Cuvaison Estate Wines
August 17, 2012 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

Vineyard Update!

As our vines enter veraison (the onset of ripening) phase of the growing season the anticipation and anxiety begin to heighten. While much of the US has been plagued by heat and drought, the Coastal region of California has been basking in almost perfect weather. As grape growers we measure the warmth of our seasons by Degree Days (a measure of hours that the vines are photosynthetically active). In 2004, the last "warm" vintage we experienced in Carneros, we were already at 1400 hours on today’s date, August 9th. This year we are art 1200, which is identical to the cool but superb 2009 vintage. In fact the degree days for the last three years are almost identical and they were all "cool" vintages. So this mean’s things will be perfect in 2012, right? Here’s where the anxiety creeps in as we still have at least a month before Harvest starts and then 4-6 weeks of picking fruit, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that we dodge any extreme heat or heavy rains and bring this vintage in smoothly.

Up on Mt Veeder it’s a little more challenging to compare data as the closest CIMIS weather station is in Oakville and not really indicative of conditions at Brandlin Vineyard. Most of Napa Valley proper is in full veraison so they are definitely experiencing a warmer vintage then Mt. Veeder. The last two seasons we harvested Brandlin in November and I feel pretty confident this year we’ll have things wrapped up before Halloween, a few weeks earlier than the quite cool preceding years.

So at this time I can report that the hygiene of the vineyard is excellent, crop levels are in the average yield range and we will be making our final "color thinning" over the next few weeks to leave behind the best fruit we can.

--Steve Rogstad, Winemaker

Time Posted: Aug 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Cuvaison Estate Wines
July 25, 2012 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

Annual Carneros BBQ!

We were so excited to host our Annual Carneros BBQ this year! Club members and close friends enjoyed delicious BBQ courtesty of Cochon Volant "Flying Pig BBQ", paired perfectly with several Cuvaison Estate Wines, including our 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder, 2010 Chardonnay, and 2009 Carneros Pinot Noir! Members enjoyed the food, the view, the company, and of course, the wines! During the event, guests were treated with exclusive tours of our facility, from the vineyard to the tank room to the barrel room. Everyone had great questions and learned a lot about how Cuvaison wine is made. Thank you to everyone who came for making this such a stellar event! Can't wait until next summer!

See more pictures on our Facebook page!


Time Posted: Jul 25, 2012 at 9:46 AM
Cuvaison Estate Wines
May 3, 2012 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

Cuvaison at The Peabody Orlando - This Friday!

This Friday, May 4th The Peabody Orlando is hosting a special dinner event featuring Cuvaison wine. Check out what's on the menu!

2010 Cuvaison Chardonnay

Tasmanian Sea Trout
Octopus Escabeche, Charred Greens
Crispy Purple Potatoes
2009 Cuvaison Carneros Pinot Noir

Florida Rock Shrimp Caramelle Pasta
Sea Beans, Chorizo and Bell Pepper Broth,
Tangerine Foam
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Sauvignon Mount Veeder

Grilled & Braised Duo of Veal
Watercress Puree, Golden Beet Vinaigrette
Braised Gruyere and Parsnip
Mash, Prune & Cinnamon
2009 Cuvaison Brandlin Cabernet Sauvignon

Dense Choclate Cake
Melting Ganache Raspberries
Toasted Pistachio Gelato
2006 Cuvaison Carneros Merlot

The Peabody Orlando
9801 International Drive
Orlando FL 32819

Time Posted: May 3, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Cuvaison Estate Wines
April 20, 2012 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

It's Earth Day and Cuvaison is donating 5% of sales in Celebration!

Earth Day is just around the corner and Cuvaison, celebrator of all things green, is giving back.

Starting now through Sunday April 22nd, we will donate 5% of total sales* to the Napa Valley Vine Trail.

The Napa Valley Vine Trail is a local grass roots organization working on designing, constructing and maintaining a 44 mile scenic multi-purpose paved hiking, biking, walking trail system which will connect the entire Napa Valley. Cuvaison is especially in favor of this organization’s efforts, because it will enable Napa Valley residents and visitors, to experience the valley while reducing our collective carbon footprint, reducing traffic in the valley, and encouraging people to get out and enjoy the outdoors!

Click here to learn more about Cuvaison’s commitment to sustainability.

Time Posted: Apr 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM
Cuvaison Estate Wines
April 20, 2012 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

Meet Cuvaison's New National Sales Team!

(Left to right: Luciano Armellino, Steve Rogstad, John Smylie, Nicole McLean, Carol Klincke, Steve Richards, Merritt Woodington and Jay Schuppert)

This photo was taken last week at our Brandlin Estate Vineyard atop Mount Veeder.

