‘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!
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.
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.
Whether it’s your favorite professional team, college team, or your kids’ little league team… we Americans love our football! At V. Sattui we are really into the spirit, especially since Super Bowl 50 will be played in February just a couple of hours down the road from us.
But some of us are even more enthusiastic about the Tailgate Party before the game! Whether you enjoy hanging out in the parking lot with your portable grills blazing, or chilling in the family room with friends, we love to fuel up on tasty fare before cheering our team on to victory. But we encourage you to think outside of the “nacho and beer” box.
This recipe comes from our friends at Harris Ranch Beef. This family-owned business is located in California’s Central Valley, has been in operation since the 1930’s. They produce some of the finest quality beef and it’s available widely on the West Coast.
These fajitas are brought to a new level of flavor when you pair them with V. Sattui’s Gilsson Zinfandel. This wine has equal “weight” to match the beef in the fajitas, some fruit-forward flavors like ripe boysenberry and blackberry that complement the spiciness in the dish.
Try elevating your tailgate to new heights—and hopefully your team’s success will follow!
Ranch House Fajitas
From Harris Ranch Beef
2 pounds, marinated Harris Ranch skirt, flap or flank steak
2 bell peppers (red, green or yellow), sliced
1 large red onion, sliced
2 medium tomato, wedged
3 cups Harris Ranch Restaurant Marinade (recipe to follow)
Slice steak across the grain into 1/4"-1/2" strips and marinate for at least four hours, or overnight if desired. Remove meat from the marinade and discard the marinade. In a sauté pan, sauté beef, onion and bell pepper over medium heat until beef is browned and onion and bell pepper are tender. Stir in wedged tomatoes and sauté for five minutes more. Serve immediately with warm flour tortillas, grated cheese, sour cream, salsa and guacamole. Serves 4-6
Harris Ranch Restaurant Marinade:
8 oz. soy sauce
16 oz. water
2 oz. brown sugar
1 tbsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 dashes Tabasco
1 oz. lemon juice
Combine above ingredients and refrigerate.
Mention V. Sattui’s Black Sears Zinfandel to any of our members who love big, bold flavors and you will see a little twinkle in their eye. This single-vineyard Zinfandel comes from Howell Mountain, Napa County’s highest vineyard, which is also biodynamically farmed and certified organic.
The unique climate of Howell Mountain produces wines with a firm structure, intense fruit flavors, earthy spice, and round acidity. The ashy, iron-laden soils are perfectly suited for growing full-bodied, peppery Zinfandel and earthy, rich Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
Joyce and Jerre Sears purchased their vineyard property in 1979, and now caring for the vineyards has become a full family affair, with their daughter and son-in-law, Ashley and Chris Jambois joining the family business in 2008. They are committed to using organic and biodynamic farming practices not only in the vineyards, but also in the acres of orchards and gardens on this gorgeous property.
Their love of the land shines through in the wine. V. Sattui’s 2012 Black Sears Zinfandel is a beautiful dark garnet color with concentrated blackberry fruit and a scent of cracked black pepper that is a signature of this vineyard. People love this wine because it is both restrained and loaded with flavor. It is impeccably balanced, and is ready to drink today, but if you are patient and lay it down for the next 5 to 8 years, we believe you will be richly rewarded.
Purchase our 2012 Black Sears Zinfandel here >>
Some information in this blog has been reprinted with permission. For more information about the Black Sears vineyard please visit www.blacksears.com
We’ve added a new key player to our V. Sattui team this year. Assistant Winemaker Jason Moravec joined our V. Sattui Family in July, and we are thrilled to have a passionate winemaker who literally grew up in a local vineyard. Jason’s family lived on a farm on the Sonoma side of the Los Carneros appellation where they grew 10 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. From an early age Jason has been working and learning the industry from the ground up!
Q: How was your first harvest with V. Sattui?
