Thank You, Each and All

2019 | 29th Annual Wine Seminar

“Because it Looked like Home—
A History of Italian Vines and Wines in Napa Valley”

Saturday, August 3
10:00 am to 2:00 pm
CIA Copia, Napa Valley Vintners Theater, Napa

Photography: Yu Ding

Ably moderated by Tegan Passalacqua, the seminar began with lively stories about her grandfather, Louis M Martini, from NVWLA President, Carolyn Martini. Suddenly, her nonno, little Luigi, was with us, traveling by train from Ellis Island to San Francisco, and growing into Louis, Sr. a founding lion of post-Prohibition Napa Valley wines and known for his annual gala dinner of polenta with robins.

Keynote speaker, Darrell Corti, then took up the tale, filling us in on the history of Italy’s toilers in the field migrating out to safer terrain as Italy battled for unification, which came in 1861, well after California’s hungry ‘49’ers were eating Italian cooking.

After a short break, Tegan introduced our first panelist, Dan Petroski. who said inspiration for his “Annia” came from a need to drink something fresh and floral at the dinner table on warm summer nights. 30% of all the Ribolla grown in CA is in “Annia.” The old vines take a long time to develop sugar, and bring salinity, texture; the slower ripening brings a cutting freshness to the wine.

Next, Michaela Rodeno answered ‘Why Sangiovese?’ with “Not my fault.” Having bought vineyard property in Oakville 1977, and ready to replant, the Rodenos looked for Nebbiolo. But, in 1985 there was none, so they defaulted to Sangiovese budwood from an old field-blend vineyard in Sonoma, that Piero Antinori pronounced “among the very best” when he sampled it. The clone is now planted in three different Napa locations.

Our third panelist, Glenn Salva, has been with Antica Napa Valley since 1986, when 120 acres were planted to Sangiovese (now down to 3 acres). The budwood had come through customs safely, its boxed bundles misread as “Cases of Wine” rather than “Canes of Vines” on Alitalia. Glenn, now Estate Manager, says winegrowing and winemaking require four attributes: Passion, Persistence, Perseverance, and … Patience.

Tegan assented: “Persistence will always win over intelligence. Think of how persistent water is…”

Vince Tofanelli, our fourth panelist, was born in Deer Park in 1953, a third generation Calistogan. A great uncle’s back pain had brought the uncle to a healer (a strega) in Rutherford who applied a pigeon dung poultice. It worked! The family moved to Napa Valley. Vince grew up in the vineyard, working with his grandparents on Dunaweal Lane. The first organic “Earth Day” made Vince realize he and his grandparents were already living one every day. André Tchelistcheff took a look at their land in 1987, recommended planting Cabernet Franc or Charbono. “Oooh, Charbono,” thought Vince. He has no regrets. He’s a farmer that makes wine.

Our final panelist Bob Biale grew up on the farm that his dad, Aldo, had helped plant on El Centro near Vintage High in Napa. The Biales moved down from Mount Veeder in the early 30’s so Aldo could learn English. When Aldo’s father was killed with his team at Basalt, Aldo went into business at 13, selling chickens, eggs and grapes. Then at 14, he did the math: he sold grapes at $25 a ton; he could sell wine for $1 a gallon, and a ton yielded 150 gallons. Aldo sold his “Gallino Negro” under the table for 25 years, while working for the City of Napa. In 1999, Bob gave up working for Beringer and he and his partner and friend from 4th grade, Dave Pramak, went full-time at Biale.

Glenn said Antica Antinori planted saplings of two varieties of olives on its property in 1989, and that he had brought olive oil from those trees for us to taste. Each presenter had also brought an additional wine for tasting at lunch. And the buffet lunch was spectacular. Tegan spoke for us all when he declared the whole day, “memorable.”

