Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Napa Valley Vintners Christen New Home at Historic Winery

In true Napa Valley style, the Napa Valley Vintners christened its new home with sparkling wine, toasts and well-wishes hosting nearly two hundred winery members assembled for the momentous occasion on Wednesday, January 20th. A mass fountain of bursting wine bubbles was sprayed on the new building by past presidents of the board of directors, past chairs of Premiere Napa Valley and past chairs of the building search committee in a loosely choreographed ceremony.

The past presidents and chairs were wearing brightly colored ribbons with keys attached around their necks to honor their efforts in bringing the new building to fruition. Much-needed rain fell all day, but the weather did not dampen the spirits of so many who had worked for nearly fifteen years to see this day come when the renowned group would finally have a permanent home for its day-to-day operations, as well as headquarters for its annual fundraiser, Auction Napa Valley.

NVV Board President Paula Kornell welcomed the members to their new home toasting the pioneering spirit of the Jackse Winery founder, "as a man who knew that Napa Valley wine belonged on the table even during Prohibition--and that sprit lives on here today."

Dan Duckhorn of Duckhorn Vineyards and the first chair of Premiere Napa Valley (PNV) in 1997, the NVVs trade-only barrel futures fundraiser, said, "We have been saving for this day for thirteen years and we should all be proud to call this place home." PNV, known as the association's annual "bake sale" has been raising funds for not only the building's construction, but for promotion and protection efforts of the Napa Valley appellation and its wines.

To read the full story, click here.
For more event photos, visit our photo gallery.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

All Staff Meeting!

Our first meeting of the year we decided to have a little fun. My brother Alan opened a bottle each of our estate blends -- 2006 VIADER, 2006 "V," 2007 VIADER and 2007 "V." Our VIADER wines are blended with about 60-70% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc, while our "V" features Petit Verdot, usually about 65% blended with Cabernet Sauvignon. However, our 2007 "V" blend has 92% Petit Verdot. I repeat, 92%! It's a labor of love to work with the challenging varietal of Petit Verdot, but it's so deliciously worth it! As you can see!

FYI, I'm off tomorrow to explore the wine regions of France and Spain, so you won't be hearing from me for a couple weeks.

A bientot! Hasta luego!

sales & marketing for VIADER

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Handle with Care

After the nice holiday break it seems like there is no time to waste in the cellar! We have at least 2,500 cases of 2007 vintage wines that need to be hand-labeled by our dedicated team, headed by Blanca Avina, our Quality Control & Shipping Manager since 1996.

These rare beauties were just finished yesterday. Only five cases - 60 bottles! - of 2007 Petit Verdot from the VIADER estate were privately bottled for Meritage Wine Market in Encinitas, CA which purchased the lot at Premiere Napa Valley last year. This winter wine auction is attended exclusively by members of the wine industry (wine retailers, distributors, restaurant owners, etc.) to raise funds in order sustain the various outreach programs of our non-profit trade organization, the Napa Valley Vintners. During the event, all wines specially selected for this auction are tasted directly from barrel. Recent years have included up to 200 rare barrel selections from different Napa wineries offering 5, 10 or 20-case lots (Note: there are roughly 25 cases of 12/750ml bottles per barrel).

With the 2010 Premiere Napa Valley around the corner, we're in the planning stages for our Open House on the evening of 2/19, which is attended by people both in and out of the wine industry. Last year, we had fun and displayed a pirate theme in our Tasting Room, and this year we're hoping to get people excited about the "Roaring Twenties!" My brother Alan chose his favorite barrel of 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon to pour at Premiere. The 2008 vintage represents our 20th harvest on the VIADER estate, and we've chosen to offer the full pledge of 20-cases. (Alan's also turning 30 this year!! But don't tell him I told you...)

Janet Viader
sales & marketing at VIADER

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Blogging on a wet winter’s day!

In the spring and summer months the winemaking staff often envies the vineyard staff, working in the beautiful sunshiny days in the Napa Valley, but come January when it’s cold and rainy outside the cellar staff is pretty happy staying dry and warm; well relatively warm at 61 degrees F in our barrel room.

All the hype of harvest is just a blurry recollection and the less glamorous reality of the day to day work in the cellar continues. January is the time at the winery that we start the first rackings of all those marvelous wines we barreled down at the end of harvest and get a more tangible feel for the quality of the vintage. There is a kind of excitement amongst the staff as the new wines are pumped into tanks and we pull samples for analysis and evaluation; the wines are vibrant in their youth and full of promise, and at this point we get to decide which program they’re destined, the Elivette or the Estate Cabernet, and make adjustments to their oak regime if needed. Then it’s back to the barrels and continue ageing for another few months while we start the blending trials to decided how best to marry all our lots to produce the best possible wines. So we stay busy in the cellar at this time of year, covered in a muted excitement about the new vintage with anticipation of their next step in the two year trek to the bottle.

If you’re in the area and have a chance, stop by and see how things are going in the cellar, but watch out for pumps and hoses and lots of new oak barrels being rolled around.

Jac Cole - winemaker

Spring Mountain Vineyard

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's official - our address has changed!

At long last, we have moved into our new home! The dust has settled, the computers are up and running, and the boxes are unpacked - well, almost all the boxes...

The space is simply stunning, from reclaimed wood walls to vaulted ceilings to the 30+ windows that light the space. And, in case you haven't already heard, the old Jackse Winery has been upgraded to an environmentally responsible building. Besides the beauty of the work space, which makes it a sheer joy to come to work, the building is outfitted with a geothermal HVAC system, solar panels, high efficiency windows and lighting, and countless other environmentally friendly upgrades.

So next time you come and visit us, make sure your have our new address. We look forward to seeing you at 1475 Library Lane, St. Helena, CA! (P.S. Our mailing address, P.O. Box 141, remains the same.)