Tag Archives: visit Nickel & Nickel
on December 6, 2012
If you’ve visited Nickel & Nickel winery–and we hope you have–you’ve seen the John C. Sullenger vineyard wrapping the southern and eastern sides of the winery property located in the heart of the Oakville AVA. The Napa River provides a natural border to the vineyard’s eastern edge. Named for the man who settled on the property in the 1880s, the vineyard has 30 acres planted solely to Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Sullenger House at the turn of the century
The vineyard is located at the tip of a alluvial fan that extends from the Mayacamas Mountains on the eastern side of Napa Valley. The soils are a mixture of fluvial deposits and clay loam from the Bale loam series. Expertly farmed by our Vinescape vineyard management crew, Sullenger produces healthy vines, and as each harvest approaches, Winemaker Darice Spinelli has the convenience of walking right out the door to sample fruit and bring it back to the lab for analysis.
An aerial view of John C. Sullenger Vineyard, looking northwest, up the valley
Next week, we talk with Viticulturist Aaron Fishleder for his take on what makes Sullenger Vineyard unique.
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!
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.
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…
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.