Mar 232012
 

Jose PeninSince I met Jose a few years ago, we have become good friends.  And so when he came to SF to promote his book, he asked me to take him on tour of some of the more interesting wineries in Napa.  Interesting?  It was up to me to decide.

So we began with a visit to Walt and Bernie Brooks, who grow grapes out on Dry Creek Road.  Walt is quite literally is a rocket scientist, having lead major projects for NASA, and he is full of interesting ideas on growing grapes and making wine.  We spent an hour there looking at vines, tasting wines, and talking about everything under the sun.  And with Walt, I really mean everything under the Sun.

After we passed by Darioush to show Jose the Persian architecture, we then raced off to Ceja Vineyards, where Dahlia entertained us, and her mother Amelia told us story after story about their family and the wine business.  I knew Amelia’s mother-in-law 30 years ago at Cuvaison, so it was a real treat to see her again, as well.  And of course the visit included a meal cooked by all three generations of Ceja women…scallops, chicken in mole, and an amazing pear with mascarpone, all combined with Ceja wines.

Quick, back in the car!  We have a meeting with Warren Winiarski to talk about wine and philosophy.  While Warren drew geometric figures on a pad to illustrate his vision of perfection and balance (the rectangle combines perfection with tension), Jose wove his fingers together to explain the harmony of perfect wine (and each note plays a key role in the whole).

And then racing up to Palmaz Vineyards to meet with Florencia, whose Argentine Spanish added a romantic note to the day.  We toured the winery, from top to bottom, and admired everything from the amazing engineering to the perfect Porsches.  And tasted through their recent releases.  Jose’s finger wove together as he described them…

And then we were done.   From Rocket Scientist to a winery like a spaceship, with great food and conversation in the middle, it was a day to remember.

Besides,  I had to teach at Napa Valley College, and Jose had to get back to SF to  get ready for the big tasting tomorrow.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)

Please answer the following question: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.