards. Mustard—a member of the Brassica Family—dries out the soil, which allows us to begin working in the early spring. With this, we are able to create good soil aeration that serves us well throughout the season. In addition, nematodes and a handful of other vineyard parasites avoid mustard; in this way, mustard serves the purpose of natural pesticide.
Aside from mustard, we also plant legumes, oats and clovers during the winter; these plants appeal to favorable insects, which eat destructive ones that can damage the vines. We also plow over the cover crop in the spring. This process generates a natural fertilizer that permits valuable nitrogen to return to the soil.
Izzy, the newest addition to our Winery pet family, loves spending her mornings running our organic Vittorio's Vineyard!
Photo courtesty: Michaela Davies
USDA Certified Organic, Vittorio’s Vineyard sits adjacent to the Winery. Comprised of 34 acres, this land consists primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon vines. Beginning with our 2012 vintage, our Vittorio’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon proudly boasts the label of USDA Certified Organic.
So what does that mean exactly? In a nutshell, it means that we eliminate any chemicals or inorganic fertilizers that could penetrate into the groundwater.
Not only are our picnic packs completely compostable and recyclable, they are also made by the students in the Napa Valley Unified School District’s Special Education Transition Program. We are so proud of our relationship with this group, which began over 20 years ago! By providing these students a competitive wage, we work to give back to a community that has so much to offer.
The next time you find yourself at the Winery for a picnic, do not forget to pick up a picnic pack to support both the environment and such an incredible community!
V. Sattui Winery/Michaela Davies
It is true that producing great wine makes for a great winery. However, without our remarkable employees we would not be able to boast even a fraction of our successes.
One such employee is Margarita Bautista, named Employee of the Year at our annual employee Christmas party this past December. As Kitchen Manager and Chef de Partie to the winery’s Executive Chef Gerardo Sainato, Margarita is the warm smile and firm hand that sees to the daily operation of our kitchen. Responsible for filling our marketplace with sandwiches, salads, pastas and more, our kitchen crew works to provide both fresh and delicious food.
Tom Davies, President of V. Sattui Winery gives Margarita a hug after presenting her with the "Employee of the Year" award in December, 2015
Hired by then Winery Chef, Charlotte Combe, Margarita has been a part of the Sattui family for the last nineteen years. Charlotte, a friend to the college where Margarita worked at the time, was quickly impressed with Margarita’s talent in the kitchen. After asking her multiple times to come work for her, Margarita finally agreed.
“At the time I did not speak any English and she did not speak any Spanish. I kept thinking what am I going to do with this lady? She’s a wonderful woman though. She taught me a lot,” says Margarita.
After working with Charlotte for a handful of years, Margarita began working with Chef Judy DeParis.
“Judy became my best friend. She helped me with my English and my three sons. If I didn’t have a babysitter, she would come to my house to babysit my sons so I could go into work,” says Margarita.
Contributing to this familial-work environment, Margarita’s sister and niece also work alongside her in the Sattui kitchen. Even more, every person in the kitchen can count on two hands how long they have worked at Sattui.
“Family always helps and everyone here helps everyone a lot,” says Margarita.
Originally from Michoacán, Mexico, Margarita has lived in the Napa Valley with her husband, Fernando, since 1992. With her two sisters and brothers also living in Napa, Margarita’s siblings take turns hosting family dinners every Friday.
“Every Friday, everybody, altogether,” smiles Margarita. “I love to grill and cook traditional Mexican food, but I also really love what we cook here. Our food is healthy, with fresh produce and meat, which is how I like to cook and eat.” Eating is just as much about the people you share your meal with, as it is the food itself.”
The V. Sattui kitchen is famous for their afternoon lunches, both for the quality of company and the wonderful food.
“Everyone stops working at the same time so we can all eat together,” says Margarita.
In fact, it is not uncommon for winery President Tom Davies to make his way to the kitchen when rumors of homemade mole start to circulate.
As with anything, doing good work is important—but it is often the not-so-small extra efforts that make a world of difference. Margarita is one of many who has undoubtedly helped to cultivate this warm and welcoming environment among both our employees and our guests, which is what ultimately makes V. Sattui such a special place.
“Let them eat cake!” While love is definitely the sweetest part of any wedding, the cake is a close second. These days there are all kinds of fun ways to customize the cake to best fit your personality. We thought we’d give you a taste of some of the top trends we’ve noticed recently. Since these cakes look almost too good to eat, we’re extra grateful to photographers Ken Viale and Richard Wood for preserving them in these photographs!
White cakes are timelessly elegant, and they look extra pretty when dressed up with white embellishments like flowers or piped embroidery. Stacking them in unique geometric patterns is also a fun way to modernize the look!