A: My first harvest with V. Sattui was fast and furious! My first day on the job was just a few months before the beginning of harvest and we still had months of bottling to finish. I hit the ground running and took the reins on bottling our 2013 red wines. At the same time we prepped the winery for an early harvest. The 2015 vintage was a true test of how quickly I could adapt and it went amazingly. Due to the drought and other factors during bloom, 2015 will be low yielding but exceptional quality year. I can’t wait to get crafting and shaping these wines through the blending process.
Q: You grew up helping your parents grow grapes. When did you know you wanted to be a winemaker?
A: I knew I wanted to work in the industry when I was 10 years old. I saw how it brought my family together on our vineyard ranch in Sonoma. But it wasn’t until I was 16, when I started working in the tasting room at Gloria Ferrer Winery as a bus boy, that I really knew what I wanted to do. I found that the winemaker, Bob Iantosca, was this critical focal point that pulled all sides of the wine industry together. I saw that the winemaker gets to be all over the place-- in the lab, in the vineyard, in the cellar, and even in the sales market. And I wanted that. I couldn’t wait to discover the intricacies of every department and to make my own wines for everyone to enjoy.
Q: I love pulling into our parking lot in the morning and seeing your car parked next to Vittorio's Vineyard-- plugged into an outlet we have there. When did you start driving an electric car, and what does it say about you?
A: We only have one world, and it’s our responsibility to protect it for future generations. Since I’m always seeking out new ways for our winery and vineyards to become more sustainable, it feels only natural to live life in the same way. I started driving an all electric car in 2013, and love that I have already gone 40,000 miles on zero gas.
Q: Not to be depressing-- but let's pretend it's your last day on Earth. What are you drinking? Eating with it? And who are you with?
A: That’s an interesting question for me because my birthday is December 21st, and a few years back it was thought that the world would come to an end on December 21st 2012. So I threw an end of the world birthday party and invited all my friends and family to join. I vividly remember by the end if the night my grandfather “Opa” was strumming his guitar and everyone was singing along with drink and food in hand. A roasted New Zealand lamb shank in one hand, and a glass of Mount Veeder Cabernet in the other was the icing on the cake of a wonderful experience with family and friends.
Q: What is it like to work with Brooks Painter?
A: He is a wealth of winemaking experience and knowledge, and has been a pleasure to with. I can only hope to continue my own career in the same way.
Q: I know you've only been at V. Sattui for a few months. What are your first impressions?
A: V. Sattui is a solid family of knowledgeable and inspirational people. I am very excited to be a part it.
Q: What are you hoping to accomplish in the future at V. Sattui?
A: I hope to bring some new flare to the wines and culture, while respecting the solid foundation and history that V. Sattui Winery has come to represent.
Jason and his dog, Hans
In just a few short weeks we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving, (sheesh- where does the time go?). This can be such a difficult holiday. Sharing a table with family members who know how to push our buttons with opposing political, religious, and opinionated views. Doing your best to cook the turkey to perfection, while accommodating the vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free, pro-paleo, and folks with nut allergies. Even trying to decide what wine to serve can be daunting. AND YOU KNOW YOU’RE GOING TO NEED WINE!
V. Sattui to the rescue! Our Thanksgiving Box is bundled with four wines that go perfectly with a traditional holiday meal. These wines also offer a wide variety of flavors to please all of the palates at your table. The V. Sattui Thanksgiving Box is available for $89, and is available in our Tasting Room or online, and shipped to your door.
At the very least, everyone at the table will find a wine that makes them happy. Maybe you better get two boxes?
2014 Gamay Rouge
The beautiful cranberry color of this wine alone sets a festive atmosphere on the table! Add the bright and fruity flavors of strawberry, tropical fruit, and cranberry and you have a great pairing for turkey, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes. It’s also great with smoked salmon and cured meats, which you may have as appetizers to kick off your feast. Gamay Rouge is a crowd-pleaser-- both light, and festive!
2014 Sattui Family Chardonnay
Open this bottle and take in the beautiful aromas of vanilla, citrus, and green apples! These fruity flavors follow through when you take a sip, followed by tart acidity and rich mouthfeel. This lighter bodied chardonnay will make a great pairing with roast turkey, buttery mashed potatoes, and dressing doused with gravy!
