Jeff Gaffner, the owner of and winemaker for Saxon Brown Wines
once observed, "Winemaking must consume you, or your wines may not be
That's the approach he has taken
with each wine he has crafted at Saxon Brown, from Semillon to Syrah,
from Chardonnay to Zinfandel, and from Pinot Noir to Cabernet
Gaffner is a 25-year veteran of the wine
industry. His career as a winemaker was launched in 1981 at Chateau St.
Jean under the tutelage of renowned vintner Richard Arrowood...
Francis Ford Coppola perhaps will always be best known for
bringing the story of "The Godfather" to life on the silver
But winemaking has been a Coppola family
tradition for several generations.
Francis Coppola's grandfather, used to make wine in the basement of his
New York apartment building, using concrete vats that he constructed
Inglenook Vineyards was founded in 1879 by Gustave Niebaum,
a Finnish sea captain who used his enormous wealth to import the best European
grapevines to the Napa Valley.
Over the next several decades, under the guidance of the
legendary John Daniel, Inglenook built a reputation as the source of some of
the finest wines ever made.
Winegrowing appellations - or American Viticultural Areas, as they're known in the United States - are defined by their geography, geology and climate. It's a concept that the French embody in a single word: terroir.
Few AVAs are known for more than a handful of grape varieties. That's because a specific variety requires a specific type of climate in which to thrive. All types of winegrapes have certain minimum requirements, but each does better in specific types of settings.
That's why in California's North Coast region, the Napa Valley is known primarily for Cabernet Sauvignon, the Russian River Valley for Pinot Noir, and the Dry Creek Valley for Zinfandel. Several other varieties are grown in all three regions, but each region has its own "star" variety...
When a wine makes the annual "Top 100" list selected and published by Wine Spectator magazine, two things typically happen.
First, the wine almost immediately sells out. Second, the price goes up for the next vintage.
It's too early to know whether that will happen with the three-variety blend known as "Vireo," crafted by Goose Ridge Vineyards and Estate Winery in Richland, Wash. The 2006 bottling of "Vireo" - consisting of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Syrah and 29% Merlot - claimed the No. 41 spot on the Spectator's list for 2010...
Iconic artwork has been used by a number of wineries to decorate their most special bottlings.
In California, for instance, Kenwood Vineyards produces an "Artist Series" Cabernet Sauvignon each vintage, with the label featuring either an existing or commissioned painting by an important artist.
For its 2000 and 2002 vintages, French Champagne maker Dom Perignon is releasing a series of six bottles saluting the pop art of Andy Warhol...
Altamura Vineyards and Winery, established in 1985 by Frank and Karen Altamura, is the only winery in Wooden Valley, which is located within the Napa Valley appellation.
The Altamuras are Napa natives who take a hands-on approach to every step of the growing and winemaking process. Thus, a natural production limit is established and the wines reflect the couple's deep commitment to reflecting the terroir of their Wooden Valley Ranch.
Wooden Valley is a small, almost round valley, approximately two miles wide at its widest point. It's located nine miles northeast of the town of Napa, and is reached by a winding mountain road that originally was carved into what was called Napa Mountain by Chinese laborers in the 1800s. The valley is bordered by the Vaca Range to the east and "Napa Mountain" to the west.
Donald Hess was born in Switzerland and owns wineries around the world.
Hess is known primarily for his Hess Collection Winery in California's Napa Valley. It's home not only to world-renowned wines, but also to a world-class art collection. The Hess Collection is one of a handful of must-see Napa destinations...
"The wines are supremely clean and elegant: definitive examples of Pinot Noir. Above all, they have richness and breed, the thumbprint of a master winemaker."
So wrote Master of Wine Clive Coates in his book, "Cote d'Or: A Celebration of the Great Wines of Burgundy."
The estate about which he was writing: Domaine Faiveley...
The tradition continues. For the 32nd time, Kenwood Vineyards has released a bottling of Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon bearing a collectible label.
In 1978, Kenwood defined the marriage of fine wine and art when it released its first Artist Series Cabernet. While it wasn't a typical combination at the time, after 32 vintages, the series still masterfully brings them together on the wine's label...