Gleason Barn

Tag Archives: visit Nickel & Nickel



What Does a Winery Chef Do?

on November 29, 2012

I thought I would use this blog as an opportunity to explain what a winery chef does. Not that I want to burst anyone’s bubble, but we don’t have a restaurant at the winery–though I wish we did. My job as Executive Chef is to pair food to the wonderful single-vineyard wines we produce. I take extensive notes while tasting through different wines and vintages with the winemaker, and I use that knowledge to construct locally focused, seasonal dishes that highlight particular flavors and aromas in each wine.

Every year, we add dishes to our master cookbook and then share a few of these with you throughout the year in our newsletter and on our website. Who, you ask, gets to enjoy this wonderful harmony of food and wine? All of the food for the wine club events is prepared by our in-house culinary team. Food and wine pairings, or lunch, can be arranged for private parties instead of the traditional tastings. We also support the winery with charities, promotions and sales.

I look forward to seeing you at of our wine club events (stay tuned for our 2013 event calendar), and I wish you happy holidays.

A behind-the-scenes snapshot of a video shoot I participated in this week. Look for the video–and a recipe and wine pairing–in our December newsletter!

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Signs of the Season

on November 11, 2012

When the temperatures dip and the skies have more gray than blue to them, our minds turn to Cabernet. It’s a natural reaction—one that, perhaps, you share. The mere thought of a hearty, red wine paired with a filling meal can have a warming effect.

If you’re planning a trip to Napa Valley this winter—and trust us, December and January are wonderful months to visit the valley with much lighter traffic and easy reservations at your favorite restaurants and wineries—give us a call. We’ll set you up for a tour and tasting, which will include a selection of (you guessed it) our single-vineyard Cabernets.

In the meantime, enjoy these images of fall at Nickel & Nickel. The skies may be grayer and the temps chillier, but there is still plenty of beauty to enjoy in the Napa Valley!

Bulbs are ready for planting—stay tuned for a springtime burst of color!

Our horses enjoy the good life: Mariah, the Paint on the left, is a retired barrel racing and pleasure trail horse; Aria is a Swedish Warm Blood and is a retired competitive dressage horse.

Morning Glory intertwines with the last of summer’s pole beans in the vegetable garden.

Our olive trees are heavy with fruit destined for the olive oil press and Chef Trevor’s kitchen.

Speaking of presses, this gorgeous color comes from Cabernet in our basket press.

The Sullenger Vineyard vines are preparing for dormancy.

A familiar view to our visitors: Sullenger House and the shapes and colors of the season. 

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Fall-time Planting for Your Spring-time Visit

on November 9, 2012

It’s the time of the year when we go underground. The bulbs are here and in force. Our November planting will sustain three-plus months of flowering this spring along Highway 29 in front of the Nickel & Nickel property.  This year we have two all-season mixes: one consisting of blues, lavenders and purples, and the other a blend of many different reds and yellows. The idea is to have a longer bloom cycle rather than have everything go all at once. But there are a few surprises in the mix; I can’t give up all my secrets! You’ll just have to come pay us a visit this spring.

A preview of what we will be enjoying this spring.

The show will begin in early March and carries into the end of May. Throughout the spring flowering, we’ll enjoy a procession of non-stop narcissus and daffodils, creating a sea of gold among the towering tulips. The contrast between the beautiful Nickel & Nickel backdrop and the extensive planted bed in front is truly show-stopping. This is what I call curb appeal to the maximum.

There is one more part to this magical display. I have handcrafted a custom, wildflower blend to top-dress in late November, saturating the soils beneath the tulips and daffodils, creating a carpet of green. Once the bulbs have had their months in the spotlight, the wildflowers will take full command and color, reaching ever higher. The show must go on…

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The Nickel & Nickel Barns: For the Love of History—and Single-Vineyard Wines

on November 2, 2012

Nickel & Nickel winery came about through the love of winemaking in our hand-crafted, attentive-to-every-detail, leave-nothing-to-chance style. We pride ourselves in being “wine geeks.”

When we began restoration of our historic 19th century Oakville farmstead, we added our trio of significant barns, each with its own particular magic and purpose. The two fermentation barns are constructed using old post-and-beam, mortise and tenon construction methods, with architecture inspired by old dairy barns. The barns house an assortment of small, custom-sized, open and closed-top stainless tanks, which handle the many small lots of wine that come from our harmonious collection of vineyards.

Post-and-beam, mortise and tenon construction add beauty and a sense of history to the interior view of our South Fermentation Barn. 

The third barn is regarded as our crown jewel—a beautiful, hand-hewn barn that was built in the Colony of New Hampshire (yep – pre-Revolutionary War!). We went back to New England in search of a wonderful barn to restore and add to our farmstead. We found the tired, old barn, had it restored and then shipped it cross country to be re-assembled by the crew of Vermonters who make up The Barn People—a company which rescues and preserves these wonderful American treasures and helped us find the right building to round out our farmstead.

The exterior of the restored Gleason Barn

The Gleason Barn beautifully captures the historical and the modern, with the hand-hewn, centuries-old beams–now housing the enology lab and winemaking offices.

We hope you can visit Nickel & Nickel when you are next in Napa Valley to see our marvelous interpretation of a state-of-the-art-winery within our historic and beautiful farm.

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Introducing Our 2009 Single-Vineyard Cabernets

on September 10, 2012

It’s an exciting time of year: we’ve just introduced our newest Nickel & Nickel Cabernet vintage and harvest is right around the corner! If you missed Cabernet Release Day in August, you may taste a selection of our 2009 Cabernets on a tour and tasting. In fact, this is a fantastic time to visit our winery right in the heart of the Napa Valley. There’s something about the energy of being in the valley during harvest that adds a special element to an already very special place. If you’re planning a fall visit, do give us a call well in advance to reserve your tasting appointment.

Right now we are pouring a beautiful selection of our 2009 Single-Vineyard Cabernets in our tasting room:

2009 Nickel & Nickel C.C. Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, Napa Valley

Plush cherry flavors are enhanced by floral characteristics, which add dimension. The distinctive “Rutherford Dust,” combined with spice and toast from the oak, deepens flavor and complexity. Smooth and rich, the wine expands on the middle palate, and soft tannins melt away into a long, harmonious finish.

2009 Nickel & Nickel Hayne Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Napa Valley

Opulent cherry and blackberry flavors blend with the vanilla and spice from the French oak. The lush, dark, jammy fruit offers a silky entrance that expands and coats the palate, while the tannins are rich and supporting, leading to a lengthy finish.

2009 Nickel & Nickel Tench Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa Valley

Blueberry and boysenberry flavors harmonize with a background of spice and herb. This wine is elegant and balanced between the juicy fruit and the vanilla from the oak. A coating, velvety texture is expansive and refreshing as the soft, supple tannins carry the flavors into a long finish.

2009 Nickel & Nickel State Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Yountville, Napa Valley

This wine offers an intriguing combination of fruit and spice. Cranberry and berry flavors intertwine with earth and cigar, and the toasty component from the oak complements the fruit and adds an intriguing layer. This vintage also has a rich structure, more typical of a hillside Cabernet. This intense expression will allow this wine to age beautifully.

These wines are subject to change to another delicious selection. For a full list of our 2009 Cabernets click here.

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