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Trinitas Cellars Blog
Welcome to the Trinitas Cellars Blog! We hope you join us for frequent updates on our vineyards, production, tasting room and wine education.
Spring has sprung in Napa and while many parts of the country are still trying to thaw out, Napa is ready to greet you to warm up and wine down! As the vines are just starting to turn green and bud, what better time to grab your best girl friends and treat yourself?
To help make this much needed girls weekend even easier, we already did the planning for you!
Flights: If you are flying, you have quite a variety of options for airports. Sacramento, Oakland and San Francisco are all within about an hour of Napa and can be reached by bus or car. For a shuttle, visit the Evans shuttle website for a full schedule.
Cars: While many people choose to rent a car and tour Napa on their own, there is also a great option to hire a private driver while in Napa. We highly recommend the paying a little bit more to have a driver and not risk any type of drinking and driving. Plus, you will find the sightseeing to be a lot more relaxing when you don’t have to navigate! We recommend using Royal Coach.
Accommodations: This one is a no brainer... where else can you stay that has a spa in a cave, a tasting room on property, vineyards to explore, a bowling alley and so much more! The Meritage Resort & Spa, 875 Bordeaux Way, Napa, CA 94558
Arrive in Napa around 3 pm, check into your room and mentally prepare for a weekend of amazing wine, food, laughter and fun!
Head straight to the pool area of the Meritage where you can grab a glass of Chardonnay, take in the fresh Napa Valley air and enjoy the breathtaking view of the Trinitas Estate Vineyard while soaking up a little afternoon sunshine.
Now that you have relaxed your mind and focused on your new surroundings, it’s time to start your adventure! Wander back into the Estate Cave, located below the Estate vineyard. Here you will find the entrance to the Trinitas Tasting Room and the Spa Terra. If you are ready to get serious about wine tasting, jump right in! With over 17 varieties of wine currently released, Trinitas is excited to help you pick your favorites and create your own custom flight. Or for the chocolate lovers, try the wine and chocolate pairing with exquisite chocolates by local chocolatier, Kollar Chocolates.
One of the great things about staying at the Meritage Resort is that you have access to a complimentary shuttle to downtown Napa. Hop on the shuttle and head to downtown Napa for dinner.
We recommend reservations at Tarla Grill, for a delicious Mediterranean meal and incredible service, located on 1st street.
After dinner, head just down the street to Empire for a night cap with their selection of great cocktails, fun music and a great vibe before catching the shuttle back to the Meritage.
Start your morning with coffee and a light breakfast at Blend Café.
OPTIONAL: If you are a morning person, take your coffee to go and head to the Estate Vineyard for a morning vineyard hike. Wander the paths of the Trinitas Estate Vineyard and see all 5 Bordeaux varieties of grapes and if you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of one of our vineyard rabbits!
Dive head first into a relaxing Saturday with a morning spa treatment at the Spa Terra, the world’s only spa inside of a cave. We recommend a massage, but plan extra time so that you can enjoy the other amenities and relaxation rooms inside of the spa.
Every girls weekend needs to start with bubbly! Luckily, there is some amazing sparkling wine nearby. Make your first stop at Domaine Carneros and enjoy sitting outside at the Chateau with a flight of sparkling.
Getting hungry? Head to the Carneros Inn for lunch at the Boon Fly Cafe. It's a cute little place with a great menu with salads, sandwiches, flatbreads, etc!
Now it’s time to get serious about wine. Visit Etude Winery just down the street in Carneros for a premium or reserve tasting and make a stop at Saintsbury for an afternoon tasting in the English garden.
Take advantage of the Meritage evening shuttle and head downtown for a cocktail, glass of wine or a small appetizer before dinner. If you are looking for a little wine and cheese before dinner, head to the Oxbow Public Market and visit the Oxbow Wine and Cheese Merchant or if you are looking for Oysters, visit the Hog Island Oyster Company, also inside the Oxbow Market.
For a classy Saturday night dinner, spoil yourself! We recommend making reservations at Cole’s Chop House in downtown Napa. Whether you are in the mood for steak, or something lighter, this menu will not disappoint!