2019 | Seminar Wine List


Antica Napa Valley, Atlas Peak; Marla Carroll, winemaker
2017 Atlas Peak Estate Sangiovese – 100 cases, 15.2% ALC.
95% Sangiovese, 2.5% Malbec, 2.5% Cabernet Sauvignon

G. D. Vajra, Langhe, Piemonte; Aldo Vajra, winemaker
2018 Clare J. C. Langhe Nebbiolo – 14% ALC.

Massican, Napa Valley; Dan Petroski, winemaker
2018 Napa Valley Proprietary White “Annia” – 1,399 cases, 12.4% ALC.
48% Tocai Friulano, 41% Ribolla Gialla, 11% Chardonnay

Robert Biale Vineyards, Oak Knoll; Tres Goetting, winemaker
2017 Napa Valley Black Chicken Zinfandel – 5,000 cases, 14.5% ALC.
Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Early Burgundy, Trousseau Gris, Tempranillo, Carignan, Mondeuse, Peloursin, Valdiguie

Tofanelli Family Vineyards; Vincent Tofanelli, winemaker
2016 Calistoga Estate Zinfandel – 110 cases, 15.5% ALC.
90% Estate Zinfandel, 5% Estate Grenache, 5% Estate Petite Sirah

Villa Ragazzi; Bob Pepi, winemaker
2015 Napa Valley Sangiovese – 95 cases, 14.4% ALC.
100% Sangiovese


Antica Napa Valley; Marla Carroll, winemaker
2018 Atlas Peak Marchesi Antinori Antica Estate “A26” Chardonnay – 200 cases, 14.5% ALC.
100% Chardonnay

Arbe Garbe; Enrico, Bertoz, winemaker
2017 Russian River Valley White Wine, 15% ALC.
55% Malvasia, 30% Ribolla Gialla, Tocai Friulano

G. D. Vajra, Langhe, Piemonte; Aldo Vajra, winemaker
2017 Clare J.C. Langhe Nebbiolo,14% ALC.

Massican; Dan Petroski, winemaker
2018 California Proprietary White “Gemina” – 415 cases, 12.4% ALC.
69% Pinot Grigio, 31% Greco

Robert Biale Vineyards, Oak Knoll; Tres Goetting, winemaker
2016 Oak Knoll Aldo’s Vineyard Aldo’s Zinfandel – 316 cases, 14.9% ALC.
Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Early Burgundy, Trousseau Gris, Tempranillo, Carignan, Mondeuse, Peloursin, Valdiguie

Tofanelli Family Vineyards, Calistoga; Vincent Tofanelli, winemaker
2015 Calistoga Estate Charbono – 140 cases, 14.7% ALC.
97% Estate Charbono, 3% Estate Petite Sirah

Villa Ragazzi; Bob Pepi, winemaker
2018 Napa Valley and Oakville Rosato di Sangiovese – 47 cases, 11.6% ALC.
100% Sangiovese

2019 | 57th Annual Grand Tasting

Vintner’s Choice:
“Discovering Wine Styles of Napa Valley”

Sunday, August 4
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Silverado Resort & Spa, Napa

Aloft Wine |
Thomas Rivers Brown, winemaker
2014 Howell Mountain Cold Springs Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – 300 cases

Alpha Omega |
Henrik Poulsen, winemaker
2015 Napa Valley Chardonnay – 600 cases
2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 2,600 cases

Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards |
Robert Hunt, winemaker
2018 Napa Valley Pinot Blanc – 30 cases
2016 Napa Valley Proprietary Red “JYGANTOR” – 90 cases

Antica Napa Valley |
Marla Carroll, winemaker
2017 Atlas Peak Block A26 Chardonnay – 200 cases
2015 Atlas Peak Townsend Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – 350 cases

Sandi Belcher, winemaker
2014 Napa Valley ARNS Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – 400 cases

Baldacci Family Estate Vineyards |
Michael Baldacci, winemaker
2018 Los Carneros Honey B Vineyard Rosé – 248 cases
2016 Los Carneros Honey B Vineyard Allwin Syrah – 248 cases

Ballentine Vineyards |
Bruce Devlin, winemaker
2018 Saint Helena Betty’s Vineyard Estate Chenin Blanc – 300 cases
2015 Napa Valley Pocai Ranch Estate Zinfandel Reserve – 150 cases