Cuvaison President Jay, Winemaker Steve, National Sales Manager Steve and CarrieAnne helped immerse our five new additions to our national sales team, introducing them to Cuvaison’s culture and philosophy.

Help us give a warm welcome to Luciano, Carol, Nicole, John and Merritt!

This team represents in total, well over a hundred years of wine industry expertise that is sure to get Cuvaison and Brandlin wines onto more of your local fine wine shops and favorite restaurant’s wine lists.

Time Posted: Apr 20, 2012 at 10:36 AM
Cuvaison Estate Wines
April 12, 2012 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

Eye on the Vineyard - April 2012

We celebrated bud break in our Carneros and Brandlin Estate Vineyards in early March.

Now, the vines are slowly filling in with fresh young bright green sprouts. The cover crops between the rows are already quite robust, offering a colorful melange of flowers including winter peas, calendula and mustard.

Our vineyard crew is busy "chopping" (i.e. cutting all the grass) and getting ready
to turn the weeds over to ease the competition for water over the course of the year.

Time Posted: Apr 12, 2012 at 4:38 PM
Cuvaison Estate Wines
February 17, 2012 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

Great Reviews by Wine & Spirits on our ’09 Pinot Noir and ’08 Cab!

We have our own opinions about Steve’s wines and are pleased
these highly regarded publications agree!

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder

“A sleek, soft cabernet, this hints at its mountain origins in scents of green peppercorn, black mushroom and beefy tannins. For now, the plum skin flavors and round, fruity richness lend those tannins sweetness, turning them toward dark chocolate. Give this a few years in the cellar and it should grow more expressive.”


Wine & Spirits   |   February 2012

Retail:  45.00
Club:  36.00 


2009 Carneros Pinot Noir

“Lush scents of kirsch emerge from the initial dark and juicy flavors. This is sleek and soft, its tannins layering mineral detail over the velvet texture. A rich pinot to serve with roast squab.”


Wine & Spirits    |    February 2012

“Stars of a great vintage”

4 out of 5 stars, the highest rating awarded for Napa Valley
Featured in Decanter magazine   |   March 2012

“Special Pinot Noir Edition
“Where to find the world’s best Pinots”

Retail: 35.00
Club: 28.00



Time Posted: Feb 17, 2012 at 3:57 PM
Cuvaison Estate Wines
January 23, 2012 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

Wine Advocate | 2009 Brandlin Cabernet Sauvignon | 92+ Points

We are proud to share this glowing 92+ point review awarded by the Wine Advocate, to our 2009 Brandlin Cabernet Sauvignon. Nice job Steve!

Read Antonio Galloni’s elegant review on this vintage:

"'The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon is a very pretty wine, but it needs time in the glass to open up. Dark cherries, plums, licorice, flowers and grilled herbs are some of the nuances that emerge from this mid-weight, gracious Cabernet Sauvignon. This isn’t a blockbuster, but rather a wine built along more classic lines. I really like the balance here. It appears there is significant upside, as the wine keeps getting better and better with time in the glass. In 2009 the blend includes 14% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2024. Telephone (800) 253-9463 and (707) 942-2460."

The '09 vintage will not be released until Spring 2012.

Time Posted: Jan 23, 2012 at 3:27 PM
Cuvaison Estate Wines
January 23, 2012 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

Eye On the Vineyard

Right now, it's cold and wet in our vineyards. Pruning is in full swing, and our committed vineyard crew is braving the elements, while expertly grooming the lifeblood of the 2012 vintage; our vines.

For the cane-pruned blocks, this years’ canes are being selected while unwanted wood is being trimmed away. In the spur-pruned blocks, initial cuts are being made and the unwanted wood pulled out of the trellis wires. Final cuts will be made closer to budbreak, which usually occurs in March. Canes will be tied to the fruiting wires sometime next month.

With the recent rains, we're also hurrying to capture irrigation water to use for this year’s vintage!

Time Posted: Jan 23, 2012 at 2:54 PM
Cuvaison Estate Wines
January 20, 2012 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

Welcome Carrie-Anne!

Meet the latest addition to Cuvaison; Carrie-Anne Kunkel. Carrie-Anne will support domestic sales in addition to international sales, which includes export, cruise-lines and airlines. We asked Carrie-Anne to share what she likes about Napa, where she’s from and what she’s most excited about in respect to her new Sales Coordinator role. Read on!

“I really enjoy waking up to the beauty of Napa Valley; Rolling hills, Redwoods, Oak trees, and the occasional hot air balloon are all in my drive to work. I also enjoy immersing myself in the Napa wine community. Everyone is really interesting and comes from all places and backgrounds to pursue their passion for wine.

I grew up in Half Moon Bay. In high school, I was a surfer, competitive swimmer, and water polo player. I was also in a couple of musicals including 42nd street. I traveled a lot at a young age with my sister and mom because she was a Pan Am flight attendant, so I was privileged to see world.

