Category Archives: Vineyard
Thomas Jefferson is perhaps best known as our third President, one of our Founding Fathers and author of the Declaration of Independence, but he was also an avid wine collector, wine connoisseur and is widely-recognized as the father of the Virgina wine country (did you know about Virginia wine country?). He also became George Washington’s wine expert, while also serving as Secretary of State, and worked hard to keep the White House stocked with great wine from around the world. If you ever get a chance to visit his Monticello Estate in Virginia, you’ll learn more about the former President’s love of wine and you may be surprised to discover a small vineyard planted on the Estate.
Jefferson truly believed that America was capable of producing the same quality of world-class wine that was coming out of Europe and he was an ardent supporter of the American wine industry. Some 200 years later, wine is now produced in America in all 50 states and we are the fifth most-vine-planted country in the world. We have some of the best wines in the world right in our backyard. As Jefferson once remarked, “Good wine is a necessity of life for me.” We’ll drink to that!
If you are enjoying the day off today in honor of our Presidents, say a little “Thank You” to Mr. Jefferson and toast with a glass of your favorite American wine.
Tell us, what’s in your glass this President’s Day holiday?
Every year around this time visitors to wine country will note wild mustard, fava beans and other cover crops growing in the rows between the vines. These are used by vineyard managers to help control pests, help with irrigation and to add nutrients to the soil. Here at Chateau Montelena, our Vineyard Manager Dave Vella has even planted turnip greens. Sounds like only edible foods are used, but that is not the case. We also use Triticale and barley, Zorro fescue, Bell beans, oats, and brassica. The mustard and other cover crops grow at a rapid rate, especially when we have periods of rain followed by days of sunshine. Watch the mustard grow before your eyes…
Sit down with Winemaker Cameron Parry to sample a few of his favorite wines, hand-selected for this special tasting, and perhaps even a barrel sample or two. While these tastings are offered seasonally (Cameron is pre-occupied with harvest activities during the autumn months), this time of year tends to be ideal for visiting as it’s a bit quieter in the tasting room and you’ll have plenty of time to ask those burning questions about the winemaking process. These unique opportunities to sit down and taste wine with our Winemaker are available on on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. Click here for more information or to book your tasting.
Keep in mind that Napa Valley tends to be less crowded during the winter months of January, February and March, so you’ll have no trouble getting that restaurant reservation. We hope that’s all the motivation you need to come and see us soon.
Wishing you all a wonderful end to 2010.
May your New Year be filled with happiness, laughter and extraordinary wine.
The Montelena Family
Part II of the Harvest 2010 series: Bo discusses how the weather during Harvest 2010 was perfect for crafting Montelena’s style of wines.
Many people may not realize we make a few very special wines, in very special years, that are not regularly included in our lineup of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Riesling. The year 2007 was one of those special years. We harvested some amazing Petite Sirah grapes and recently released the 2007 Petite Sirah for your enjoyment. It just maybe the perfect gift for that hard-to-please wine lover or for the Montelena fan who has everything. It’s delicious now, but this wine will reward you after years of patience.
We’ve heard a lot of speculation about this year’s harvest in the past few weeks and now that things are finally slowing down in our cellar, we’d like to share Chateau Montelena’s perspective on Harvest 2010.
Stay tuned for more installments of our Harvest 2010 series.
Leftovers from San Francisco’s finest restaurants make their way into the Chateau Montelena vineyards. Dave Vella, Vineyard Manager, explains to NBC Bay Area News:
On Friday, September 24, 2010, friends and family descended upon Chateau Montelena Winery for the annual “Blessing of the Grapes” ceremony. While Jim and Bo Barrett presided over the events, the first grapes of 2010 were blessed by two Priests, in both Jewish and Catholic prayers, with a sprinkling of Holy Water. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Vineyard Foreman of 25+ years, Placido Hernandez, performed a powerful rendition of Ava Maria. Harvest 2010 is officially underway!
With a bit of sunshine, and quite a lot of rain, the Glass Sippers have begun to bloom in the vineyard. We hope that, over the next few months, the bottles will continue to get bigger and bigger. However, this mini-size is perfect if you’d just like a taste of our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Click here to get some for yourself!