Benessere Vineyards |
Matt Reid, winemaker
2018 Saint Helena Rosato di Sangiovese – 310 cases
2016 Saint Helena Sangiovese – 721 cases

Beringer Vineyards |
Mark Beringer, winemaker
2015 Saint Helena Chabot Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – 350 cases
2015 Howell Mountain Steinhauer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – 350 cases

Buehler Vineyards |
David Cronin, winemaker
2016 Napa Valley Estate Zinfandel – 1,000 cases

*Cakebread Cellars |
Julianne Lakx, winemaker
2015 Los Carneros Estate Chardonnay Reserve – 5,000 cases
2015 Napa Valley Merlot – 5,000 cases

*CAMi Vineyards |
John Giannini, winemaker
2015 Calistoga Proprietary Red “Red Wine”– 100 cases
2014 Calistoga Proprietary Red “Red Wine” – 200 cases

Clos du Val |
Ted Henry, winemaker
2014 Stags Leap District Hirondelle Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – 972 cases

Coquerel Wines |
Christine Barbe, winemaker
2018 Calistoga Walnut Wash Vineyard Verdelho – 81 cases
2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 350 cases

Crocker & Starr |
Pam Starr and Evyn Cameron, winemakers
2015 Saint Helena RLC Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – 400 cases

Dark Matter Wines |
Angelina Mondavi, winemaker
2015 Howell Mountain Rocky Ridge Vineyard “Limitless” Cabernet Sauvignon – 150 cases
2013 Howell Mountain Four Sisters Vineyard Zinfandel – 120 cases

Eponymous |
Bob Pepi, winemaker
2017 Los Carneros Proprietary White – 325 cases
2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 297 cases

1881 Napa |
Thane Knutson, winemaker
2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 150 cases
2016 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon – 10 cases
poured by Henry Walker Crabb as portrayed by George Webber

Faust |
David Jelinek, winemaker
2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 23,000 cases
2015 Coombsville “The Pact” Cabernet Sauvignon – 900 cases

Ferdinand Wines |
Evan Frazier, winemaker
2018 Lodi Vista Luna Vineyard Albariño – 500 cases of cans
2018 Lodi Manassero Vineyard Rosé of Carignon – 700 cases of cans

*Groth Vineyards & Winery |
Cameron Parry, winemaker
2017 Napa Valley Hillview Vineyard Chardonnay – 3,400 cases
2015 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon – 21,000 cases

Hagafen Cellars |
Ernie Weir, winemaker
2018 Coombsville Wieruszowski Vineyard Estate Bottled Dry Riesling – 450 cases
2018 Coombsville Wieruszowski Vineyard Estate Bottled Cabernet Franc – 300 cases

Hendry |
George Hendry, winemaker
2018 Napa Valley Hendry Vineyard Albariño – 1,600 cases
2015 Napa Valley Hendry Vineyard Pinot Noir – 500 cases

*Hyde Estate Winery |
Alberto Rodriguez, winemaker
2016 Los Carneros Hyde Vineyard Estate Viognier – 92 cases
2015 Los Carneros Hyde Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir – 546 cases

Jericho Canyon Vineyard |
Nicholas Bleecher, winemaker
2017 Napa Valley Estate Rosé – 100 cases
Nicholas Bleecher, winemaker
2015 Calistoga East Elevation Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – 300 cases
Nicholas Bleecher and Michel Rolland, winemaker

Joseph Phelps Vineyards |
Ashley Hepworth, winemaker
2018 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Keenan Winery |
Michael Keenan, winemaker
2017 Spring Mountain District Magical Vineyard Chardonnay – 2,000 cases
2015 Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon – 336 cases

Krupp Brothers |
Julien Fayard, winemaker
2017 Atlas Peak Stagecoach Vineyard Chardonnay – 225 cases
2016 Atlas Peak Stagecoach Vineyard Veraison Cabernet – 961 cases

La Sirena |
Heidi Barrett, winemaker
2018 Amador County Rosato – 506 cases
2015 Napa Valley Proprietary Red “PirateTreasuRed” – 700 to 800 cases