B.S. in International Business from SF State. My continued thirst for culture shock and travel was my trigger to develop an international dimension to my career.

I am most excited about learning the global wine marketplace and developing lasting relationships with our importers and brokers abroad. I am also interested in learning more about all aspects of the Cuvaison’s operations as I interact with other departments.”


Time Posted: Jan 20, 2012 at 4:01 PM
Cuvaison Estate Wines
January 20, 2012 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

Not a WinoBee When It Comes to Making Ethically Responsible Wines

Stacy De Fino, the Diva behind the WinoBee blog, has highlighted Cuvaison in her recent post featuring wineries applauded for producing ethically responsible wines.

Click image below to read the entire article:

Time Posted: Jan 20, 2012 at 3:12 PM
Cuvaison Estate Wines
January 6, 2012 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

Cuvaison Estate Wines highlighted in Sustainable Winery video!

Read this nice article by Paul Franson on "Building for Visitors and Sustainability," and watch the accompanying video below!

Time Posted: Jan 6, 2012 at 2:37 PM
Cuvaison Estate Wines
December 29, 2011 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

2009 ATS Chardonnay - 90 Points - Wine Spectator, December 2011



“Young, tight and concentrated, this is slow to show its creamy vanilla-laced oak, ripe pear, apricot, fig and melon flavors. Full-bodied, ending with an enticing aftertaste of smoky oak and roasted marshmallow. Drink now through 2017.”

- James Laube

Wine Spectator, December 2011

Retail Bottle   |   $54.00

Time Posted: Dec 29, 2011 at 4:11 PM
Cuvaison Estate Wines
November 16, 2011 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

Club Cuvaison Holiday Celebration In the Cave!

This past Sunday wrapped up another exciting Club Cuvaison Holiday Gathering in the Calistoga Wine Cave.

We were graced by the presence of over 80 club members from all over the country, including the congenial Bruce and Lupe (pictured below), who visit us every year from Chicago, and are some of our biggest fans on Facebook!

(Thanks for being a part of our event Bruce and Lupe!)

Winemaker Steven Rogstad and wife Virginia were also present.

Steve always makes a point to mingle and carouse with club members.

(Wine Club Members and Steve at right)

(Steve and wine club members)

What about the wines? Tell us about the wines!

Well, since you asked …

According to Christina, the at-times esoteric 2009 ATS Chardonnay was the true show stopper! This particular club exclusive wine is produced in very limited quantities, and scarecly available for tasting. In fact, it’s only available in the Collector’s Selection hoilday gift pack right now.

Trying our ATS Chardonnay can be a unique opportunity; like viewing a mountain lion in the wild – it doesn’t happen very often, and when it does … you have to seize the moment!

(Christina w/ Two Estates, ATS Chardonnay and Diablo Syrah)

One of the many benefits of being a club Cuvaison member is having access to our more limited and exclusive wines, like the Two Estates, Diablo Syrah and the ATS Chardonnay. In addition, you get to enjoy special pricing on these wines.

(Jamie Glidewell and Mary Pencek)

More news is that Jamie Glidewell has returned to the Club Cuvaison as Wine Club Sales Manager. We are so excited, and know the wine club is in good hands with Jamie at the helm. The entire team; Danette, Laurie and Christina – are at your ready for placing orders and answering any club or Cuvaison related questions you have.

(Wine Club Rock Stars Christina, Jamie, Laurie and Danette)

In conclusion, a BIG THANKS to everyone who was able to join us for the Holiday Celebration
in the Cave. We hope to see you again at our club event in February!

The entire photo album is available for viewing on our Facebook page. Click here!


Tasting in the Cave
 Sunday  |  February 12th, 2012  |  1pm – 3pm

Time Posted: Nov 16, 2011 at 1:28 PM
Cuvaison Estate Wines
October 14, 2011 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

Harvest 2011: A Word in from Winemaker Steven Rogstad

"Another late harvest kicked off in a small way for Cuvaison on the 21st of September, with fruit just trickling in over the first four to five days.

It ramped up in a big way when long range forecasts predicting rain firmed up early last week. We have been pulling in fruit as fast as we can. For example, on Sunday we crushed a record 57 tons of Pinot Noir and 60 tons of Chardonnay. Thus far we’ve done, 313 tons of Chardonnay (estimating another ~160 still to pick). Ninety seven tons of Pinot Noir, and 8.6 tons of Sauvignon Blanc.

Yields have been quite low, and there has been a real concern about the rains. We’ve been using the Pellenc Optical Sorter again this year (or as National Sales Manager Steve Richards calls it, “the Pedunk a Lunk”) to great effect, and it has been a life saver in terms of processing speed.