After dinner, wander over to 1313 Main for an impressive selection of wines to choose from and maybe a little dessert before catching the Meritage shuttle back to the Resort.
For breakfast, order room service! You’re on vacation and you deserve it!
Head north and make your first stop at Mumm Napa for some sparkling wine while sitting outside on the terrace overlooking the vineyards.
Without having to travel far, visit ZD Wines, a family owned and operated winery just next door with a wide variety of tasting experiences available.
Grab lunch at Soda Canyon Store right off of Silverado Trail.
For a truly enchanting experience, make your last stop at The Trinitas Library for the 3:30 pm Archive Tasting. While the property is not your typical Napa Valley Estate, this hidden gem will provide you with a unique overview of the Napa Valley from soil types to learning about the life cycle of the vine, you won’t want to miss it.
After your last tasting, head just down the street to the Meritage for a cocktail at the Commons bar, located just off the lobby. We recommend the Lush Crush cocktail, made to order by the wonderful bartender, Gina.
For a delicious dinner, visit Siena for a Napa Valley inspired menu prepared by Executive Chef Krisztian Karkus. Bring a bottle of your favorite wine from your tastings or try a new one from their wine list.
After dinner, head over to Crush Ultra Lounge and trade in those heels for some really classy bowling shoes! Grab a lane and loser has to buy the next round of drinks!
If you are looking for the perfect late night and end to a girls weekend, grab a bottle of wine and head out to one of the cozy fire places on property and gather around with your friends and your wine and share some old and new stories, oh and don’t forget to also decide when your next girls weekend trip will be!
We hate to see you go, but know that many of you will sadly leave Napa after a long weekend and head back to your “real life” elsewhere. Please don’t stay away for too long! We will be here, ready for your return and eager to greet you with open arms and a glass of wine!
Last week we hosted a great event for our local industry friends and neighbors in the Napa Valley. We themed this night around the popular board game from our childhood, Clue!
Remember this game?
You have to use clues to find out who killed Mr. Boddy, what weapon they used and what room they did it in.
Well, since it can sometimes be awkward to network with a bunch of strangers, we decided asking people if they killed a man could not do anything but help break the ice... and as such, we created the night of Trinitas Clue!
Nestled under our vineyard in our Estate Cave, our butler (AKA Lamar) welcomed people into our "home" for their celebrity glam shots. We had all the usual suspects, Mrs. White, Professor Plum, Mrs. Peacock, Miss Scarlet, etc... Everyone looked fabulous!
Our guests wandering our "home", exploring the variety of rooms...
The Dining Room:
As guests, were getting their wine and exploring our home, someone tripped the lights and next thing we knew, poor Mr. Boddy was lying dead, right in the middle of the party!
Our guests quickly jumped to the occassion, looked for clues and interrogated some of the more suspicious guests:
With the help of our guests, the local detective was able to quickly realize that something did not add up and solve the crime. Mr. Green was clearly guilty and had used a candlestick to kill Mr. Boddy in the wine cellar. All so obvious by him being a little too cheerful to be a witness to such grievous acts:
Thank you to everyone who helped putting this evil Mr. Green behind bars!
We hope that we can have you all over for a dinner party again soon, next time without so much drama! We hope that this night serves as a reminder of why the Napa Valley hospitality industry is one of a kind and an industry full of amazing people.
For anyone who is interested in hosting a Trinitas Clue night or needs help planning a party, please let us know! Lamar is always ready to party plan: firstname.lastname@example.org or 707.251.3032
To view the rest of our pictures from the evening, click here or search #TrinitasClue on social media!
Or for anyone who wants to be invited to future Napa Industry parties, please send your email to Brianna at email@example.com
Excited to share this article about Trinitas Cellars and some of our Napa Valley friends by Gina Birch!
To read the full article, visit any one of these publications:
2007 Old Vine Cuvee
This past weekend, we dug deep into the cellar and pulled out a bottle of our 2007 Old Vine Cuvee. This was a special treat and provided a special treat to share with family while sitting around the fireplace sharing stories. What is Old Vine Cuvee? It seems a little strange, since you don't see "Old Vine Cuvee" on our labels anymore, but Old Vine Cuvee is actually the old name for our more well-known "Mysterium" red blend. This library wine has a special place in my heart since I particularly love the Mysterium wines, especially the current 2010 vintage.
