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Category Archives: Franc&Blanc

A Reason To Drink #SauvBlanc

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This Friday, on June 24th, we’ll be celebrating the beginning of summer by cooling down with some refreshing glasses of Sauvignon Blanc in honor of #SauvBlanc Day.  To participate in the online festivities, simply use the hashtag #SauvBlanc when you are sharing/tweeting/Facebooking information about this beloved summer wine.  Visit the official page for more information: http://sauvblanc2011.eventbrite.com

Important Update: Franc&Blanc

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We’ve been experiencing some unpredictable and wet weather in the last few weeks in our little town of Calistoga.  With major construction projects in the works for our Chateau and the courtyard outside it, all of this rain has forced us to delay some larger projects and set our timeline-for-completion back by a few months.   As a result, we’ve had to make the very difficult decision to cancel Franc&Blanc and reschedule for next year.  By next spring, we’ll have a renovated, state-of-the-art cellar, the weather will have improved and we’ll be looking forward to letting loose to enjoy the party.  Stay tuned as we work on planning the party of the year for 2012.

- The Montelena Family

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

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Chateau Montelena Sauvignon Blanc deserves an ideal companion for pairing. Fresh lime, aromatic herbs, and shellfish compliment the bright palate and crisp finish of this varietal. For me, it’s a light lunch or first course of Bodega Bay Crab Vietnamese Spring Rolls. Our 2009 Sauvignon Blanc has a great acidity that champions both the citrus and the crunch in these delectable fresh rolls! No worries if you’re too far from Bodega – any fresh crabmeat rocks this dish, and so does shrimp. You can omit protein altogether for a veggie version-try adding sliced avocado!  I use a spicy peanut sauce for dipping, but any Asian-inspired sauce (mango, lemon, or other prepared sauces) can boost your own kitchen creativity. These rolls take less than 30 minutes to make and plate if you have your ingredients prepped – but you do need to prepare them within 90 minutes of serving. Like sushi rolls, they will get soggy if you try to make them too far ahead.* The good news?  Nutritious, delicious, low cal and a perfect match-up for our Chateau Montelena Sauvignon Blanc!

Serves 4 as a light lunch or 8 as an appetizer (makes 8 rolls)

  • 1 cup shredded Napa cabbage
  • 3/4 cup carrots, fine julienne
  • 1/4 cup green onions, fine julienne
  • ½ English cucumber, fine julienne
  • ¼ cup snipped fresh cilantro, reserve whole leaves for garnish
  • ¼ cup snipped fresh mint, reserve whole leaves for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 8 8-inch round spring roll wrappers
  • 8 ounces fresh or frozen crab claw meat
  • Prepared peanut sauce for dipping
  • Juice of 1 lime
  1. For filling, in a large bowl combine cabbage, carrots, green onions, cucumber, cilantro and mint. Dissolve the sugar in the rice vinegar; combine with soy sauce. Toss lightly with the vegetables to coat.
  2. For the dipping sauce: in a small bowl stir together 1/2 cup of peanut sauce and juice of one lime; season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Place 1 cup of luke-warm water in a shallow dish.  As you prepare each roll, dip each wrapper in warm water for 7-10 seconds until limp (as a cooked lasagna noodle). Place on damp dish towel for filling and rolling. Don’t over-soak; they will tear or rip if over-soaked.
  4. Center 1/3 cup of filling about 1 inch from bottom edge of one of the moistened spring roll wrappers. Top with 2 tablespoons crab meat.  Driizzle with a bit of dipping sauce. Fold the bottom edge of the wrapper over the filling. Fold in sides. Gently, roll up tightly as you would a burrito, keeping filling snug. Repeat with remaining filling and spring roll wrappers. Cut in half on a diagonal; serve with dipping sauce. *Do-ahead tip: Prep all the veggies as early as the night before and submerge in ice water; drain well on paper towels before assembling the rolls.

 

What Are Your Plans for Memorial Day?

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Memorial Day weekend is fast approaching.   Besides flying our flag in rememberance of our fallen soldiers and those who continue to protect us, I plan to spend time with my family and friends.  What weekend celebrations do you have planned?

