Help needed: Napa/Sonoma trip with a twist

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Pat Burton
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Help needed: Napa/Sonoma trip with a twist

#1 Post by Pat Burton » July 2nd, 2019, 7:42 am

Greetings all, I will be assisting a colleague in teaching a course on the chemistry of wine in the fall. As part of the course, we will travel to the Napa/Sonoma area for several days to do some hands on learning. The course will have about eight students and two faculty. In preparation for this trip, my colleague and I will be making a preliminary trip in two weeks. So what I'm looking for is suggestions of wineries to visit that might be willing to offer a little bit more than the normal tour of the facility, ideally something where soil, climate, or specific wine-making approaches would be discussed. If any of you have any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it! Also, if there is anyone in the business who might be interested, that would be fantastic. Thanks in advance!
CT - Prof B

Rich Salsano
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Re: Help needed: Napa/Sonoma trip with a twist

#2 Post by Rich Salsano » July 2nd, 2019, 1:22 pm

Pat, the Estate tour and tasting at Ridge in Lytton Springs was a pretty informative experience when we did it a few years ago. It’s at least an hour in the vineyard and facility followed by a tasting. The person who led our tour was pretty knowledgeable. We enjoyed it a lot.
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Nate Simon
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Re: Help needed: Napa/Sonoma trip with a twist

#3 Post by Nate Simon » July 2nd, 2019, 1:47 pm

Reach out to winemakers who are also Berserkers.

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Bill Tex Landreth
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Re: Help needed: Napa/Sonoma trip with a twist

#4 Post by Bill Tex Landreth » July 2nd, 2019, 1:49 pm

Jean at Alpha Omega would be a great resource.
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Re: Help needed: Napa/Sonoma trip with a twist

#5 Post by Sean Devaney » July 2nd, 2019, 2:03 pm

Try reaching out to Rod Berglund at Joseph Swan. Every time I talk with him I learn something new. Not to mention Lynn is awsome as as are the team.

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Paul Miller
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Re: Help needed: Napa/Sonoma trip with a twist

#6 Post by Paul Miller » July 2nd, 2019, 2:06 pm

Any alumni in the business out there?

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Karen Troisi
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Re: Help needed: Napa/Sonoma trip with a twist

#7 Post by Karen Troisi » July 2nd, 2019, 2:07 pm

Pat - when is the fall visit with the students? Might be a challenging time for winemakers to devote much time during harvest. Some of the bigger wineries might be better candidates as they have more hands on deck during harvest.
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Re: Help needed: Napa/Sonoma trip with a twist

#8 Post by JohnP » July 2nd, 2019, 8:45 pm

Benziger in Sonoma has a great tour of their organic farm/winery, the insectary garden is pretty rad.

If you get up to Healsburg, I strongly encourage you to check out DaVero, one of the few biodynamic wineries, and one of the rare wineries to focus on Italian varietals. Ask for Andrew, their manager, he loves sharing knowledge.

Spring Mountain is one of the rare gems in Napa with a ton of history and a property as large as New York's central park. The architect who designed their mansion also designed Beringer. Ask for Aida.

You may want to reach out to Jeff Owens at Odette winery in Stags Leap, they have a cool chem lab. He's the youngest 100pt winemaker in Napa. His wines are incredible, especially the reserve cab.
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Pat Burton
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Re: Help needed: Napa/Sonoma trip with a twist

#9 Post by Pat Burton » July 3rd, 2019, 5:55 am

Karen Troisi wrote:
July 2nd, 2019, 2:07 pm
Pat - when is the fall visit with the students? Might be a challenging time for winemakers to devote much time during harvest. Some of the bigger wineries might be better candidates as they have more hands on deck during harvest.
The visit in the Fall will be in November, just before Thanksgiving.
CT - Prof B

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Pat Burton
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Re: Help needed: Napa/Sonoma trip with a twist

#10 Post by Pat Burton » July 3rd, 2019, 5:58 am

Paul Miller wrote:
July 2nd, 2019, 2:06 pm
Any alumni in the business out there?
Yes, I've reached out to those I know. Thanks for the suggestion.
CT - Prof B

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Re: Help needed: Napa/Sonoma trip with a twist

#11 Post by Nick F. » July 3rd, 2019, 6:06 am

Bell vineyards has a lot of the cloning science
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Re: Help needed: Napa/Sonoma trip with a twist

#12 Post by Ben M a n d l e r » July 3rd, 2019, 8:00 pm

I’ll second Ridge. Their normal tour and tasting is great and if you contact them and ask for something special for educational purposes I wouldn’t be surprised if they did something a little extra for you, possibly including in the lab.
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Re: Help needed: Napa/Sonoma trip with a twist

#13 Post by Marc Hauser » July 4th, 2019, 7:15 am

Matthiasson is now doing visits at their new winery, on the estate vineyard, which is one of the most unassuming in Napa (it is the polar opposite of Darioush). Steve is one of the most prominent consultants and winemakers of The New California Wine style (or whatever it’s now called). The main person hosting tastings is herself a winemaker (though not of these wines) and the wines are unique for Napa. If you asked for a more educational tasting and tour, I would imagine they’d be happy to deliver.
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Re: Help needed: Napa/Sonoma trip with a twist

#14 Post by TomC » July 4th, 2019, 9:17 am

Dakota Shy comes to mind, particularly if you can line up Tom Garrett. They source many different vineyards throughout Napa Valley and Tom puts a lot of thought into the wine making process as well.
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Re: Help needed: Napa/Sonoma trip with a twist

#15 Post by mattbillet » July 7th, 2019, 2:32 pm

Paul Hobbs, Morgan @ Bedrock, Ramey, Martinelli, Togni, Turley, Carlisle, Robert Foley, Pride Mountain (where Napa and Sonoma meet), Mike and Randy Dunn. So many... but these are all individuals or wineries who have interesting backgrounds that would tend to complement the task of teaching.

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Re: Help needed: Napa/Sonoma trip with a twist

#16 Post by Pat Burton » July 8th, 2019, 6:06 am

Thanks so much to everyone who has offered suggestions. I'm in the process of following up on these leads. Please don't hesitate if you have more suggestions.
CT - Prof B

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Dave McIsaac
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Re: Help needed: Napa/Sonoma trip with a twist

#17 Post by Dave McIsaac » July 8th, 2019, 8:50 am

Who would be better than Carole Meredith??

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