Simply stated, good wine is the wine you enjoy. It’s the wine shared with friends old and new. Or it’s the amazing new wine you discover on a memorable visit to a wine country that you want to savor and bring home to enjoy…again. Whether your preference is big bold reds, buttery chardonnays or the effervescence of bubbles that lighten the mood, wine is personal. It’s an experience. It’s a lifestyle.
We invite you to slow down, pour yourself a glass of your personal favorite and take in a few of this month’s VinGardeValise® Cru favorites which may become some of yours….and as always, make sure you take along your VinGardeValise® wine suitcase to complement your wine travels…wherever they take you!
St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery
St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery combines French chateau tradition with Napa Valley terroir and a focus on Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and other red Bordeaux varieties. St. Supéry was founded by third-generation French vintner Robert Skalli. In 1982, after a decade of researching properties with the advice from Napa Valley’s most respected vintners, the founding family purchased Dollarhide Ranch, over 1,530 acres of unplanted land high in the northeastern mountains which today is the source of St. Supéry’s distinctive estate Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The diversity of Dollarhide’s terroir contributes to the successful farming of red and white Bordeaux varieties.
The winery in Rutherford is home to winemaking, visitor facilities, and 35 acres planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. All of the estate acreage owned by St. Supéry is farmed sustainably using minimal intervention and cultivation. Because St. Supéry’s reputation is based on its valuable Napa Valley properties, a primary goal is to support biodiversity and sustainability while continuing the founding vision of a Napa Valley chateau for generations to come, crafting world-class estate wines of ever-improving quality.
2018 California Green Medal Award for Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership
2019 Best of Sustainable Tourism Award for the Napa Valley region from the Great Wine Capitals
2019 Global Award for the region from the Great Wine Capitals
St. Supéry Estate Winery – Visitor Center – Tasting RoomSt. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery is located at 8440 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford CA 94573 and is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Reservations are preferred and can be made online at stsupery.com or by calling (707) 302-3488.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards
Joseph Phelps Vineyards is a family-owned winery committed to crafting world-class, estate-grown wines. Founded in 1973 when Joe Phelps purchased a former cattle ranch near St. Helena, the winery now controls and farms 390 acres of vines in Napa Valley on eight estate vineyards in St. Helena, the Stags Leap District, Oakville, Rutherford, Oak Knoll District, Carneros and South Napa. In pursuit of an ideal location to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, in 1999 the Phelps family purchased land near the town of Freestone on the western Sonoma Coast, planted 100 acres of vineyards, and built a dedicated winery. Phelps is best known for its flagship wine, Insignia, a Napa Valley blend of red Bordeaux varieties first produced in 1974.
The Joseph Phelps Vineyards’ Napa location is at 200 Taplin Road St. Helena, CA 94574. The winery offers a variety of wine tasting experiences seven days a week by prior appointment. For more information please call the winery at (800) 707-5789 or visit www.josephphelps.com.
Jarvis Estate is Napa Valley’s first entirely subterranean winery. Few wine country experiences can compare with the ideal winemaking conditions and careful attention to detail in the production of Jarvis Estate wines.
Jarvis wines are family farmed and exclusively sourced from 37-acres of estate vineyards that are situated one thousand feet above Napa’s valley floor. The higher elevation and cooler temperatures allow for a more moderate growing season and longer hang-time for gradual fruit maturation with maximum flavor and concentration.
Jarvis Estate’s 45,000 square foot cave and winery offers consistently cool, temperatures with high humidity, perfect for aging, but also beneficial to the winemaking process. No effort is spared when it comes to creating Jarvis wines. Each vintage, handpicked fruit enters the cave during harvest where it is crafted and aged until the wine is at its most exceptional. Only then will it see the light of day again as a bottle of wine.
Jarvis Estate is located at 2970 Monticello Rd, Napa, CA 94558. Reservations are preferred and can be made online at JarvisWines.com or by calling (707) 255-5280.
Chateau Montelena Winery
Chateau Montelena Winery, originally called A.L. Tubbs Winery after its founder Alfred Tubbs, was constructed in 1888 and intended as a barrel-aging facility. The Chateau was unique in materials, plan, size, and style for its era. In nineteenth-century Napa Valley, the majority of wineries were constructed of wood. Instead, the Chateau is made of stone with walls three to twelve feet thick, which provides natural insulation against outside heat or cold. Similarly, the structure was built into a hillside, to further regulate temperature – something necessary for producing quality wines but uncommon at the time. Alfred’s son Chapin (who had been overseeing the property for many years after his father died) renamed the winery to Chateau Montelena in 1934.
In 1976 Chateau Montelena put California at the forefront of the wine world by taking first place in the famous “Judgment in Paris” tasting at the Intercontinental Hotel. Chateau Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay rated above all the other white wines there.
The historic tasting room and cellar provide a lovely venue for experiencing some wonderful wine-tasting options all of which showcase Chateau Montelena’s long and distinguished history of producing fine and age-worthy wine. In addition to the regular current-release tastings, a “Library Tasting” is offered twice per day in the intimate stone-walled Library Room. The more in-depth “Estate Tour and Tasting,” is also available.
Chateau Montelena is located at 1429 Tubbs Lane Calistoga, CA 94515. To make reservations, call (707) 942-5105 or visit their website at montelena.com.
Del Dotto Vineyards
Located in the beautiful Napa Valley, Del Dotto Family Wineries & Caves focus on small production, premium wines. Dave Del Dotto has spent the past 25 years acquiring vineyards in some of the best American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) including Rutherford, Oakville, St. Helena, Howell Mountain, and Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma Coast.
With a family name rooted in winemaking since the 1400s, wine was in Dave’s veins. He started collecting bottles in the late ‘80s. In 1988, he was on a wine-buying trip in Napa Valley with his wife Yolanda when they stumbled upon a beautiful 1912 Frank Lloyd Wright craftsman house located in the desirable Rutherford appellation. Dave had a palate for fine wines and a love for real estate, and he knew the Rutherford property had the potential to produce some remarkable grapes. He and Yolanda purchased the 17-acre property on the spot after falling in love with the view.
The Del Dotto Vineyards began on their Rutherford Estate, but now it has expanded to include seven other specially selected sites. Currently, it consists of 437 acres with 121 acres planted with varietals including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Sangiovese. Each vineyard is organically farmed, with no sprays or chemical fertilizers in use, and all weeding is performed by hand.
In 2007, the Del Dotto family saw the culmination of a 15-year-long dream in the completion of their new Venetian Estate Winery and Caves. Built in honor of the family’s roots, traced back to 1150 Venice, the caves are lined with Italian marble and ancient tiles depicting the history of wine. Using natural marble handcrafted into ornate, graceful patterns, the building is its own form of art; it expresses an uplifted spirit, air of grandeur, and feeling of well-being. Visit and experience the effects of fine wine, spectacular architecture, moving music, and delicious food merging into a truly joyous wine experience!
Del Dotto Family Wineries & Caves has three locations in Napa, CA. For wine tasting and tour information, please visit DelDottoVineyards.com.
With so many choices available throughout the Napa/Sonoma Wine Country, we hope we’ve given you a couple of great ideas to add to your itinerary for your next (or even first) visit to the area! The properties themselves are amazingly beautiful and unique, as are the wines they produce, and all are a must visit for any upcoming wine travel plans. The only challenge will be choosing which wines to bring home in your VinGardeValise®!