Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
This is the illustrated story of a single, exceptional vineyard, which I thought that I'd share with my faithful viewers. It's the story of Opus One, and the history behind one of the really great wines of Napa Valley.
The story starts with on Baron Philipe de Rothschild, and one Robert Mondavi, how they met, how they worked together to produce one truly marvelous wine.
It seems that Baron Philipe met up with Robert Mondavi, as he was in this country, touring the up and coming wine region of California, called Napa Valley, which was nothing like it is now. It was a rural, mainly undeveloped area. Now, Robert Mondavi had a vineyard down the road from what has become Opus One, which produced wines that were quite good, but nothing like what were produced by the Mouton vineyards of Mr. Rothschild. Now, the Baron was already a legend in France, both as a winemaker and as a man of the world. Anyway Baron Philipe invited the younger Robert Mondavi to visit him in France, at his own estate.
Well, Robert went on, and discovered what it was that Baron Philipe had in mind - namely a joint venture, in which the wines of his own France, in the Bordeaux region, would be grown in Napa, with its favorable climatic conditions, and its own complex soils, and they would produce just a single wine yearly which they would call Opus One (though it was some time before that name would be adopted, and even longer before it would become synonymous with the superlative wine it was to become).
|My wife and I took a tour of Opus One vineyard, and the wine-making process, and were thoroughly impressed.|
Here are some of the pictures from our tour..
Well, let me tell you that they still produce only one vintage per year, and they sell it around the world, at something of a premium price (as you may imagine).
Saturday, May 4, 2013
As we left the Napa River Inn, we set out to visit wine country on our own, with no particular agenda. We thought that we would just drive on up to the northern edge of Sonoma county, then just head south, and along the way, stop whenever we wanted to, wherever we wanted to, but we knew we had to be back to the Opus One Vineyard by 2:30 (more on that visit next post). In any event, the first photo is from the side of the road and typifies the scenery in Napa/Sonoma. The second photo is from one of our favorite vineyards (DeLorimier) which we have watched grow into something of a major producer, from its humble beginnings. Photos 3 - 6 are from the Ferarri-Carano Vineyards, near Healdsburg, and is definitely worth the visit. Photo number 5, in particular, reminds me of some of the late Monet paintings from Giverny.