Two Napa Valley Wineries
by LAUREN M. MURPHY
October in Napa is a very special time of year. Not only is the weather beautiful but, more importantly, it’s harvest season at the wineries, when the grapes are picked, pressed and made into that perfect Cabernet or Chardonnay. This season we’re focusing on two wineries that not only have a rich history in the valley but also offer some of the region’s best vintages.
Four decades later Mondavi is known as one of the world’s leading innovators, producers and marketers of fine wine. In fact, Mondavi’s techniques and ecological practices are still used today and have even led to the creation of the Napa Sustainable Winegrowing Group, which holds annual workshops on sustainable-winegrowing topics.
We also have Mondavi to thank for the introduction of the Fumé Blanc varietal. Popularized in the late 1960s, Fumé Blanc is a term coined by the winemaker for dryfermented, barrel-aged Sauvignon Blanc. He created this distinctive, high-quality varietal in anticipation of the growing demand for dry, white wines to pair with food at a time when many California Sauvignon Blancs were considered bland or overly sweet.
One vintage that shattered that mold was Mondavi’s vibrant and creamy 2007 Fumé Blanc Reserve ($40) with its tropical aromas and rich flavors of pineapple, coconut, lemon, mango and orange pekoe tea. Mondavi wines are available at Wine House, 2311 Cotner Ave., Los Angeles, 310-479-3731; robertmondaviwinery.com
FROM LEFT: Trinchero’s barrel room; an array of fine wines; winemaker Mario Monticelli
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.