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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.
As some of you have heard from our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds, the vineyards here in Southern Napa have bud break which excited us all as the weather warms up! The one and only appellation that Napa shares with our neigboring valley friends is the Cameros, a rich clay and sand influenced soil that makes for an incredible home to Burgunduan style grapes such as Pinot noir, Pinot munier and of course Chardonnay.
California Chardonnay has evolved over the last decade from overlooked and under appreciated to cult following. It is for this very reason Trinitas has grown the Chardonnay program to touch many palates.
We have recently celebrated various past vintages of Chardonnay with the opening of our newest Trinitas adventure - The Trinitas Library. Tasting multiple back to back vintages has shown us two things:
1- that barrel aged Chardonnays can age and show gloriously a few years after release
2- our Chardonnay story is a huge testament to our loyal fans the Wine Society
As we enjoy the first day of Spring, I can't wait to pop open a bottle of 2011 Carneros Chardonnay. Brimming with caramel green apples, vanilla and spice and everything nice this wine brings one to believe that the magic of new beginnings is possible as it is encapsulated so well in this bottle. Here is to a new season - new beginnings with old friends enjoy the 2011 Chardonnay
Last Friday the Trinitas Team visited Demptos Cooperage, who produces the oak barrels we use in our Chardonnay program. Will Jamieson, Master Cooper, was kind enough to give us a tour.
Here are a few things that we learned…
It takes almost as long for the barrel to be made as it does most wines. Good oak is air dried. It needs the optimum amount of humidity (too much and it warps, too little it splinters) and heat (too little and it takes longer, too much and it splinters).
American oak is just as good as French oak! True they are different species, and American oak does cost less, but trust us, the quality is the same. American oak is able to produce more staves per log than French as French oak is more porous and delicate. The grain must be followed exactly – it must be hand split, whereas American oak has tighter grain and can be split with less waste (meaning more barrels produced)
Oak harvesting is not detrimental to the environment. Demptos Cooperage (where we toured) gets their American oak from Missouri forests. If you were to fly over them you would see sustainably managed lush greenery – no clear cutting! As oak trees must be fully mature (think 100 years) to use for barrels, the smaller, younger trees are left alone to grow. The trees that are removed are done so in a strategic way to help prevent overgrowth and forest fires as well.
Also ... the room where the barrels are assembled, bent and toasted, smells amazing!
Bonus fun fact: We use almost all new American Oak barrels on our Chardonnay programs. Check out these wines that receive the benefits of these beautiful American Oak barrels:
Well, I'm on the road again... this time in Florida! At least it's a lot warmer than the week I spent in Michigan last week! I'm with our great Florida distributor, Unfiltered Unfined Wines and yesterday we stopped by a great little place, Petty's Meat Market in Melbourne, Florida. I met with Hunter and we tasted through some of our Trinitas favorites. Petty's has a wide variety of Trinitas wines on its shelf, including our Proprietor's Reserve Chardonnay and Mysterium, as well as some new additions to the shelf with our Apprentice Chardonnay, Old Vine Zinfandel, Meritage and Moscato! To anyone in the Melbourne, Florida area, this is definitely the place to go to please any palate. Thank you Hunter and Petty's for having me and I hope that we can return the favor and host you in Napa soon!
Petty's Meat Market - Babcock Location - 1616 South Babcock Street, Melbourne, Florida - (321) 725-0400
Here in the Trinitas Cellars Tasting Room, we celebrate connections. We want nothing more than to connect with our guests personally (You!), to connect each guest with their favorite wine (with over 15 small production, current releases that’s easy!), and to connect each wine with the food pairing that will enhance its inherent subtleties (Yum!). This is why we have partnered with Kollar Chocolates for a perfect pairing.
Chris Kollar and Naomi Pasztor have brought a truly delicious European style of truffle to the heart of Napa Valley.
Their handmade chocolate truffles are at first glance awe-inspiring. We often hear from our guests, “They’re too pretty! I don’t know if I want to eat them!”
Those who have tasted their truffles before may hesitate for a minute to take in their eye-candy charm. But we can’t help it- We have to indulge! Each truffle is a delicate combination of dark chocolate ganache and unique flavors that we can’t pass up.
What better way to celebrate an engagement (above), an anniversary, or just a regular weekday treat?!
Our Trinitas wine and Kollar chocolate pairing is offered daily from 11 am - 7 pm, no appointment required! Drop by our tasting room soon and visit us for some wine and chocolate soon!
Grape growers and winemakers in Napa Valley are a lot like 7 year old kids at Christmas Time – kids write to Santa Claus asking for all their wishes to come true. We in the wine business cast our wishes to the Wine Gods as our growing season evolves. We wish for warm, not hot, days; cool, not cold, nights; breezes in the summer, but not the spring; low rainfall, but not TOO low; etc. etc. etc. Normally in the Napa Valley we are blessed with most of our wishes. And, now and then, we get everything we wished for – the 7 year old kid version of the pony on the front lawn on Christmas morning. 2007 was just such a year. We were blessed with perfect growing conditions and our Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from that year is our shining example. Big, yet smooth, with mouth filling fruitiness and soft, subtle tannins. Great with a big juicy steak or a dark chocolat tort. It is about to enter the endangered species list here at Trinitas, so come and either get it or regret it!
