Meadow View Winery

Yesterday I drove vertical up the dirt roads of Moraga, California to find Meadow View Winery. My little Toyota Corolla used every bit of its 4 cylinder engine to make it up there but holy gorgeous, it was worth it. After reaching the top of what seemed like a mountain, I approached the most beautiful vineyard. The vines were cascading down a small hill with a beautiful house behind where two of the wine growers Doug and Isabelle live.

Meadow View - Bill

I was greeted at the gate by two border collies, a kitten, Doug and Bill English, the winemaker, it was quite the welcome party. Walking up the driveway I got to see immediately where all the “magic happens”. There were a few barrels in the driveway with their latest Cabernet Sauvignon that will be bottled in the next few weeks. Bill was cleaning out one of the barrels and a muddled wine and water mixture was flowing down the driveway.

Meadow View -Grapes

It was clear it was a collective operation at Meadow View Winery. All of them have their place in the process. It is a straight vine to table experience. They really leave the wine to do its magic with little to no handling through the fermentation process. Their wines are not filtered nor fined. They have 3 grape varieties growing in Doug and Isabelle’s vineyard, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese. The rest of the grapes are spread across 5 vineyards in Lamorinda (If not familiar with Lamorinda AVA read my post on the up & coming wine region). For being a local operation that grows and produces in Lamorinda they have a ton of different grape varieties with the highest of quality wine.

I tasted their 2014 Cabernet Franc, 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016 Chardonnay and their latest 2015 Cabernet Savignon from the barrel that has yet to be bottled.

Meadow View Tasting

I was literally in awe with how good all these wines were. They all had very distinguishing characteristics that one would hope when drinking the variety. The Cabernet  Sauvignon it smelled of tobacco and roses and tasted of cherries. The Chardonnay was so crisp and refreshing with citrus aromas and flavors that were the perfect balance of tartness and smooth creaminess of caramel. All wines were smooth and easy to drink. These wine would easily compete with California’s largest AVA’s.

I enjoyed hearing Bill, Doug and Isabelle’s stories of how they came to love wine and start Meadow View Winery. You can see the passion and love for wine emunating from them. This is reflecting in their wines. Stay tuned on more posts about the lovely Meadow View Winery.

Cheers!

 

“Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the art of living.”

Robert Mondavi said it best, “Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the art of living.” Winemakers are artists for sure and I truly appreciate when a winemaker appreciates and displays other artists work.

The following list are a few wineries/vineyards that show appreciation to artists by displaying their art for visitors to enjoy:

Markham Vineyards: 

Displays the art by Harold and Peggy Francis.

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“Harold’s art drawing inspiration from the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms and his vivid imagination, Harold uses an intricate technique of layering color, shape and texture. As he paints new patterns and images emerge drawing the viewer deeper and deeper into his creations.

“Animals Among Us” series by artist, Peggy Francis, honors animals that are integral to our Napa Valley lifestyle. Farm life is deeply rooted in Peggy’s southern childhood, images are recalled from her Mammaw’s chickens, pigs, and milk cow and the cattle and horses on her family farm. These contemporary paintings of the farm animals among us speak to our collective longing for the gentler pace of agrarian life we experience in the Napa Valley.”

Artist website: http://www.2718indistudio.com/

Vineyard Website: http://www.markhamvineyards.com/visit-us/art-gallery

Mumm Napa:

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Mumm has photography on display from Ansel Adams and Wayne Levin. Adams’ twenty-seven gelatin silver prints includes many of his most famous photographs. Levin’s photographs made beneath the surface of the waves have captivated viewers for decades.

Website: https://www.mummnapa.com/visitmummnapa/fine-arts-gallery

The Hess Collection:

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“Donald Hess began collecting art in 1966. Today, The Hess Collection houses less than a quarter of a collection that is shown in museums worldwide. His collecting style is a personal endeavor driven by passion rather than monetary investment or current trends. He develops a close dialogue with an artist to better understand what drives him or her to create and he carefully limits his focus as a collector to 20 living artists whose work he faithfully supports long term. As is evident by the caliber of the collection, he collects with the uncanny ability to acquire works by lesser known artists who often go on to become well known and respected in their disciplines. His typical commitment to an artist spans decades and various stages of his career.”

Here are a few artists in his collection to check out:

Franz Gertsch
Robert Motherwell
Anselm Kiefer
Magdalena Abakanowicz
Leopoldo Maler
Francis Bacon
Gerhard Richter

Website: http://www.hesscollection.com/art/

Jamieson Ranch Vineyards:

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Upon approaching Jamieson Ranch you can very clearly see from the road the loud colorful graffiti-esk mural. I loved how they had a rustic feel and then added this urban pop. Contributing artists include popular SF Bay Area urban muralists Ricky Watts, Meagan Spendlove, “Griffin One” and Chris Jehly; self-taught Los Angeles artists “Duce” and “Haste” and ubiquitous graffiti specialist “Quake,” who is bringing his style from New York City.

