This article appeared on page M - 6 of the San Francisco Chronicle - 11/15/2009 - By Janny Hu, Chronicle Staff Writer
From the parking lot at Cuvaison Estate Wines' new tasting room in Napa, there are few hints as to what awaits inside - which is a good thing. It heightens the shock factor of walking in and discovering floor-to-ceiling windows that offer stunning, panoramic views of the estate's vineyards in the heart of Carneros.
The tasting room opened in May and is 85 percent solar powered in keeping with Cuvaison's commitment to sustainability (both its winery and land were certified Napa Green in 2008). Despite its size, the service remains remarkably personal thanks to a slower-paced, sit-down format.
The vibe: Open, airy and full of natural light, the space is gorgeous. The north- and east-facing windows are retractable, so you can enjoy fresh air during warmer days and protection during inclement weather - all while gazing at the estate's vineyards and central lake.
Tabletops and chairs are made from recycled aluminum, and the building is finished with teak and cherry wood, lending a warm vibe to an otherwise modern-looking structure.
The team: Winemaker Steve Rogstad joined Cuvaison in 2002 and crafts Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Merlot from 400 acres across the Carneros estate. The winery's separate 140-acre Mount Veeder estate specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon.
The wines: Two tasting flights of four wines are offered for $15 each, though we were able to mix and match wines from both lists. Among the choices are two Chardonnays, two Pinots and the 2006 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon.
The experience: If you're short on time, think about coming back on a more leisurely day. All tastings are seated, so you sit either indoors or outdoors and the wines are brought one at a time. It makes the process longer but nets you individual attention.
Our host gave a brief history of each wine and pointed out where the grapes were grown - in one case, the Pinot vines were a few feet away. The map he referenced was even detailed enough to show our exact table.
Throughout the visit, we never felt rushed or pressured, and on our way out, we snagged a bonus taste of their 2006 Espiritu dessert wine.
The extras: Cuvaison has a second tasting room in Calistoga on Silverado Trail, with shaded picnic grounds.
Nearby: Domaine Carneros, 1240 Duhig Road, Napa, (707) 257-0101. Madonna Estate, 5400 Old Sonoma Road, Napa, (707) 255-8864. Artesa, 1345 Henry Road, Napa, (707) 224-1668.
If you go: Cuvaison, 1221 Duhig Road, Napa, (707) 942-2455. Open daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.Go To Article: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/11/15/TR3D1AGHMT.DTL Photo: Brant Ward / The Chronicle
Bid & Buy through Saturday, November 14 -- http://auction.carneros.com
A Unique chance for wines, magnums, holiday gifts, and shared experiences for family and friends. Beneficiaries are the Carneros Land Stewardship Foundation and the CWA’s Cru Carneros educational and training program for early stage wine and food professionals.
Cuvaison's Auction Lot:
Join us for a private vineyard tour followed by a wine paired luncheon for four in the gallery room of our new Carneros tasting room. You'll be surrounded by views of the rolling waves of our estate vineyard as you settle in to enjoy your meal. The experience continues as you take home a 6 bottle selection of our finest Estate grown wines including the limited release 2007 S Block Chardonnay and 2007 Block F5 Pinot Noir. - An Estimated $400 value!
"The Carneros Wine Alliance is an association of wineries and growers in the Carneros AVA (American Viticulture Area). One of the most rural of wine regions, Carneros (“the Ram” in Spanish ) is known for its natural beauty, its commitment to community and to the preservation of our environment."
As you're making your list, and checking it twice... don't forget to check out Cuvaison's Holiday Gift Collection! (Even if the gift recipient just so happens to be yourself!)
[Order before Nov 15th to receive before Thanksgiving!]
Solution: Cuvaison has an offer as sweet as pie, perfect for any spread that will not disappoint those discriminating palates at your table.
Pair your Thanksgiving feast with this exclusive lineup:
2008 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir
2007 ATS Chardonnay
2007 Pinot Noir Robert Nicol Vineyard
2006 Espiritu Dessert Wine
These 4 wines are offered at $100
or mix and match for your perfect pairing and save 25%!
Offer Ends Friday, October 30th!
Just thinking about Thanksgiving makes one hungry for their family’s tried-and-true favorites. As we were planning the upcoming Thanksgiving offer we thought we would share our favorite family recipes with you! So try out some of these delicious offerings from our family to yours.
Try Mary’s Nebraska styled smoked turkey, Joelle’s New England oyster stuffing, Kristen’s southern twist on sweet potatoes, and Jamie’s Californian cranberry sauce!
Share your favorite family recipes with us and we will post them on our blog! (Either comment on this post or send us an email at email@example.com)
Mary’s Smoked Turkey, Nebraska style
Some pointers for smoking a turkey:
Charcoal smokers have two pans - one for charcoal and one for liquid. Fill the pan for liquid with water, Cuvaison wine, apple juice or the liquid you desire. Fill the charcoal pan with of course charcoal. Light the charcoal and place the cover on the smoker. When the smoker has reached an internal temperature of 250° F to 300° F, place the turkey on the smoker rack and replace the cover. Replenish charcoal and/or liquid, as necessary, to maintain 250° F to 300° F.
