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The Ultimate Celebration For National Wine Day And Beyond Is At Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

The Ultimate Celebration For National Wine Day And Beyond Is At Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars has unveiled its 2020 FAY & S.L.V. wines, welcoming wine club members and wine enthusiasts to experience these fresh vintages while taking a leisurely stroll through the vineyards. Kirk Grace, Director of Vineyard Operations, and Winemaker Luis Contreras guided the group, offering a glimpse of budding grapes on a warm day at the historic FAY vines.

During this delightful vineyard journey, the participants made five stops to savor the newly released wines, as well as some older vintages. The day culminated with an al fresco lunch beneath ancient oak trees, creating a perpetual National Wine Day ambiance at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.

Kirk has overseen winery management for an impressive 17 years, while Luis has dedicated 26 years to the winery, progressing from a cellar worker to the role of winemaker. Luis collaborates closely with Winemaker Marcus Notaro and Kirk Grace to craft sophisticated Napa Valley wines.

Luis meticulously inspects the various stages of vine and grape development during his visits to the vineyards, diligently evaluating their performance. Possessing a discerning palate, Luis, alongside Notaro, vigilantly monitors the progress of each batch throughout the aging process.

In his role as Cellar Master, Luis assumes responsibility for all cellar and bottling operations. He emphasizes the profound impact of wine on people’s lives, stating, “Being part of something that changes people’s lives is priceless. Wine expresses the varietal characteristics, the growing region, and winemaking techniques. It involves many people working together towards one goal and has the potential to create unforgettable memories.”

Guests had the privilege of savoring the Elia Rosé, a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon produced from Fay Block 1. This delicate pink wine delights the palate with notes of strawberry, pink lemonade, and watermelon, complemented by refreshing acidity and enduring cranberry and cherry flavors. Priced at $45, this wine is an ideal choice for spring and fall outdoor lunches or dinners.

The Stags Leap District (AVA) derives its name from a legend recounting a majestic stag perched at the V-shaped notch of a rocky hill, eluding hunters. This exceptional land was designated the Stags Leap District due to its distinct terroir, particularly suitable for Cabernet Sauvignon. “Every vineyard has a story,” notes Luis.

In 1969, Warren Winiarski encountered Nathan Fay, who presented him with a handmade wine that filled the room with captivating aromas. After acquiring 40 acres and commencing winemaking, Winiarski’s 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon triumphed in a blind tasting in Paris, placing Stag’s Leap and Napa Valley on the world’s wine map. The winning bottle now resides in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

During the tour, guests had the opportunity to taste the 2018 HEART OF FAY Cabernet Sauvignon, crafted from 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. This wine boasts aromatics of dark berries, cherry, and rose petals, coupled with a lush texture and enduring berry and cedar notes. Made from grapes grown in different soil characteristics, it results in a flavorful and structured wine.

The 2018 FAY HILLSIDE, cultivated further up the hill, offers classic aromas of dark fruit, accompanied by hints of ripe cherry, hazelnut, and salted caramel. With its rich texture, fine tannins, and notes of cocoa and coffee on the finish, this wine is priced at $155.

Guests were also treated to tastings of the 1987 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2016 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon, both composed of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The 1987 vintage exhibits an aroma of dark fruit with nuances of black olive, while the 2016 vintage entices with scents of currants, violets, and dusty cocoa powder. Both these wines retail for $1,100 per bottle.

The vineyard tour concluded with a delectable wine country lunch beneath the shading trees, featuring a sumptuous array of dishes, including brisket, chicken thighs, pulled pork, and smoked salmon, all thoughtfully paired with the 2020 FAY Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and 2020 S.L.V Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

In a recent development, Marchesi Antinori has acquired the winery, brand, inventory, and 300 acres of Napa vines, encompassing the Fay and S.L.V. vineyards. The existing winemaking team remains intact, ensuring the continued production of distinctive and refined Stag’s Leap wines. Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars boasts an annual production of approximately 150,000 cases.

For those fortunate enough to find themselves in Napa Valley, it’s highly recommended to secure a reservation for one of the many immersive tastings available throughout the year.

Written By

Isabel Hampton is a talented author at Bee Bumble Entertainment Magazine. With a passion for the arts and a keen eye for cultural trends, she brings a unique perspective to her articles. Isabel's engaging writing style and insightful reviews have made her a valued contributor to the magazine's vibrant entertainment coverage.

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