Many couples these days are going for an earthy, whimsical feel for their wedding, and the cake is a perfect way to showcase this theme. To get this look, accent a white cake with fresh flowers and leaves. Even better, use a tree ring as a display!
These small but might cakes are definitely enjoying a moment in the spotlight right now. In a time where weddings are shifting away from big lofty affairs into more personal, intimate parties, this scaled back look is a natural fit.
And now for something completely different! We’ve been seeing a lot of newlyweds opting for dessert bars rather than - or in addition to- wedding cakes. It’s like finger food heaven, offering bite sized options that cater to the different tastes of your guests.
How many times has it happened to you? You've packed a great picnic to enjoy with friends and family in the great outdoors, and of course you've included your favorite wines. However, once you've arrived at your destination, you realize you forgot to bring a corkscrew! This is where you're really thankful your favorite picnic wines include V. Sattui's selection of seven wines that are sealed with a screwcap.
The question of whether to seal wines with a cork or a screwcap has been fermenting for years among wine producers, from Bordeaux to California to New Zealand. Throughout history, corks have provided a fairly benevolent environment in which wines can mature. But there’s been a recent shift from cork to metal among some producers as an increased amount of wine seemed to be suffering from cork taint, leaving some wine tasting musty and dull. The culprit, which can spoil up to one in twenty bottles, is trichloroanisole (TCA), a compound formed when chlorine used for bleaching reacts with mold already growing in the cork.
What About Synthetic Cork?
Of course, another alternative is synthetic ‘cork’, which is already in widespread use; but many vintners realize these do not provide a tighter seal than natural corks, many tasters complain of ‘plastic taint’, and many consumers find them difficult to remove and impossible to recycle.
An Industry Stance?
The general consensus is that it is up to the producers to decide how to close their wine. Everyone does agree that slow oxygenation through a cork is needed to age some types of wine. Screw cap proponents argue that wine is aged by oxygen in the wine itself and the tiny amount of residual air held between the cap and wine.
V. Sattui’s Position: Yes and No.
We still use cork for our wines that are meant for long-term aging. Our belief is that people haven’t attempted to keep wines for a long time with a screw cap, so we’re not going to switch wholly to metal closures without better evidence. While some wineries have taken the lead (risk?) in switching entirely to screw caps, we prefer to take small steps and have bottled seven of our wines in metal closures. We believe they’re good for maintaining freshness and fruitiness in our wines meant to be consumed early.
Be sure to try at least one of these seven wines, and let us know if you agree.
Vineyards and wineries have long evoked notions of romance. Their rustic, vintage charm and earthy atmosphere create a magical setting unlike any other. An increasing number of brides-to-be are jumping on the winery wedding bandwagon, especially in California. Here at V. Sattui, we’re proud to share our beautiful landscape with 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 here we've narrowed them to our top 5 favorite reasons! 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? 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!
Where have the last couple of months gone? It seems as though we were just celebrating the New Year and now we are fast approaching the first day of spring. On the cusp of the new season, Easter is a welcome time to reconnect with family and friends, even if just for a Sunday.
From the bright flavor palette to the lively label, our Dancing Egg Riesling is the perfect addition to your Easter celebrations. Pair it with a traditional baked ham and it’s salty, fatty goodness will contrast nicely with the Dancing Egg’s fruity, floral aromas. Or serve it as an apéritif alongside a fabulous cheese and charcuterie plate as you welcome your guests into your home.
Photo from Mike/Flickr
Currently on sale, our Dancing Egg Riesling is unique in its fruity body, coupled with a vivid acidity and incredible minerality. To achieve this, we utilize a concrete egg to assist in the fermentation process. Eliminating any corners, the given shape of the tank encourages the natural current of the wine around the lees, which remains constantly in suspension. As the wine interacts more with the lees, deeper flavor compounds develop.
With such an interesting story behind this wine’s fermentation process, it is only appropriate to present it with such an illustrative and whimsical label. Both fun and telling of the wine’s provenance, the dancing egg label makes for a most festive Easter wine!
We wish you a wonderful Easter with your loved ones. If you’re in the area, our doors are open should you choose to spend Easter with our Sattui Family—we would love you to join us!
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, add up to a 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 photographer Richard Wood and Ken Viale. Grab your Kleenex!
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!
Dario Sattui and guests on March 4, 1976, the day V. Sattui Winery opened in Napa Valley
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!”
Winemaker Rick Rosenbrand and Dario Sattui tasting from a barrel
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!
V. Sattui's current winemaker, Brooks Painter, at work
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!