napa valley

  1. Keeping It in the Family: Next Generation Successes in Napa Valley

    Keeping It in the Family: Next Generation Successes in Napa Valley

    ...we identified six of Napa's iconic family-owned wineries and vineyards established in the 1970s and 1980s that have significant next-generation involvement. We sent an invitation to the founding owners and their children asking them to participate in a conversation about their "Generational Transition," and the career paths of the children who have become involved. We also asked their advice for those who might be considering a generational transition.

  2. Storybook Mountain: Fire Destroyed Its Wine Library. Then Something Good Happened

    Storybook Mountain: Fire Destroyed Its Wine Library. Then Something Good Happened

    We were at the final dinner of the 2024 Wine Writers Symposium in Napa recently when we met Jerry Seps, pioneering founder and winemaker of much-awarded Storybook Mountain Vineyards Winery, north of Calistoga. We thanked him for his work in ZAP, Zinfandel Advocates & Producers, which has kept one of our favorite grapes and early loves in the public eye for decades.

  3. Sustainable Valentines: The Matthiassons’ Cycle of Life

    Sustainable Valentines: The Matthiassons’ Cycle of Life

    MFEO isn’t an acronym we toss around lightly. To be perfectly honest, we’d never even heard of MFEO until we watched one of Dottie’s all-time favorite movies, “Sleepless in Seattle,” which was, to his ever-lasting regret, brought to her attention by John. She could watch it every night. The right people end up together because they were: Made For Each Other.

    Jill Klein Matthiasson and Steve Matthiasson, of Matthiasson Wines in Napa, were MFEO.

  4. Emmanuel Kemiji: From Master Sommelier to Winemaker

    Emmanuel Kemiji: From Master Sommelier to Winemaker

    Grape Collective talks with Emmanuel Kemiji about his winemaking journey and his passion for Spanish wine.

  5. Massican Wine’s B-Side: Six Ways of Interpreting Dan Petroski’s Vision

    Massican Wine’s B-Side: Six Ways of Interpreting Dan Petroski’s Vision

    Dan Petroski, winemaker and owner of Massican, which makes only whites in Napa Valley, has one of the most fertile minds we’ve come across in our 50 years of enjoying and studying wine. But when we heard about his latest project, even we had to say: What the Falanghina? Essentially, the idea is this: What if he asked other vintners to create a wine that would fit under the Massican style umbrella? Considering that winemakers have such individual passions, this seems a bit out there.

  6. A Case Study of Iconic Napa Valley Wineries with a Change in Ownership and their Women Winemakers

    A Case Study of Iconic Napa Valley Wineries with a Change in Ownership and their Women Winemakers

    We were recently gifted Napa: Behind the Bottle, a wonderful book of photographs in which Bill Tucker depicts the owners, winemakers, and workers of Napa's iconic family wineries and vineyards at the end of the 20th century. The first of these photographs are of Robert and Margrit Mondavi.

    (Corison Winery, Napa, courtesy of Cathy Corison, the first woman winemaker/proprietor in Napa Valley. Photo credit: Bob McClenahan Photography)

    The Mondavis are legends in the development of the California wine industry. Robert is viewed by many as instrumental in putting Napa Valley on its path to greatness, and both Margrit and Robert were known for the artistic sensibility that enveloped their love of wine, food, and the arts. In her preface to Napa: Behind the Bottle, Margrit noted that "This book is a collection of the passionate, good people that made the Napa Valley famous for its great wineries. Looking at these amazing faces, you understand that as Robert Mondavi said, 'Making good wine is a skill. Fine wine is an art.'" The "good people" photographed by Bill Tucker were associated with Napa's top wineries, as is further evidenced by their inclusion in James Laube's Wine Spectator's California Wine (1999) and Jim Gordon's Opus Vino (2010).

    The Case Study

    In light of the recent attention being given to changes in Napa Valley, we used the 87 wineries in Tucker's book as the basis for a case study of (a) wineries that have had a change in ownership since 2000, (b) who now owns these wineries, and (c) which of these wineries currently have a winemaker who is a woman.

    We found that 83 (95%) of these wineries were independently family-owned in 2000, and in most cases by the founding family owners. By 2022, 64 (74%) of the wineries were still owned by the same family. Thus, 19 wineries (22%) had experienced a change in ownership since 2000 and are...

  7. Warren Winiarski’s ‘Aha!’ Moment With Nathan Fay’s Homemade Wine

    Warren Winiarski’s ‘Aha!’ Moment With Nathan Fay’s Homemade Wine

    Winiarski compares his time at Souverain and Robert Mondavi Winery to climbing ever-taller peaks. “They were my guided lesser peaks, and Ivancie was my attempt at a solo.”
  8. Mt. Veeder’s Sky Vineyards: How to See a Future When Your World Is Ablaze

    Mt. Veeder’s Sky Vineyards: How to See a Future When Your World Is Ablaze

    "There are many ways to help wineries, but the easiest is simply to buy their wines or drink what you have and get more. That’s what we have been doing every night." Dorothy J. Gaiter & John Brecher
  9. We’ll Always Have Napa: Read This, Then Shut Your Eyes and Imagine

    We’ll Always Have Napa: Read This, Then Shut Your Eyes and Imagine

    "But thinking about Napa gives us and millions of others warm feelings because many of us have had some of the best times of our lives there. Just because we can’t go to Paris right now doesn’t mean we can’t look at pictures of the Eiffel Tower and dream about the day we can."
  10. Tom Gamble of Gamble Family Vineyards on Teasing out a Wine's Nuances

    Tom Gamble of Gamble Family Vineyards on Teasing out a Wine's Nuances

    "We have to produce good wines, at least us little guys, because we can't just live off this big Napa reputation — we have to keep advancing it." -Tom Gamble
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