Posts Tagged ‘Napa Fun Time’

Napa Fun Time 1.5: Good Night and Good Bye

November 1, 2012

To bring our amazing Saturday in the Napa Valley to a close, we headed over to Celadon in downtown Napa for dinner…

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Celadon

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To go with dinner, we ordered up a GSM by Hanh Winery. I’m a big fan of California Rhone Blends these days. As far as a balanced red wine with good acidity goes, for the money, this wine can’t be beat.

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While waiting for our dinner, we took full advantage of the free bread.

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For starters, we shared the Macadamia Nut-Crusted Goat Cheese with Port-Poached Figs, Apples and Crostini.

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Of course, I also ordered the Hearts of Romaine with Caesar Dressing, Croutons and Parmesan Cheese.

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For the main course, I had the Pork Porterhouse, Herb Spaetzle, Butternut Squash, Watercress and Pomegranate Jus. Yum!

What a great night!

The next morning, before heading home, we made one last stop to do some wine tasting at Artesa.

Located in the Carneros region of Napa, Artesa specializes in Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and sparkling wines (which thrive in this Southern-most region of the Napa Valley).  Artesa, however, is probably more well-known for having one of the most beautiful wineries in the area.

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Artesa

Here are a few of the wines that we tried…

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Artesa 2009 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir

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Artesa 2010 Limited Release Tempranillo

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Artesa 2007 Limited Release Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

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Artesa 2007 Foss Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Of all the trips that Kara and I have taken to the Napa Valley, this one easily tops them all.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

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Napa Fun Time 1.4: Wine and Fun in the Setting Sun

October 28, 2012

As our Saturday of wine tasting in the Napa Valley neared its end, we headed over to our final destination.

But first… A little background…

One of Kara’s mom’s best friends is Jan Krupp.

You may be familiar with that name, because Jan’s husband is Dr. Jan Krupp.

You may be familiar with Dr. Jan Krupp for his Krupp Brothers Winery.

What Dr. Jan is probably more well-known for is his Stagecoach Vineyard, which he started building in his backyard in 1995.  Nestled in between Pritchard Hill and Atlas Peak, this rugged vineyard is home to some of the most sought after fruit in Napa Valley.  Today, Dr. Jan sells his grapes to over 70 other wineries (including heavy hitters like; Alpha Omega, Caymus, Duckhorn, and Hess Collection).

When Kara called up the Krupps that Saturday morning to tell them that we were in the area, they invited us over to get a tour of their iconic vineyard and to taste their fantastic wine.

After we arrived at the Krupp house around five o’clock, we took a moment to soak in the beautiful view from their back patio…

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The Krupp Brothers Vineyard with Stagecoach Vineyard extending for 1100 acres in the background.

We then jumped into the car to drive back into the Stagecoach Vineyard before the sun would get a chance to set over our tour…

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Chasing the sun into Stagecoach Vineyard

After a little driving…

We took a left at the stagecoach…

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The Stagecoach

And drove to the top of the world…

While Kara and the Krupps set the table…

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Kara and Dr. Jan setting the table.

I took a little time to enjoy the view…

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The low sun over the Napa Valley

Dr. Jan served us some fantastic wines…

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Krupp Brothers 2009 Napa Valley Chardonnay

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Krupp Brothers 2007 Black Bart’s Bounty Syrah

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Krupp Brothers 2007 Veraison Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

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Krupp Brothers 2008 Stagecoach Vineyard M5 Cabernet Sauvignon

The Krupp Brothers wines were fantastic.  They were each a great expression of the rugged terroir of Stagecoach.

Since it’s harvest season, we made a few pit stops to taste some grapes off of the vine…

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Stagecoach Vineyard Syrah

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Krupp Brothers Vineyard Tempranillo

As the sun set over the Stagecoach Vineyard, we called it a day…

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Driving off in the setting sun.

And what a day it was.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Napa Fun Time 1.3: Workin’ Our Way Back

October 22, 2012

After a fantastic morning  traveling North to visit Del Dotto and Cornerstone Cellars, we spent the majority of our afternoon in the Napa Valley working our way through the Oak Knoll and Stags Leap districts.

The next stop on our list was Trefethen Family Vineyards

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We took the time to smell the poppies…

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We tried their very tasty Dry Riesling.

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We pondered the blend of grapes in their Quandary White Wine.

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We gushed over their Cabernet Franc.

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We also enjoyed the decorations.

It’s been said that Trefethen is haunted.

Not being one to tempt the spirits, we drove over to our next stop…

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Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. No ghosts here. Just good wine.

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At Stag’s Leap, they don’t play. They gave us separate glasses for each of the wines we were about to taste.

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They even put wine in the glasses!

While all of the wines were fantastic, we very impressed by the 2009 CASK23 Cabernet Sauvignon…

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Fresh from the decanter.

I would have loved to take this one home… and I am still considering buying this one.

Does anyone have two hundred bucks I can borrow?

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Be sure to check out the next installment of Napa Fun Time, where Jeff and Kara visit some family friends for a guided tour of the world-renowned Stagecoach Vineyard.

Napa Fun Time 1.1: In The Cave, Man

October 16, 2012

This past weekend, Kara and I took a trip up to Napa Valley in celebration of ten years together…

If you’re keeping track, that means we were dating for eight years before we got married.

If you’re wondering what took me so long to pop the question, you’ve got to know that I’m not the brightest crayon in the box.

Anyways…

We had such a great time on Saturday, I don’t think there is any way that I could fit all of the awesomeness into one post.

So…

I present to you…

Napa Fun Time 1.1: In the Cave, Man:

Our first stop on Saturday was the Del Dotto Historic Winery and Caves on Atlas Peak Road in Napa.

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From the outside, the Del Dotto tasting room is very unassuming…

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Once inside the tasting room, it’s easy to see that this is a classy joint. Upon check-in, we were served a tasty pour of the Del Dotto 2010 Cinghiale Vineyard Chardonnay. Class in a glass.

Our host explained to us at the beginning of our tour that Del Dotto likes to focus not just on showcasing the vineyards which grow the wines, but also the oak in which the wine was aged.

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Here he is showing off the different toast levels of a wine barrel.

Next, we took a stroll into the cave to do some barrel tasting.

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Into the cave…

Our host did a great job of showcasing the types of wines that were popular among members of the tour.  We mainly focussed on Cabernet Sauvignon in both American and French Oak barrels.

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The Wine Thief. I’ve gotta get me one of those.

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Here’s a cool looking oak barrel with hecka grooves carved in to add more layers of flavor to the wine. Our hoast called this one a “barrel on steroids”.

The wine was fantastic, but the highlight has to be the fact that you get to throw your wine up against the wall of the cave when you’re done.

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Hey wall. Meet my wine.

The Del Dotto tour is one of the funnest, and most informative, tours I’ve ever experienced in Napa.

This was definitely a great way to start the day.

You’ve gotta visit the cave, man.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Be sure to tune in to the next installment of Napa Fun Time, when Jeff and Kara visit the tasting room of Cornerstone Cellars in downtown Yountville.


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