Lamborn Family Vineyards |
Heidi Barrett, winemaker
2015 Howell Mountain “The Fire Storm” Estate Zinfandel - 575 cases
2015 Howell Mountain Vintage XII Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - 403 cases

Louis M. Martini Winery |
Michael Eddy winemaker
2018 Napa Valley Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon – 400 cases
2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 600 1.5L cases

Mahoney Vineyards |
Ken Foster, winemaker
2017 Los Carneros Estate Vermentino – 300 cases
2016 Los Carneros Mahoney Ranch Pinot Noir – 400 cases

Materra | Cunat Family Vineyards |
Bruce Regalia, winemaker
2018 Oak Knoll District Estate Chardonnay - 850 cases
2015 Oak Knoll District “Right Bank” Estate Merlot – 750 cases

Mayacamas Vineyards |
Braiden Albrecht, winemaker
2017 Mount Veeder Chardonnay – 2,512 cases
2015 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon – 2,288 cases
Braiden Albrecht and Andy Erickson, winemakers for both these wines

Modus Operandi Cellars |
Jason Moore, winemaker
2015 Napa Valley Proprietary Red “Vicarious” – 325 cases
2015 Napa Valley Proprietary Red “Antithesis” – 100 cases

Newton Vineyard |
Mario Bianchi, winemaker
2016 Napa Valley Unfiltered Chardonnay
2016 Spring Mountain District Proprietary Red “The Puzzle”

Paradigm |
Heidi Barrett, winemaker
2015 Oakville Estate Rosé Merlot – 630 cases
2015 Oakville Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – 5,544 cases

*PÉJU – Napa Valley |
Sara Fowler, winemaker
2018 Napa Valley Dry Rosé of Cabernet Franc – 400 cases
2016 Napa Valley The Experiment Cabernet Sauvignon – 500 cases

Pellet Estate |
Tom Rinaldi, winemaker
2017 Petaluma Gap Sun Chase Vineyard Un-Oaked Chardonnay – 275 cases
2014 Saint Helena Pellet Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – 325 cases

Pride Mountain Vineyards |
Sally Johnson, winemaker
2016 Napa and Sonoma County Cabernet Franc – 1,453 cases
2015 Sonoma and Napa County Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – 1,457 cases

Prime Solum |
Patrick Mahaney, winemaker
2018 Napa Valley Brokenrock Vineyard Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon – 50 cases
2012 Napa Valley Brokenrock Vineyard Merlot – 70 cases

Retro Cellars |
Mike Dunne, winemaker
2018 Howell Mountain Rosé of Peloursin – 60 cases
2013 Howell Mountain “Elevation” Petite Sirah – 500 cases

Reynolds Family Winery |
Steve Reynolds, winemaker
2017 Los Carneros Chardonnay – 1,500 casess
2016 Napa Valley Proprietary Red “Persistence” – 2,000 cases

Rocca Family Vineyards |
Paul Colantuoni, winemaker
2013 Coombsville Collinetta Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – 389 cases
2013 Yountville Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – 970 cases

Saddleback Cellars |
Nils Venge, winemaker
2016 Oakville Penny Lane Vineyard Sangiovese – 268 cases
2014 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon – 1,095 cases

Scalon Cellars |
Julien Fayard, winemaker
2016 Napa Valley Proprietary Red – 325 cases
Julien Fayard, winemaker
2013 Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon – 168 casess
Marbue Marke, winemaker

Schramsberg Vineyards & Davies Vineyards Winery |
Hugh Davies and Sean Thompson, winemakers
2015 Schramsberg Los Carneros Querencia Brut Rosé – 1,180 cases
2015 J Davies Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon – 1,200 cases

Jim Duane, winemaker
2016 Napa Valley Estate Chardonnay – 330 cases
2012 Napa Valley “Caravina” Cabernet Sauvignon – 2,250 cases

Silverado Vineyards |
Jon Emmerich, winemaker
2016 Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – 21,000 cases
1995 Napa Valley Limited Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – 1,200 cases
1985 Stags Leap District Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Jack Stewart, winemaker for this wine