Smoking time depends on many factors: the size and shape of the turkey, the distance from the heat, temperature of the coals and the outside air temperature. Estimate 20 to 30 minutes per pound if using a smoker. Always use a food thermometer. The whole turkey is done when the food thermometer, placed in the inner thigh, reaches 180° F. The breast is done when the internal temperature reaches 170° F.
Joelle’s New England Oyster Stuffing
(Serves 8 – 10)
Kristen’s Sweet Potato and Two-Cheese Gratin
Jamie's Cranberry Sauce with Cherries, Marsala, and Rosemary
Combine Marsala and dried cherries in deep saucepan. Boil until mixture is reduced to 2/3 cup, about 8 minutes. Mix in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium, cover pan and simmer until cranberries burst and mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Cover; keep refrigerated.)
Cuvaison has partnered up with the Carneros Wine Alliance to be one of 18 wineries participating in the Carneros Harvest Passport!
"Come to Carneros and celebrate harvest on October 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the wineries of the Carneros Wine Alliance!"
Celebrate the 2009 Harvest with us by checking out our new Carneros Tasting Room (if you haven't already done so), checking out our Carneros neighbors, and tasting the wonderful wines of the Carneros Appellation!
"Chicago Gourmet is a world-class celebration of food, wine and the city's rich culinary heritage. Located in spectacular Millennium Park from September 26-27, 2009, guests will enjoy celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, a fabulous seminar series, plenty of premium wine tastings, gourmet food samplings and more."
Cuvaison's own President, Jay Schuppert will hold the wine seminar, "Carneros...Napa's Unique Appellation" on Sunday the 27th from 3:30-4:15 in the Choral Room.
So come chat with Jay, sample wines from more than 300 producers & spirits from dozens of brands, and sample food from some of the top chefs in the Chicago area.
Wine corks will be "collected throughout the weekend, as part of a nationwide cork recycling program spearheaded by Cuvaison Estate Wines in Napa Valley. Special burlap recycling bags will be installed around Millennium Park to collect used corks from all participating wineries. These corks will eventually find a new life as shoe soles, fishing rod handles, bulletin boards, placemats and flooring tiles."
For more information on this event go to the Chicago Gourmet official website.
Meet the 2009 Harvest Interns:
Our 2009 Harvest interns have arrived! They come from around the globe… Portugal, Argentina, Northwest Italy, & Northeast Italy… and they are all excited to be apart of our ’09 Harvest!
Steve wasted no time in putting them to work as harvest is now in full swing!
2008 Sauvignon Blanc
From a single small parcel planted to the renowned “Musque” selection of Sauvignon Blanc, our Estate SB is a distinct expression of Carneros. The cool climate and limiting soils that typify Carneros temper the natural vigor of Sauvignon and produce intense flavors of honeydew, lichi, kiwi and lime. Chilled by morning fogs and buffeted by afternoon breezes the skins thicken and the berries concentrate producing a richly scented and densely packed SB. Tank fermented and sur lies aged, this wine is bottled shortly after harvest, without malo-lactic fermentation, to fully capture its aromatic intensity and bright acidity.
2008 Pinot Noir Carneros
An unusually cool spring gave way to a gorgeous Summer in ’08, with an even, temperate growing season. Crop size was quite small and when the heat finally did arrive, it got things jumping in the winery in a hurry as we rushed to pick the Pinot Noir before dehydration could set in. Once in the fermentation vats the pure fruit and lush flavors quickly began to reveal themselves. A classic Carneros Pinot, the 2008 is brimming with fresh berry and strawberry fruit, while the general coolness of the season is revealed in the intriguing lime and orange zest notes lurking in the background. Texturally the wine is quite focused with fine, firm acidity giving away to supple tannins and sappy fruit. This wine should drink beautifully over the next 3 to 8 years.
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder
Deep hued tones of mocha, coffee and boysenberry jam leap from the glass. The touch of Malbec intensifies the fruity/floral aroma as the wine warms your taste buds and the silky, plush tannins coat your mouth. The forbidding slopes and free-draining soils have done their work, concentrating the fruit and focusing the tannin of this mountain grown Cabernet. It showcases the best of Mount Veeder, dense, jammy fruit backed by fresh acidity and epic tannins.
Club members....Re-order any sampler wine at 25% savings
with the promo code: Sampler
Our 6th club cruise sails from Lisbon to Barcelona departing April 4, 2010 and visits the ports of Tangier, Morocco; Malaga, Spain; Alicante, Spain; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and Valencia, Spain.
"At nearly three times the size of her sister ships, the Wind Surf carries just 312 pampered guests.” And when they say pampered they mean a staff of 10 massage therapists, technicians and instructors, 5 restaurants, and gorgeous suites and staterooms.
Learn more about this amazing adventure: www.cuvaison.com/Club/Cruise
One of the occupational hazards of winemaking is being asked, repeatedly, what the vintage is like before it even happens. It’s like a college freshmen pretending to know what he’ll major in…hmmm, Electrical Engineering, only to matriculate with a degree in Abnormal Psychology 6 years later.
