Is the Napa Valley “Into Wine?”

With passion he talks about how terroir gives meaning and life to a bottle of wine. Its uniqueness is the result of the soil, climate, the vineyard grower and the winemaker. It is about the caring of the soil and the vines that imbue a special quality to the wine.

Cathy Corison the Queen of Cabernet

Cathy Corison is one of Napa Valley’s first women winemakers and is well recognized by her colleagues as one of the more influential winemakers in the entire Valley. Her Corison Cabernet wines have long been noted for their quality and character. We visited with Cathy at her wonderful winery and vineyards in St. Helena.

We have long been admirers of the barn that houses the Corison Winery. The best view is during Mustard season. The vibrant colors set against the grey siding and the green roof make for an awesome view and a photographer’s delight. The barn is set back from Highway 29 and easy to miss. As one drives along Highway 29, by the time you catch a glimpse and are intrigued by the building it is too late; you have driven past the entrance. By all means turn back at the next chance and pay a visit to Corison Winery. It is traditional Napa Valley.

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Rubissow Wines on Mt. Veeder

If you are heading up to the popular Hess Collection Winery on Mt. Veeder, I have a recommendation. Before you visit Hess, take a small detour and stop in at the vineyard home of Rubissow Winery. Although Rubissow wines have been around for several years hardly anyone but a few have ever tasted Rubissow wines, and even fewer have visited their home base on Mt. Veeder. If you like adventure and something very different in the Napa Valley, schedule an appointment to view some of the most beautiful vineyards in all of Napa and taste some very exquisite wines.

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Wine Blogging Conference – Napa Valley Missing in Action

I’m not sure how the organizers of the Wine Blogging Conference found sponsors or determined what events were to be staged, but clearly Sonoma wineries were at the forefront of this inaugural event. Except for the Culinary Institute of America, which conducted the blind wine tasting event, Napa Valley and its wineries were nowhere to be seen at this conference.

Sonoma wineries went all out for this event. From the opening event, a lunch and tasting of 12 Sonoma wines at Kick Ranch Vineyards, to the final luncheon on Sunday, just about every event featured Sonoma wines. The major sponsors, the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley, the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau, and Sebastiani Vineyards, provided lunches, dinners, bus transportation, and more wines than we could possibly taste. What a coup for Sonoma wineries.

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Napa — Unsettling Problems

With redevelopment projects along the Napa River and the buzz created by the Oxbow Market, you would think that all is joy among Napa businesses, restaurants, and lodging establishments. Not so. The last few weeks have not brought good news to the city of Napa.

One of Copia's exhibits,
interesting or humdrum?
One of Copia's exhibits,
interesting or humdrum?

Copia continues to have its share of financial problems. Copia recently announced layoffs and surprisingly their winter hours leave Copia open only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The Copia store and Julie’s Kitchen restaurant remain open on a daily basis. We stated in a blog post a year ago that on our last visit to Copia we felt that the exhibits were sparse and not very compelling. The most interesting area to us was the vegetable garden and now we hear that the garden plot might be up for sale to shore up Copia’s financing. You would think that with the addition of the Oxbow Market next door, Copia would see an increase in visitors. Apparently, that has not happened.

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Update on Napa Solar Wineries + Great Green Music Event at Copia

We have some additions to our list of Napa wineries that are utilizing solar energy. Thanks to Sunlight Electric for providing us with an updated list. This company has done many of these installations. This brings the total number of Napa wineries with solar energy systems to 41.

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Tres Sabores Winery and A Visit with Winemaker Julie Johnson

We spent a very pleasant hour chatting and tasting wines with Julie Johnson, the owner and winemaker of Tres Sabores winery. Tres Sabores doesn’t get many visitors. It is well off the beaten path and the winery is open by appointment only. But that should not stop the tourists from making an effort to visit Tres Sabores because there is much to like here. This winery is not your typical Napa Valley tourist attraction. It is a rustic winery with no formal tasting room, just a homey welcoming atmosphere. It is just great fun to visit and get an inside view of a small boutique winery in the Napa Valley.

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Dutch Henry Winery

Dutch Henry Winery is a small family-owned winery at the northern end of the Silverado Trail. The Dutch Henry Winery is a family run affair. The owners are Less and Maggie Chafen of San Francisco, and their son Scott Chafen is the winemaker and vineyard manager. The family opened the winery in 1992. The winery has estate vineyards located at the winery as well as other areas in the Napa Valley. The winery is named for a somewhat shady character, Dutch Henry, who was a silver miner in the area during the mid 1800’s.

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Napa Valley and Los Carneros — Earth Day

In celebration of Earth Day, we thought it would be fitting to list the wineries in the Napa Valley and Los Carneros that are recognized as leaders in utilizing “Green Activities” in their vineyards and winery facilities. The term “Green” can mean many things but in the case of this blog post we use the term “Green” to include the following activities:

• Organic farming (no use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers)
• Use of solar power
• Use of bio diesel fuels (fuels derived from vegetable oil)
• Water conservation
• Reduction of waste

The following is a list of Napa wineries that we consider to be exemplary in their attempt to reduce their carbon footprint and preserve the environment for future generations.

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Honig Vineyards & Winery — Sustainable Practices

The term “sustainability” means preserving the environment and using the land in such a way as to preserve it for future generations. Honig Vineyards & Winery is proof positive that a winery can make really good wines while at the same time preserving the planet by adopting sustainable practices. In the case of Honig Vineyards, … Read more