2007 was a great year of the Old Vine Cuvee, and the blend was similar to the 2009 Mysterium vintage with 48% Zinfandel, 39% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah, 5% Alicante Bouschet and 1% Black Malvasia.
I'm hoping that I can dig out a few more bottles of this in the next few months, and at the same time, stash away a few bottles of the 2010 Mysterium to enjoy a couple years from now.
Cheers and Happy New Year!
Our winemaker, Kevin Mills, spends countless hours perfecting the wine that we all enjoy to drink. Last week, I caught up with Kevin's wife, Brandy, to get her perspective on the life of a winemaker and what it's like to be married to one!
Q: What is your favorite part of having a husband who is a winemaker?
A: Drinking the wine, and learning about the winemaking process. There are so many steps!
Q: What is your least favorite part of having a husband who is a winemaker?
A: The harvest beard!
Q: We’ve seen Kevin’s “harvest beard” that he grows from the first day of harvest to the last day of harvest. When did this tradition originate and how do you feel about it?
A: I’m not sure when it began but he has grown one for the past 9 harvests that I have known him. I made him shave it early one year for a wedding (for Jen Heim, our Director of National Sales) and he swears it affected the wine! I do not believe in the superstition, but he does, so the beard must grow.
Q: What is your involvement in the wine industry?
A: I am the Auctions Manager for the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV). The NVV is the nonprofit trade association that promotes and protects the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region.
Q: What’s your favorite wine that your husband has made?
A: Everything! But I have a soft spot for Pinot.
Q: Any requests for a wine that Kevin should make but hasn’t yet?
A: No, just continue to make high quality wine and save a few bottles of each for me.
Let's hope he saves more than a few bottles for you, Brandy! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and especially for sharing your husband with us! Cheers!
We would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank a fun wine tasting group (with quite a few loyal Trinitas Wine Society members) called "GrapeFull Reds". Last month, Trinitas Cellars' owner, Tim Busch, hosted the GrapeFull Reds at his home in Laguna Hills, California. This was an extra special evening as GrapeFull Reds is a group that gets together to blind taste and score wines once a month. The group met in Tim's wine cellar and included some of Trinitas's wines (red only of course!) in the mix for the October tasting; including the 2009 Mendocino Old Vine Zinfandel, 2010 Mysterium, 2010 Pinot Noir, 2010 Petite Sirah, 2009 Meritage and 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2010 Petite Sirah was the favorite among the group and received an average ranking of 91 points among the 15 group members present. Here are some pictures from the event and below is a brief history of the group and how they got started!
A brief history of the GrapeFull Reds Wine Society
By Steve Severy, co-founder of GrapeFull Reds
(Yes GrapeFull is one word with two capital letters)
The GrapeFill Reds Wine Society was officially born, in Coto de Caza, CA. over 15 years ago on my next door neighbor, Bill Arman’s deck. For several years before this day, friends would arrive at my home or Bill’s with a bottle of wine closeted in a paper bag. These gathering were almost never scheduled, but somehow the word would just get out. Now what better thing to do on a weekend afternoon than get together, taste, drink and share wine. Most would arrive with a bottle of wine, tightly wrapped in a paper bag, that they were very familiar with, but were amazed that once they were blind tasting 4-9 different wines, they could not identify the wine they brought with them.
On one sunny afternoon Bill announced that we were not going to leave the deck until we came up with a name for the group. Fortunately I have a large wine cellar next door and we were not in danger of running out of wine before finding a name. As the day wore on our name the GrapeFull Reds (GFR) was born and then we fancied up the name by adding Wine Society to balance the tongue-in-cheek reference to the “Grateful Dead” music group.
For some 15 years we have been meeting on the third Thursday of each month except December when we meet earlier in the month. We blind taste three flights of three wines (9 total) that have been decanted. After each flight we score the wines and then go around the table to reveal our comments / scores. This is the true educational part of the evening. Then the three wines are revealed as to grape, winery and price. At the end of the tasting the total scores are averaged. There are two winners every time. The wine with the highest average score and the “best value” of the night, comparing price to score. Sometimes one wine takes both honors. When that happens there is usually a rush out to purchase a lot of that wine. (That is exactly what happened at our recent Trinitas tasting at Tim’s house.) And yes we only taste red wines.