So, like Carnac I’ll try and get straight to your most burning questions:
Answer : When they are ready.
Question: When will you start picking the grapes?
A view of our 2009 Pinot noir, clone 115. The fruit has finally colored up and is uniformly dark, always a promising sign…
Actually, the other super cool omen that harvest is about to begin…
I snapped this photo of a Red Tail hawk diving through the Pinot this foggy morning and it reminded me of the other Red Tail that signals harvest…
Yes, it takes a lot of good beer to make good wine and this morning’s sighting of the Hawk foretells a pending harvest of excellent quality. The sparkling wine makers have begun pulling in the first loads of fruit, which typically start about two to three weeks before we get going. Pinot noir is coming on fast and we could start pulling that in as early as the 8th of September, though I suspect most of it will be the week or so after. Chardonnay will start in earnest the week after that and continue through most of October.
Of more interest will be the Brandlin harvest on Mount Veeder. Given the relatively cool growing season we would expect the Cabs off the mountain to be quite late, but some years, when the cool air settles into the valley at night, it stays warmer up in the hills and the vines push through a bit earlier. As I follow the weather forecasts, like a hawk (sorry, couldn’t resist), the early trends seem to be favoring this phenomenon, which could put the Cab fast on the heels of our Pinot Noir.
Next week the harvest interns start arriving from the four corners of the earth to scrub and polish the winery in preparation for harvest! I will be keeping you all updated via our amazing new blogosphere with even better photos then can be had from my cell phone…
Saturday, September 26th
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
$72 per person
|Sip Spanish Cava with delicious breakfast treats as you enjoy the morning views of our Carneros vineyards
Watch as Chef Ciado of San Francisco prepares a delicious lunch of authentic Spanish Paella
Shop fabulous exclusive harvest party wine offers
Win fantastic prizes
Dress wine country casual
Space is limited!
Call us now to make your reservation!
1-800-253-WINE (9463) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
New Location: Carneros Tasting Room /Winery - 1221 Duhig Rd, Napa, CA 94559
Listen to what guests are saying about our new Carneros Tasting room!
“Stunning, I love the glass, the views, it’s beautiful. Best new winery in Napa Valley”
“Absolutely gorgeous, can’t get much better than this”
“I love the construction it totally looks sustainable”
“When can I move in?”
“Beautiful and elegant, very, very nice”
“Beautiful location absolutely gorgeous”
Every year and a half we have three day meetings with the principals of our sister wineries from South Australia (Chapel Hill) and Argentina (Finca Decero) and the owner (Thomas Schmidheiny) and members of his team from Switzerland. Tory, Steve and two of our directors, John and Jon joined us in comprehensive discussions as wide ranging as individual and group marketing, winemaking and viticulture techniques, comparative tastings and the global economy. We always schedule some time for visiting local wineries and this year it was Gantenbein and Georg Fromm www.frommwineries.com for tour and tastings of their excellent Swiss wineries.
After the meetings most returned home but Steve was off to Spain to visit some of their wines while I continued my travels with importer visits in Sweden and Denmark. Market visits usually entail meetings, visiting restaurants to gain new placements and what the rest of the world calls “Wine and Dine”, (we call them winery dinners). One night it was in Malmo, Sweden’s top restaurant call Vendel. vendelatsturehof.gastrogate.com. The chef constructed an exceptional menu that that showcased our Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot and Brandlin Cabernet. I also hand-carried our Bald Mt Zin and Espiritu dessert wine. If you do your math you’ll see there were seven courses.
The second night (after more market work and meetings) was at a seafood restaurant out along the coast. As patrons were seated Richard (my importer and friend) and I would visit the table and offer them a taste of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We where both pleased that we’d lost none of our old restaurant expertise from our previous careers and sold 15 bottles of wine.
Friday morning I took a train from Sweden, over the straight to Copenhagen for meetings and lunch with Ole, our Danish importer. Ole like most of my associates, become dear friends over the years but I have too little exposure with them due to distance and expense of market visits. We ate at a coastal village that was the old site of the ferry departure area to Sweden before the bridge was completed over 12 years ago. We dined on traditional Danish food with a modern touch and another exceptional meal (with a bottle of Cuvaison Pinot Noir).
After lunch Ole dropped me off at the Copenhagen airport for a quick flight to Frankfurt, Germany. Having never visited the German wine regions I planned a quick three night, two day visit to the wine regions of Rhinegau and Middle Rhine. I stayed at Breuer’ Rudesheimer Schloss in Rudesheim (ruedesheimer-schloss.com) and quickly made friends with Susanne and Heinrick Breuer. Their Inn and restaurant was a perfect place to enjoy lovely accommodations and great food and wine. Heinrick stays busy with the management of their top rated winery “Georg Breuer”, and still finds time to work at the Inn and restaurant at night. Susanne never stops with managing the Inn and restaurant as well as directing guest like me with itineraries. She even found time to take a group of us guests on a four hour tour and hike of the surrounding vineyards and into the next town in the middle Rhine.