Mugnani, the maker of those beautifully tiled, wood-fired pizza ovens from Italy, is making a lot of money off of Wine Country these days. Earlier this summer, we reported on what had become a pizza inferno sweeping Napa and Sonoma and now, Pizzando in Healdsburg tosses their pie into the fold — or flame as it were.
From his gallery perched above Saint Helena’s Main Street, Christopher Hill has been bringing international artists to–and highlighting internationally acclaimed artists with strong local roots in–the Napa Valley for over a decade. He is celebrating his ten-year anniversary this fall by looking to Sonoma. On November 1st, the doors at 326 Healdsburg Avenue opened on Hill’s third location (he also has a gallery in his native home of Austria).
As the race to harvest — before the wet, cool fall weather settles into the wine countries of Northern California — continues, another kind of race is happening over in the winery. Fermentation, which tends to take its own sweet time, is being coaxed along by winemakers eager to make room in crowded tanks for those last tons of fruit. As the red wine finishes fermenting, it is pressed off the skins and pumped into barrels where it will spend the next months and maybe even years of its life.
America’s Cup racers may have sailed off into the sunset last weekend, but one small winegrowing region in Sonoma County is still looking out to sea. On November 8, 40 different wineries from the Dry Creek Valley appellation will be setting sail for a three-hour sunset cruise — and you’re invited.
Because man cannot live on domestic wine alone (not even those of us lucky enough to live in the Bay Area) God has given us The Importer. As the ultimate gatekeeper, the importer is responsible for deciding which wine — from the hundreds of thousands produced around the world — end up in your local retail shop and ultimately on your dinner table. This month, Kermit Lynch, one of the very finest importers of French and Italian wines to the US, is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the day he unpacked his first case of wine in his Berkeley storefront.
Stony Hill Vineyards held out for 60 years. While they may not be the only Napa Valley winery to have made exclusively white wine for six decades, they are certainly one of the finest. Most famous for their White Burgundy-esque Chardonnay, the family-owned Spring Mountain winery has been going about their business making lovely, balanced and age-worthy wines in pretty much the same way since 1952. And now, a Cabernet Sauvignon joins the ranks of their Chardonnay, Riesling and Gewurztraminer.
San Francisco-based writer and sommelier-about-town Courtney Cochran has spent years teaching people how to enjoy wine. Her main message: It’s not that difficult. Through her Hip Tastes brand, under which she has published a book about wine and hosted dozens of wine-centric parties around the city, she has worked tirelessly to bring wine down to earth. And now, with her own wine, she is looking to the street — SF's street food to be specific.
In most parts of the northern hemisphere, harvest is well underway (with some fresh-drinking whites ready to be enjoyed here in California), but in the region of Saint-Emilion on the right bank of the Dordogne River in Bordeaux, harvest doesn’t begin until a group of men and women draped in red says it does.
Members of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers seemed almost disappointed by how little they had to report on Wednesday, September 5 at the annual harvest press conference held at PlumpJack’s newest winery, Odette, in the Stags Leap district. “We’re here with breaking news that 2012 is going to be the best vintage ever,” joked Amy Warnock, the viticulturist for Stagecoach Vineyards on Atlas Peak.
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