ANDERSON VALEY TRIP OCTOBER 2-7TH, 2011
On time flight out of Milwaukee, lands a few minutes early, luggage popped out on the carousel in the first three minutes, car rental was ready….I hardly knew what to do with myself. The immediate need was to get to Hopland, California for my first interview and a rare Sunday one at that. But this is harvest and harvest means there is no day of the week only the siren song of the fruit in the vineyard calling the winemaker to come and get it. This was another day of the siren for Mark & Donnis Topel of Topel Wines.
RUTHERFORD, CA (April 11, 2011) – Francis Ford Coppola announced today that he has acquired the iconic Inglenook trademark and that henceforth, his celebrated Rubicon Estate in Rutherford, Napa Valley will be known by its historic original name, Inglenook, which he has acquired from The Wine Group. In addition, beginning this summer renowned Bordeaux winemaker Philippe Bascaules will assume the position of Estate Manager and Winemaker at the newly renamed Inglenook.
PREMIERE NAPA VALLEY TRIP-FEBRUARY 21ST, 2011
Day One-February 21st.
Escaping Wisconsin looked to be a trick after getting hit on Sunday night with a snow storm turned rain storm turned ice storm back to snow again. Mother Nature is not confused, she’s just angry.
Arriving in San Francisco to cloudy skies and 52 degrees I was pleased to be away from snow. Then I arrive in Napa to see snow on Mt. St. Helena. Of course, why not?
After checking in I head up to St. Helena for my interview with Land & Reed co owner John Skupny.
I love Merlot. In fact Merlot was the grape that started me on the road to fine wine.
I still seek out labels I’ve never sampled and end up finding another great one.
Sadly, people sometimes forget just how great Merlot can really be (guess that leaves more for me!)
It’s been long lamented that the movie Sideways seems to have given the grape a bad rap. But the simple truth is in the tasting. Like any underrated grape, Merlot can be genius.
Example? ….Petrus from France.
Napa Valley trip, November 2010
DAY ONE-November 1st.
Just about perfect flight—on time departure—arrival 1/2hour early—no major bumps—luggage made it—should I play the lottery?
First tasting was at Elizabeth-Spencer. I was greeted by the newest addition to the tasting room…..a lovely woman who was experiencing her first day on the job. In Napa Valley, that takes some knowledge and guts. She did a nice job walking through the wines and was very helpful. Also spent time talking with a young man named John…he knew his stuff and talked extensively about the library wines. Purchased a 2007 Syrah….one of my favorites.