St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery |
Michael Scholz, winemaker
2018 Napa Valley Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc – 3,668 cases
2014 Napa Valley Proprietary Red “Dollarhide Elevation” – 1,260 cases

*Spottswoode |
Aron Weinkauf, winemaker
2018 Napa County & Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc – 3,800 cases
2016 Lyndenhurst Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 2,000 cases

Stony Hill Vineyard |
Stephane Vivier, winemaker
2017 Napa Valley White Riesling – 530 cases
2016 Spring Mountain District Chardonnay – 1,107 cases

Stormy Weather Wines |
Aron Weinkauf, winemaker
2015 Stormy Weather Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon – 321 cases
Cameron Woodbridge, winemaker
2016 Essere Franco Yountville Las Cerezas Vineyard Estate Malbec – 152 cases
Tom Foster, winemaker

Terra Valentine Wines |
Sam Baxter, winemaker
2015 Spring Mountain District Wurtele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – 175 cases
2006 Spring Mountain District Wurtele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – 800 cases

The Terraces |
Timm Crull, winemaker
2016 Napa Valley Zinfandel – 735 cases
2016 Rutherford Quarry Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon – 496 cases

Trinchero Napa Valley |
Mario Monticelli, winemaker
2018 Calistoga Mary’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc – 1,727 cases
2014 Saint Helena Central Park West Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – 250 cases

Truchard Vineyards |
Sal De Ianni, winemaker
2017 Los Carneros Estate Roussanne
2016 Los Carneros Cabernet Franc – 389 cases

Turley Wine Cellars |
Tegan Passalacqua, winemaker
2018 Saint Helena Estate Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc – 450 cases
2016 Saint Helena Library Vineyard Petite Syrah – 500 cases

V. Sattui Winery |
Brooks Painter, winemaker
2016 Napa Valley Chardonnay Reserve – 239 cases
2015 Rutherford Preston Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – 531 cases

VGS Chateau Potelle |
Kale Anderson, winemaker
2017 Napa Valley Proprietary Red “VGS Potelle Two” – 700 cases
2016 Mount Veeder Wildcat Mountain VGS Cabernet Sauvignon – 600 cases

Vincent Arroyo Family Winery |
Matthew Moyen, winemaker
2017 Napa Valley Chardonnay – 700 cases
2017 Calistoga Greenwood Ranch Petite Sirah – 375 cases

White Rock Vineyards |
Christopher Vandendriessche, winemaker
2016 Napa Valley Estate Reserve Chardonnay – 275 cases
2016 Napa Valley Estate Proprietary Red “Claret” – 580 cases

ZD Wines |
Chris Pisani, winemaker
2018 Napa Valley 50th Anniversary Sparkling Cuvée – 400 cases
2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 4,000 cases

*2019 Wine Alliance member

2019 Tasting Notes

Over a third of the wineries pouring are owned in whole or in part by the winemaker.

This year we have 61 wineries pouring 116 wines; while Silverado Vineyards will pour a flight of library Cabernet, winemaker Jon Emmerich has still to choose the vintages. Our wines are from productions as small as 10 cases (1881 Napa) and as large as 23,000 (Faust), but most wines are from lots of 500 cases or less; only a handful are from 1,000 cases or more. Faust is pouring not only its 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet from 23,000 cases but also its 2015 Coombsville "The Pact" Cabernet of just 900 cases.

Of the 9 red varietal wines being poured, 39 are Cabernet Sauvignon (Beringer, Rocca Family and Terra Valentine are also each pouring 2 Cabs), 3 are Cab Franc and 4 are Merlot, and 1 is Malbec. We have 5 Zinfandel, 3 each of Petite Sirah and Pinot Noir, 2 Sangiovese, 1 Syrah, and 13 proprietary red blends.

Of the 10 white varietal wines, 16 are Chardonnay and 5 are Sauvignon Blanc. Also represented are Albariño, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Roussanne, Verdelho, Vermentino, and Viognier, plus one proprietary white blend. We also have 2 sparklers (from Schramsberg and ZD) and 8 rosé, one of which is from Peloursin by Retro Cellars!

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Updated - 5/17/24