Have you gotten your ticket yet?

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Well…have you?  Who wouldn’t want to come up to wine country for one of the hottest parties of the year?  To everyone down in San Francisco and all the Bay Area, get up here….just for the fun of it.  Check out the event website at http://francnblanc.eventbrite.com/ to get your tickets and more information.  Why not?

Logo-motive

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We love our Chateau.   It defines us in so many ways, and over time we have put it on mouse pads and coffee cups, temporary tattoos (called “Chattoos”), shirts and hats, trivets and coasters – the latter  two items very popular sellers in our tasting room.   Some years back, a toy train manufacturer now out of business asked permission to use it on a box car.  We agreed.  It has become a collector’s item.  Any ideas for the next placement of our logo?

What’s Your Patio Wine?

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Now that we’re in the second week of May, the sunshine is coming out of hibernation and we’re entering “patio season” when the warmer temperatures beg for refreshingly cool wines.  The longer days mean I can come home, sit on the patio and relax while enjoying a glass (or two, let’s be honest) of one of my favorite summer whites – sauvignon blanc – as I unwind from the day and catch up with some of my favorite people.  These days, I just want to stock up on all the the light, refreshing wines that I can get my hands on!  I call them “patio wines” because these are the wines that make patio-sipping so enjoyable and usually bring about great memories.  Very soon, we’ll be releasing our own 2010 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc which will likely become the summer wine for my house in 2011.  If you’re curious to taste it, we’ll be pouring it for a patio party of our own on June 25th.  So tell me, what’s the beverage that you stock up on so you can enjoy it all summer long?



A Symbol of Montelena History in Auction Napa Valley

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Vintage 2007 of our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon represents the 30th bottling of the wine that fulfills Jim Barrett’s vision for excellence in winemaking.  We thought it appropriate to offer a complete horizontal, six sizes from 375ml to 6 Liter, in the E-Auction of Auction Napa Valley coming up in early June.  Each bottle is signed by Jim Barrett, and by Master Winemaker Bo Barrett.  A cool add-on is that the case holding all the wine is constructed with reclaimed redwood removed during the renovation of the Private Residence in the Chateau.  You can view the lot description here.  One lucky bidder will get this treasure.  Do you think we should make more for sale here at the winery?  What do you think the auction lot will go for?

Luxury in Calistoga: It Does Exist

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If you’ve had the pleasure to visit the quaint little town of Calistoga, then you’ve enjoyed a throw back community to the new modern towns of US of A.   The town is rich with little shops, bed and breakfasts, casual dining; and most famous for the geothermal geography, which leads way to the mud and mineral baths.  But amongst the relaxed and personal charm of the laid back community, you’ll find Solage Resort and Spa, next to the old Calistoga Water plant on Silverado Trail.  This is a true oasis of luxury in a community full of  country lovin’.

While Solage boasts 4 star accomodations and spa treatments, it’s not over the top.  I call it minimalist elegance.  It is built to not intrude upon the natural surroundings.  All one story buildings with little invasion into its natural surroundings.

And if you don’t want to stay overnight, stop in to SolBar, their restaurant with amazing food; amazing settings.  I’ve taken  many out of towners there for lunch who simply said without saying by the expressions on their faces, this is paradise.

Ok, southern Napa Valley has a some of the finest dining in the country, but don’t overlook/underestimate what the little town charm of Calistoga has to offer.

Solage's SolBar Restaurant

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About Our Authors

Kristina King

Born in Colorado and led a nomadic life until the ripe old age of four. Kristina loves to travel, eat, drink wine, and enjoy the outdoors. One of her mottos is: Life is an adventure - enjoy!

George Blanckensee

An expert event planner and an avid basketball and sports fan, George can tell you about all the best off-the-beaten path eateries.

Cameron Parry

Winemaker since 2008, Cameron has been an integral member of the winemaking team at Chateau Montelena since 2004. He and his wife live in Calistoga with their two beautiful daughters.

Kali Clark

A Napa Valley native, Kali returned to the area after a stint on the East Coast and can be found documenting the latest happenings at the Chateau. When not behind the camera, she likes to experiment in the kitchen, travel, and enjoy the outdoors

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