The light rain produced 0.22 inches of rain so far, with more expected through Thursday. High pressure will then fill in, but it does appear that our winter cycle may be beginning, or - “Welcome to California, it’s the new Oregon.”

Along with the Chardonnay, we still have our Merlot and Syrah, as well as all of Mount Veeder and Bald Mountain yet to come… Hopefully the sun will dance for us over the next three weeks and we will get it all picked in good shape.

Lastly, we did press off the first fermentor of Pinot Noir today, and it is mighty tasty, with good color and extract… boo yaa!


Time Posted: Oct 14, 2011 at 12:08 PM
Cuvaison Estate Wines
September 19, 2011 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

Meet The 2011 Harvest Interns!

Cuvaison interns are organized by CAEP (a host organization that connects students and professionals with global paid internships). The applicants specify what they want to learn, the varietals they are interested in, the region of California they want to work, and the size of winery they are interested in.

Cuvaison’s Assistant Winemaker Matt Sunseri, receives the applications and selects candidates based on their profile and interest in winemaking. On occasion, candidates may choose the winery they are most interested in working at.

This year’s harvest interns each hail from very different places around the globe, yet they share a unifying interest in learning more about winemaking and improving their English, except of course for Josh the Australian, who already speaks English. .

Meet Our Interns!

Eleanora from Italy

Ines from Uruguay

Firmin from France

Josh from Australia

When asked what they anticipated to be their greatest challenge while working crush, each intern shared a unique response. Ines’ concern is on learning new lab techniques, while Eleanora dreads washing tanks. Josh is concerned with driving on (what is to him) the opposite side of the road, and Firmin is concerned with his ability to communicate in English.

All of Cuvaison’s interns are excited to experience harvest in Napa Valley. It will be fun to see how their relationships evolve and what new insights they have to share in the weeks to come.

Winemaker Steve just announced harvest starts tonight, 1am!

“Like” Cuvaison Estate Wines on Facebook
”Follow” Us on Twitter
Visit Us at our Carneros or Calistoga tasting rooms
Learn more about our Green Initiatives here
Buy Cuvaison wine!


Time Posted: Sep 19, 2011 at 4:54 PM
Jay Schuppert
August 31, 2011 | Jay Schuppert

Interview at Vinexpo w/Jay and Debra Meiburg

Last year, Cuvaison President Jay Schuppert conducted tastings with the Napa Valley Vintners at Vinexpo in Hong Kong. Vinexpo is an expansive showcase held in Hong Kong every other year, and features producers from all over the world, representing the best products in the wine and spirits industry.

Jay Schuppert had the opportunity to meet with Debra Meiburg, Master of Wine, wine journalist and wine judge. Recently, Debra started a video series called “Meet the Winemaker.”

Now, we all know Steve Rogstad is Cuviason’s Winemaker, but in Steve’s absence, Jay stepped in to talk about what makes Cuvaison so unique. We hope you enjoy this short video!

Time Posted: Aug 31, 2011 at 4:18 PM
Cuvaison Estate Wines
August 9, 2011 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

Wine Spectator Review - 91 POINTS - BRANDLIN Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2008 Brandlin Cabernet Sauvignon Is one of ...

"18 Outstanding Napa Cabernets!"

"This well-structured red is marked by a tight, flinty, minerally edge, yet nonetheless offers a complex core of dried berry, roasted herb, sage and cedar. Ends with the tannins giving the flavors traction. Best from 2012 through 2022."

James Laube, Wine Spectator, August 1, 2011


Retail Bottle   $90

Time Posted: Aug 9, 2011 at 3:27 PM
Cuvaison Estate Wines
August 1, 2011 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

Where those wild tasting menu descriptors come from ...

Mary and Joelle tasting the Cuvaison 2006 Merlot and 2009 Zinfandel Mount Veeder - both
recently added to the tasting flights!

Have you ever wondered where those seemingly crazy-illustrious adjectives come from on tasting menus? While we cannot speak for other wineries, we do know each wine poured in our tasting room is examined through tasting, seeing, smelling and swirling.

Both Joelle (Hospitality Manager & Wine Educator) and Mary (Director of Retail Operations) have completed wine immersion and sensory courses at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, and together they collaborate on writing these notes.

The serious connoisseur knows it takes years of “study” and tasting to cultivate an ability to identify the more subtle components of wine so don’t feel bad if you’re not picking up on the smoky tea, tobacco or plum.

Time Posted: Aug 1, 2011 at 11:40 AM
Cuvaison Estate Wines
August 1, 2011 | Cuvaison Estate Wines

From "Wine Talk With Robert Whitley" - Reconecting With An Old Friend

Thought we'd share this nice write-up on Cuvaison by Robert Whitley of "Wine Talk With Robert Whitley":

Time Posted: Aug 1, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Recent Posts

Blog Categories

Blog Archives


Our Writers