October 15, 2009

BEEhind the Scenes at St. Supery: Rutherford Vineyard

Day 2: Rutherford Vineyard and Barrel Tasting

After an almost surreal time at the Dollarhide Ranch the day prior, I treked it back to Napa the following day to begin setup for an event I was helping faciliate later in the week. Once again, the folks at St. Supery assured me of their outstanding service, delicious wines and picturesque
land, through continuing a "backstage" tour of the facilities...

First, we headed downstairs to the barrel room and I was overcome with the enticing scent of French oak and infant grapes, simply delicious (and luring!). Tina showed me around and I awkwardly admired the hundreds of barrels surrounding me (clearly you can tell from the pic on the left). It was then she asked me if I cared to do a tasting straight from the barrel, and who can deny that? I puckered up and piped out
small tastings of a variety of St. Supery's 2008 vintages - the Cab Franc and Merlot shockingly caught my attention most.

I also had the opportunity to be at the winery during a "crushing" day, so Tina escorted me outside to where a fresh batch of Cabernet had just come in and was being cleansed and destemmed. She grabbed me a grape bunch from the winemaker himself, and as I took my first bite I could
taste purple. The grapes were so tiny, yet boasting with sugar and flavor (and a tasteful crunch). She also showed me the compost made from all of the pomace leftover from the grape. And as the city girl I am, I played with it in heels!

We then continued our jaunt outside along the Rutherford Vineyard
terrain, which is the winery's main area located right off St. Helena Hwy in the heart of the Napa Valley. Rutherford consists of 35-acres and is primarily planted with red Bordeaux grapes, like Cabernet, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cab Franc.

Between picking grapes straight from the vine (and devouring them), Tina grabbed us some
fresh figs and pointed out the cork trees that grew on the grounds (yes, they make real wine corks from these sorts of trees, lets plant more so we can bypass synthetics!). We then pr
oceeded into a discussion about sustainability in winemaking, which in my mind is becoming increasingly important. And despite the spacious amount of land, St. Supery has complete control over how their grapes are harvested and they strive to keep their land pristine through a combination of natural fertilizer, canopy management, and biodiversity. They have received certifications from both Napa Green Land and Fish Friendly Family.

Overall, I had a phenominal, once-in-a-lifetime experience out at St. Supery and I can't wait to go back. And if you're looking for a similar experience but can't get out to Napa anytime soon, don't fret! St. Supéry is taking the winery tasting room experience on the road for the industry’s first ever Tweetup Tour. They'll be stopping in each city listed below visiting restaurants:
Whether you attend online or in person, everyone is welcome and there is no charge. There will be special guests, including their wine maker (who will appear via U-Stream) and you can also join in the conversation on St.Supéry’s custom TasteLive page or Twitter using the #stsupery hash tag. In order to provide the opportunity to taste along online, the winery has created “taste packs” 4-packs of wine sold at a special price.

For more information, visit http://www.stsupery.com/.


Rick said...

Glad you had a good time. See you at Harry's!

TinaCao_StSupery said...

I'm so happy you had the time to visit both Dollarhide and the inner workings of St. Supery! You're welcome back any time...it's wonderful to be able to share such a special place.

Guava Girls said...
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Guava Girls said...

Fun to finally meet you after a year of twittering. Thank you for the opportunity to work with Chef Rocco and the BlogHer gals. Hope to see you in NYC soon!