Website: http://www.jamiesonranchvineyards.com/music-and-art

Hall Wines:

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“Avid lifelong art collectors, Craig and Kathryn Hall are delighted to invite guests to enjoy expressive art and world-class wines. HALL St. Helena and HALL Rutherford feature select works that are sure to inspire the senses. Featuring some of the most internationally acclaimed artists today, such as John Baldessari, Jim Campbell, Nick Cave, Jaume Plensa, guests will be guided through the collection, while tasting some of HALL’s amazing wines.”

Website: http://www.hallwines.com/visit/winery-experiences/hall-architecture-art

Seven Stones Winery:

Image result for seven stones winery art

“Beginning in the mid-1980s, Ron Wornick, an accomplished woodworker in his own right, along with his wife Anita, began actively collecting master artisan pieces made from wood, ceramics, glass, fiber, and metal. Within 20 years, the Wornicks had created one of the premier contemporary craft collections in the world. The collection has been on view at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, American Craft Museum in New York, the Oakland Museum of California, and the McAllen Museum in South Texas.”

Website: https://www.sevenstoneswinery.com/pages/art.html

Please let me know if you have any other great wineries you know of that have awesome art displays!! (Pictures are not by me)

@happensforariesling or happensforariesling@gmail.com

V. Sattui Winery

This winery has it all! It’s like Disneyland for wino’s! It’s crowded so be ready but the crowds are there for a reason.

Their are 3 tasting rooms, we decided to taste in the market and had a server named, Edwin, who was beyond knowledgable and made the tasting very fun with his humor. It was very crowded but I didn’t feel as though I was neglected at the tasting bar. I tried many wines ranging from their popular fruity Gamy rose to their brandy fortfied Madeira which is a sweet port.

Tasting:

2014 Los Carneros Pinot Noir ($39): sweetly scented with notes of cherry fruit and cinnamon.

2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($45): currant fruit and colors it with dusty spice and hints of black olive.

2014 Los Carneros Chardonnay ($52) : ripe pear, fig and honeydew notes to finish of white peach.

2014 Dancing Egg Riesling ($25): very crisp and refreshing. Fruity and every so slightly sweet not your typical Riesling.

2015 Gamay Rouge ($24): juicy flavors of ripe strawberry, crisp tart cherry and cranberry. 

Madiera ($59): The wine is sweet and luscious with flavors of almonds, caramel, toffee and orange zest.

My purchases:

I ended up buying the Madiera which is $59 a bottle but after opening can be kept anywhere from 1-3 years. I saw this as an investment.

I also bought the 2014 Dry Rosato because I thought it would pair nicely with light apps and was the perfect balance between dry and fruity.

Visiting & Tasting:

$15 – Let one of our friendly and knowledgeable wine-tenders customize your tasting experience by guiding you through our portfolio of wines.

  • Includes up to 5 tastes of our vintage and estate wines
  • No advance reservation required for parties of 10 or less

Free tastings for Military!

Make sure to try some of the food from the deli or if you are visiting on the weekend they have a brick oven pizza and a barbeque pit. I had the pizza and loved it!!!

Sum it up:

  1. Tons of wines to taste and buy that can only be purchased at the winery
  2. Encompasses so much in one place no need to leave to go to another
  3. Wide variety in wine quality and price. Prices for the cheapest and most expensive tastes.

 

Best Wine Apps – iPhone

There is an App for everything today! As discussed in my post “Coping with wine overload” there is some great Apps to help ease your decisions in choosing, pairing, tastings and visiting. Below are 6 Apps I recommend checking out and all are (mostly) free!!

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  1. Hello Vino – A great shopping assistant for buying wine to pair with food for dinner parties
  2. Wine Cellar Database – allows you to customize your wine cellar. Choose from a selection of hundreds of thousands of wines online or load it from your own spreadsheet files or Cellar Tracker.
  3. Wine Spectator WineRatings + – Depending on what access you want via the app, it is either free or a small subscription cost – The free content includes comprehensive vintage charts, daily news, educational articles and videos. An in-app subscription gives access to all of Wine Spectator’s wine ratings, with more than 1,000 new reviews added each month. I would say this is the most comprehensive and reputable app for ratings.
  4. The California Wine Club – Great local app, that will help perfectly pair a wine with food.
  5. Vivino – Take a photo of a wine label in the store before you buy to get details on the wine such as ratings and reviews. 
  6. VinoWine – Discover and locate wineries and vineyards in a manner of seconds – basically Yelp solely for wineries!

Cheers!