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Lunch Break

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Aaaah, Lunch Break….my favorite time of day.  Not that I don’t enjoy my time in the Tasting Room, Library and on Private Tours with you, but a little break is always welcome particularly when I time it right so I can share it with the Cellar Crew.  The Cellar Crew works hard in the tunnels and the caves of the chateau and sometimes rarely sees the light of day.  Maybe that’s why we fondly call them “Cellar Rats”.  Secretly I call them the “Heart and Lung Machine” of the winery…because without them, the wine would not get made.


Eddie, Christine, Gil, Louis

We share many things during our break.  I ask them what’s going on in the cellar, barrels, bottling line, etc. depending on the time of year.  Right now the guys are moving the 2012 Chardonnay from the barrels and readying it for bottling.  Bottling is often done before harvest to make room for the new vintage.  I also fill them in on what’s going on in the Tasting Room, Special Events and any “beefs” I might have.   We also talk a lot about our personal lives, family, and experiences.  Stories are embellished and dramatized.  Jokes fly and much laughter can be heard coming from the Employee Kitchen.  Sometimes we even tell the truth.

I’d like to thank the Cellar Crew for giving me a genuine break in the middle of my day.  What we share is special to me……Thanks to Gil for his diet tips and special hot sauce,  thanks to Louis for his daily fresh lemonade, George for our special connection, young Eddie for his silliness,  and Alex for his caustic insight.  You know, I may change my mind about the Cellar Crew “Heart and Lung Machine” moniker.  I just might change it to the “Heart and Soul” of Montelena.

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About Our Authors

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.

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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