Monthly Archives: January 2012
The rush of the holidays has passed at Nickel & Nickel, and we are experiencing a brief lull on our tour and tasting schedule. This is a time when employees catch a few extra days off, and when this happens, I find myself leading a few more tours, which I truly enjoy.
It’s great to meet people from all over the world who have diversity in wine experience. Some have been enjoying wines of exceptional quality for years and some are new to wine. I get a variety of questions during tours and tastings, and I thought I would share a few of the questions I hear most frequently:
Why doesn’t Nickel & Nickel have a tasting room like some other wineries in the Napa Valley?
We like to offer a different experience for our guests—one that isn’t rushed. We love inviting guests to relax in the Sullenger House salon where they can enjoy an excellent glass of wine. The hosted tour that follows brings guests to the heart of Nickel & Nickel: the production barns created expressly for making our single-vineyard wines. A seated tasting of a selection of Nickel & Nickel single-vineyard Cabernets tops off the experience.
Why is Nickel & Nickel by appointment?
This question often follows closely on the heels of the first question—and the answers are related. We really strive to preserve the wine experience and give personal attention to every person who walks through the door, and we’re able to do this by keeping visiting parties small and intimate.
There are so many Nickel & Nickel single-vineyard wines. What’s your favorite?
This is a great question that I always enjoy answering. Each of our wines is a unique reflection of the vineyard, its soils and microclimate. Tasting these wines is a fantastic journey through the region, and even when I taste with guests there’s never a clear winner—each person is drawn to a different wine, including me.
I hope to see you at Nickel & Nickel soon!
I always love the pruning season. There is so much excitement as we begin removing the grape canes that grew during the last season and as we prepare the vines for the growth to come. Pruning is an art, and our crew creates a new sculpture with each vine they prune.
The goal of pruning is to leave the buds that will grow shoots and produce the clusters. If we leave too few buds the vines will produce too much vegetative growth, potentially producing off flavors in the fruit. Too many buds left on the vines will produce shoots that are too short, making it difficult for the vines to ripen the grapes. Finding the right balance to match the potential growth each site offers is the key to being a successful pruner.
We’re having a January that feels like June, with clear sunny days featuring highs of 65 degrees or so. Not a raindrop in sight! Snow sport enthusiasts are heartbroken and, to tell you the truth, we’re looking forward to a little winter precipitation, too. But, in the meantime, this is a perfect time to visit the Napa Valley! Of course, now that we’ve said that, watch the weather forecast cloud right up.
The truth is, rain or shine January is a terrific time to visit. With fewer visitors to the Napa Valley, reservations at your favorite locales are a breeze. Traffic on 29 and the Silverado Trail, the valley’s two main arteries, is much lighter than at other times of the year. Plus, January is restaurant month!
Here at Nickel & Nickel we are offering our tour guests the following selection of our 2008 Single-Vineyard Cabernets*:
C.C. Ranch Cabernet, Rutherford
Copper Streak Vineyard Cabernet, Stags Leap District
John C. Sullenger Vineyard Cabernet, Oakville
State Ranch Cabernet, Yountville
If you’ve never visited us, or if it’s been awhile since you’ve stopped by, consider this your invitation! And, if you haven’t already, take a look at our 2012 event calendar. We’ve got some wonderful parties planned. Why not join us for our first event of the year—the annual winter Open House on February 4?
We are looking forward to seeing you in 2012!
*Wines subject to change to another delicious single-vineyard selection!