Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Return to Stags Leap

About 30 years ago, we spent some time in Napa Valley. At the time, we were especially taken with the wines from the Stags Leap District. So, when Mike had an opportunity to attend the Stags Leap District Vineyard to Vintner event, we jumped at it.

The day started with a seminar with three highly regarded Stags Leap District winemakers (below, left to right): Elias Fernandez of Shafer Vineyards, moderator Leslie Sbrocco, Elizabeth Vianna of Chimney Rock Winery, and Jon Emmerich of Silverado Vineyards. These rock star winemakers provided an interesting perspective on their wines and their vintages.

During the seminar we tasted 1999 and 2005 vintages from each of the three wineries. Three wineries, six wines, each wonderful and distinctive.

We then toured wineries, including Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, one we visited during that visit 30 years ago. It has grown enormously since then, but the original building, with the doors made from old barrels, is still there.

These barrels are stacked five deep.

On Sunday, we went to Tres Sabores to visit with winemaker Julie Johnson and her husband and wine consultant Jon Engelskirger (Julie is the mother of one of Mike's former students). Their friends from Troll Bridge Cellars stopped by, which expanded and enhanced the experience. We were excited that friends Lowell and Dorothy were able to join us for several hours of fabulous wine and conversation. Mike and I and Lowell and Dorothy topped off the day with an outstanding dinner at Bistro Jeanty.

We had great weather, great wine, great scenery. I hope we can return before another 30 years passes.