2013 Sattui Family Pinot Noir
This newly released Pinot has enticing herbal and earthy aromas followed by ripe black cherry and pomegranate flavors. It is a very versatile wine to pair with many different turkey preparations, stuffing recipes, and a spectrum of side dishes. The gentle tannins also marry well with green vegetables such Brussels sprouts, leafy greens such as kale, chard or spinach, as well as the classic green bean casserole!
2011 Sattui Family Cabernet
A classic Napa Valley Cabernet you and your guests will give thanks for! Our Sattui Family Cabernet is made in a soft, engaging style with earthy notes, sweet ginger, cocoa and hints of lilac. Strong on flavor and light on tannins, this wine will pair well with your traditional Thanksgiving meal, plus longer-cooked meats like beef stews and pot roast.
Photo courtesy Tubay Yabut/GEV Magazine
If you’ve picnicked on our property most likely you’ve seen, and maybe even purchased, one of our Picnic Packs. On the surface these Picnic Packs look like a useful convenience, especially for impromptu picnics. But they’re so much more than that.
The people who put these Picnic Packs together for us are 18-22 year-old young adults with developmental disabilities. They are part of the Napa Valley Unified School District’s Transitions Program. They are amazing young people with varying disabilities who have graduated from High School, and are now learning life and job skills as they transition to a more independent chapter in their lives. This is a business partnership that was established 30 years ago, and it’s one we are very proud of.
“We love seeing these kids come here each year and experience their enthusiasm and spirit,” says Tom Davies, President of V. Sattui Winery. “They really light up when they see the picnic packs being used here at the winery. The folks with the program say we do a lot of good for the students, but they do just as much good for us.”
“The students earn a paycheck for putting together the Picnic Packs,” says instructor Melodie Roche. “Our program helps these kids learn to budget money and manage finances. As they put the packs together, they are also learning to work as part of team and how to communicate with each other.”
Recently the class came to visit the winery, as they do each year, and we treat them to a picnic lunch and some winery souvenirs. They learn more about V. Sattui and are able to see for themselves how the Picnic Packs are displayed and used by customers. When V. Sattui President Tom Davies told them the Picnic Packs are so valuable to us they are “priceless”- the group cheered with glee and accomplishment. Students say they really enjoy putting the packs together and listen to really good music as they do it.
So the next time you pick up a Picnic Pack in our deli, we just wanted you to know it’s packed with so much more than just picnic essentials.
The children of the Boys and Girls Club of St. Helena and Calistoga with Dario Sattui and staff in 2013.
Just last week the Boys & Girls Club of St. Helena and Calistoga reached a significant milestone in its quest to build a permanent club facility in Calistoga. Currently the organization has raised $9.01 million, with a final goal of raising $9.5 million in the next 9 months.
This is a project near and dear to Dario Sattui’s heart. He donated $1 million toward the project in 2013 on behalf of V. Sattui Winery and Castello di Amorosa. In December of 2014 he pledged an additional $500,000.
“Calistoga really needs a place where young people can congregate, socialize, learn and to play sports in a healthy environment with positive role models,” said Sattui.
Draft concept of the permanent Boys & Girls Club to be built in Calistoga.
“Mr. Sattui’s vision and generosity were instrumental in starting our fundraising campaign,” says Club Executive Director Jay Templeton. “His early donations were the rocket fuel that propelled more gifts to come forward.”
Templeton says the children of Calistoga really need this facility. The Boys & Girls Club has been using Calistoga Elementary School as a home base since 2001 when they had a membership of just 50 kids. Now they have 430 kids, and have completely outgrown the school.
Draft concept of the permanent Boys & Girls Club to be built in Calistoga.
The Boys & Girls Club has property for the facility secured, an architect on board, and will soon be hiring a general contractor to build the 14,000 square foot building. They hope to break ground in June of 2016, and have the facility open for kids and the community by Labor Day of 2017.