In a modern age of Facebook and “Facetime,” finding a traditional relationship with same morals and values can be difficult to find. Wine Society Members since June 2013, Elona and Paul Rapp found each other using the modern convenience of Match.com.
Elona’s previous residence was in Lodi and Paul’s in San Ramon. Had it not been for today’s technology, they might have never met. They were so close yet so far from each other. “We never would have been introduced if it wasn’t for online dating.”
From the day that they met, they have not been inseparable. Not only did they share the same family values and traditions but they had so much in common. Their love for wine and travel has led them many parts of the world including Napa.
Elona and Paul have made Trinitas Cellars and the Meritage Resort a part of their love story. “I asked for Elona’s hand in marriage as I knelt in front of her at a look-out that stood directly above the wine cave where we would be married less than a year later.”
Elona found it only appropriate to use our estate cave to hold their wedding ceremony and reception.
“The venue couldn’t have been more magical. Jaws dropped at the sight of the beautiful and warmly lit wine cave where we would eventually exchange our vows.”
We have been so lucky to have Elona and Paul as Wine Society members and to be a part of their love story!
Cheers to you both and your happily ever after!
Photos courtesy of:
Lily Rose Photography
Somehow I just am out of the loop! Apparently you can book your reservations for the Trinitas Library on our website at: /Visit-Us/The-Trinitas-Library
Hope to see you at the Trinitas Library on Wednesday 2.19.2014 when we officially open!
Zinfandel. A grape of many styles, intriguing history and tons of versatility. I chose the El Dorado Zinfandel as my wine of the week, not just because I hail from the El Dorado/Amador areas, but because it has all three of my red wine “R”’s = rich, robust, and refined. Full bodied with juicy raspberry, black cherry and red currant with nuances of tobacco leaf and a hint of black pepper, it could be paired with sirloin steak, tomato based pasta dishes or even josh rogan. This is my wine when I need a hearty wine with hearty food!
For more on the 2010 El Dorado Zin, visit our online Wine Shop, or stop by the tasting room for a glass!
Whether you are cooking for yourself, friends or that special someone, here is a meal that will make any night special!
Fig and gorgonzola salad (Pair with Trinitas 2009 Old Vine Mendocino Zinfandel)
10 black figs but in half
1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese (cut into small cubes or crumbled)
Spinach or Frisée greens
Salt & pepper
Truffle honey (optional)
Preheat broiler or toaster oven.
Place figs on lightly greased baking sheet and broil 4-5” from the heat for 2-6 minutes (keep an eye on the figs, you want them to just start to sizzle but not blacked. The insides should be cool).
Place greens on plate, add figs and sprinkle gorgonzola over both.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Drizzle a tiny amount of truffle honey (optional) over the salad.
Vegetarian Lasagna for Meat Lovers (Pair with Trinitas 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon)
(Modified for the vegetarian from a tried and true Northern Italian Style Lasagna with Bologna Meat Sauce recipe my mother has used for years, Original recipe this is based on can be found in the Better Homes and Gardens “Italian Cook Book”, 3rd printing, 1984.))
12 ounces lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese or 1 1/2 cups romano cheese
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 1/2 cups milk
For the "meat" filling
1 3/4 cups sausage style tofu, crumbled
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dry white wine (Trinitas Cellars 2011 Carneros Chardonnay)
1/3 cup light cream (optional) or 1/3 cup milk (optional)
In a large saucepan (or Dutch oven) cook tofu until browned (10 minutes).
Add undrained tomatoes, onion, carrot, celery, parsley, tomato paste, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper to tofu. Stir. Stir in wine and ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Cook pasta in boiling water just until tender; drain. Rinse with cool water.
Combine cheeses in bowl.
For the sauce melt butter in saucepan. Stir in flour, pepper, nutmeg, and ½ teaspoon salt. Add milk; cook and stir until thick and bubbly (don’t let burn!).
Arrange a single layer of the pasta in the bottom of a greased 13”x9”x2” baking dish. Spread 1/3 white sauce over noodles. Spread 1/3 Tofu “meat” filling over white sauce. Spread 1/3 cheese over tofu. Repeat layers of pasta, sauce, tofu mix and cheese 2 more times.
Cover with foil and bake at 350degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.
Remove from oven. Let stand 10 minutes and serve.
Chocolate Wine Glasses (Pair with Trinitas 2010 Petite Sirah)
2 wine glasses
1 cup chocolate (I recommend milk or dark to pair with the wine)
In a dutch oven or microwave, slowly melt the chocolate.
Take a clean, dry wine glass and dip the rim of the glass into the melted chocolate.
Place dipped glass (bowl or chocolate side up) in your refrigerator.
Chill until chocolate is set (approx. 15 minutes).
Carefully add wine to glass.
Serve and enjoy kissing off the chocolate “smiles” that occur ;-)
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