13 Appelations - Against this trend of vineyard-designated wines comes THIRTEEN — a wine made not from not just one vineyard, but from a baker’s dozen, each one more esteemed than the next. What distinguishes these vineyards is that they have been chosen as the best representatives of their respective sub-appellations: Howell Mountain, Rutherford, etc. Napa Valley has 13 of these sub-appellations, or did, when we picked the fruit.
The Atkins' founded 5 Points Cellars in 2006 with three wines: Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from Ink Grade Vineyard in Howell Mountain and a highly acclaimed vineyard in Oakville noted for producing many of the best Cabernet Sauvignons in California; and Syrah from White Hawk Vineyard in Santa Barbara. -
The A. Nonini winery (aka Fresno's best kept secret) was founded in 1936 by Antonio and Angiolina Nonini, and the business carries on managed by the fourth generation.
A tour of the winery, starting with the 1941 Garolla grape crusher from Italy and ending with the finished product resting in the redwood tanks, can easily be arranged by calling James Jordan. They also have facilities for hosting special events.
Their tasting room is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Call for pricing. -
The A. Rafanelli Winery was founded in the early 1900's and this unique winery is still family owned and operated. The founder, Alberto Rafanelli, was an Italian immigrant who settled in the Healdsburg, California area and started making wine.
In the 1950's the winery was moved to the Dry Creek Valley and by 1970 had established the current label. This winery specializes in Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot producing only 11,000 cases annually. The philosophy is quality over quantity.
Tasting and purchases are by appointment only. Wines are only available through direct purchase or through selected fine restaurants. -
The name I chose, you might have figured out, is my beloved last name (compliments of a Lebanese father). Since it is not one of those easily pronounced names, like Smith, I decided it would be best to have something else on the label to catch the eye. I decided on the lotus flower. A variety of waterlily, the lotus rises in the morning from the muddy waters to open its perfectly symmetrical petals symbolizing the creation of life; purity, resurrection and perfect beauty; the union of bliss and emptiness, night and day, male and female. The closed lotus bud signifies potential.
David Abreu is a third generation native of the Napa Valley. David grew up in
Rutherford, California in a family with farming interests. Starting at an early
age, David worked during the summers at Inglenook and Caymus vineyard.
As time passed, David Abreu interests focused on viticulture and ultimately he began to
farm and manage several properties on his own. In 1980 he founded David Abreu
Vineyard Management, Inc. That same year he developed the Madrona Ranch
vineyard. David produced his first wine in 1986 from the Cabernet Sauvignon
and Cabernet Franc at Madrona Ranch. His first commercial release was with
the 1987 Abreu Madrona Ranch.
Located a short drive off Interstate 5 on the scenic outskirts of Lodi, Abundance has quickly grown into a favorite destination spot for wine aficionados near and far and the reasons are tastefully apparent. Step inside the expansive tasting room and you’ll find a rock displayed with the inscription We’re an Attitude Free Winery, which sums up the unpretentious philosophy at Abundance.
I like the small-time charm of the winery, and the staff are just super nice. Our wine host, Margaret, was a gem! Super knowledgeable about the wines and so much fun to chat with. In fact, during the course of our tasting I realized she had served me the last time I had visited!