Each member gets a chance to host a tasting. That member has a budget of $300 to purchase the wine for the tasting and chooses the wines. That member also has a $100 food budget for the evening. There is usually an attendance of 10-12 members. Our members purchase a lot of wine, so often a winery or wine distributor supplies some or all of our wines for the tasting.
Once we start tasting we try to keep the conversation restricted to food and wine as much as possible. We are a men only group. We have nothing against the ladies but insert a lady or two into a men’s group and all the guys start showing off a little. Again our main goal is to increase our knowledge of wines and by not having the ladies there it helps us concentrate a little better. So once or twice a year we like to take our significant others out to a fine dinner to say thank you for letting us out to taste wine once a month.
Bill Arman and Steve Severy are the co-founders of the group. Our goal is to find the good wines, buy them at the best prices we can, then share them and have fun doing it. And sort-of by accident we learn a lot about defining what a really good wine is and what makes it so. Refining our palates.
Thank you GrapeFull Red for a fun evening and for being loyal fans and customers! We look forward to tasting again with you all again soon! Cheers!
I am no wine expert, but I have come to know what I enjoy to drink and what I do not! One of my favorite current releases at Trinitas is the 2010 Mysterium, which is a red blend of 6 different varieties. While pouring at various wine events and in the tasting room, I have come to learn that there is a large misunderstanding around the word “blend” with wine consumers today. I often find that there is a negative connotation with the word “blend”, as if the wine is not as good if it has been blended. Would the winemaker blend the wine if it were not going to result in a better wine? While there are many amazing and coveted single vineyard, single varietal wines, there are also some lesser-known, under-appreciated blends and I am here to share my love for them!
According to dictionary.com, one definition of blending is “to mix (various sorts or grades) in order to obtain a particular kind or quality”. When we think about blending wine, this definition is extremely relevant, as the main purpose for blending is to obtain a particular flavor or improve the quality of the wine. The winemaker is entrusted with the difficult task of determining which blend will enhance the quality of the wine and bring all of the best flavors, aromas and palates together. Too much of a certain variety and you might overpower the wine with that variety, but in the right ratio, the various varieties can truly complement each other to create a quality blend!
Among red blends, Mysterium is my favorite Trinitas blend, as I find it pairs well with almost anything, including itself! I also find that it is a fun wine to introduce to friends and family just because of the unique blend and smooth, fruity flavors. Each year, Mysterium, the Latin word for “mystery”, is truly a mystery to all, until the final blending is done about a month before bottling. Each grape variety is fermented and aged separately and based on the complexity and flavors, Kevin, our winemaker, will try several different blends of these varieties before deciding on the final magical “recipe”. This blending gives the ability to create a consistent Mysterium wine year after year even with a different blend because of the ability to choose those particular varieties in a certain year that are giving the desired flavors and characteristics and leave out others.
What I find most fascinating about blending is that each variety can bring something different to the blend, and sometimes even the slightest addition of one particular variety will make the difference for that wine. Sometimes we add a wine to a blend for the beautiful floral aromas, or fruity palate or even for the rich color. At the end of the day, I trust the expertise of the winemaker and look forward to the next mysterious vintage of Trinitas Mysterium!
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- Bekah Allen, Tasting Room Assistant Manager (2)
- Garrett Busch, Proprietor (9)
- June Busch, Trinitas Wine Dog (3)
- Lamar Engel, Tasting Room Manager (7)
- Lucy Garibay, Wine Society Coordinator (3)
- Kevin Mills, Winemaker (1)
- Betsy O'Neill, Project Manager (11)
- Brianna Pickens, Wine Society Assistant (5)
- Mark Plasch, Orange County Sales Manager (1)
- Trinitas Tasting Room (6)
- Ed Roudebush, Tasting Room (2)
- Kelly Wilkinson, San Diego Sales Manager (1)
- Ashley Younger, Tasting Room (2)