Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
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Preparations for harvest begin as the end of summer approaches. Pay close attention if you visit in August and you see the effort that goes into ensuring all the equipment is ready to run for long hours once harvest begins. In contrast, the vineyard looks like a peaceful oasis.
You may have heard the term used in winemaking and wondered exactly what Brix means. It is not a building material but it represents an important building block in making wine.
While Napa Valley is known for the magnificence of its Cabernet Sauvignons, its reputation was not always inextricably bound with what has become known as the “king” of Vitis vinifera grapes. In fact, the story of how Cabernet Sauvignon came to be the dominant grape variety in Napa Valley (nearly a third of the valley’s acreage is planted to Cabernet today) is one that involves over a century of perseverance by the growers, winemakers, and winery owners who believed in its potential here.
An apologue (ap- uh- log) is a dramatic story meant to convey a useful lesson or truth. And so goes the story of Nathan Fay, the grape-growing pioneer who first planted Cabernet Sauvignon in the region now known as the Stags Leap District. At the time, there were those who scoffed at the notion of planting Cabernet in the cooler climate south of Yountville. Nathan proved the skeptics wrong by growing grapes and producing wines of extraordinary flavor and texture. The FAY vineyard and Stags Leap District would become recognized as one of the world’s greatest areas for growing Cabernet Sauvignon.
From time to time we receive questions about “sediment” or “crystals” that collect at the bottom of a bottle as a wine ages. This topic is as old as the wine making process itself. Ancient Middle Eastern texts mention sediment in conjunction with winemaking, and the Romans practiced the art of Oenomancy, a form of divination using the sediment, colors and patterns left in the bowl of wine to interpret messages from Bacchus, the God of wine. The priestess, known as Bacchante, would pour the wine as an offering and then interpret the remains including considering the taste and aroma, which might make her one of the earliest wine critics on record.
Estate Wine Library
Visit our Estate Wine Library where we share the original tasting notes from the winery as well as notes and comments from our winemaking team and collectors based on tastings over the years.