- The people in the CAEP tour. From organizers Lori and Craig to all the Midwest winemakers; from international interns who worked the 2007 harvest to the professionals who welcomed us at the wineries we visited… an enthusiastic group of people who share a passion for wine and winemaking with all its challenges and rewards.
- The Winemakers, Assistant Winemakers and Cellar Masters. It was a privilege to be received by the people responsible for making some of America’s best wine. These true professionals gave us informative tours and answered a countless number of questions. Wineries visited as part of the CAEP tour: V.Sattui, Cakebread Cellars, Opus One, Rutherford Hill, Domaine Carneros, Ramey Wine Cellars, Simi, Rodney Strong and Artessa. The one-on-one get together I had with Geoff Gorsuch, winemaker and Vice President of Goosecross Cellars and the enthusiasm of Chalo at the S.Supery tasting room were also great experiences.
- The wines. The vast majority of the wines I tasted during this trip were of excellent quality. It is no surprise that the European Union in May of 2007 officially granted Napa Valley the designation of “geographic indication status”, the first time a non-EU member has been granted such status. (The only other region in the world to be awarded such designation simultaneously with Napa is Maipo Valley, Chile). One thing in particular stood out… the amazing bouquet of the majority of the wines I tasted. The ability to preserve the aromas of the fruit from the vineyard into the glass is in my opinion on of the best indicators of high quality winemaking.
(To be continued...)
CAEP, Prairie State, Galena Cellars, Park Farm, August Hill, Seguin Moreau, Quintessa, V.Sattui, Cakebread Cellars, Opus One, Rutherford Hill, Domain Carneros, Ramey, Simi, Rodney Strong, Artesa, Goosecross Cellars, St.Supéry.