Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

Collector’s Corner

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

Welcome to the Collector’s Corner, a forum for exchanging information and points of view about our wines, our winemaking and vineyard activities, and our wines at auction.

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Harmonia Macrocosmica: Beyond the Art of Winemaking

Wine and art have both been inspired by beauty and great thinking over the millennia. One example of superlative beauty and thought can be found in a collection of seventeenth century hand colored engravings owned by Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.

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Corkscrews: Three Centuries of Imagination and Engineering

There is evidence of wine production as early as 6000 years ago but corkscrews are a more recent invention.

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King of Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignons Rise to Power

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.

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Sediment: Down to the bottom of the bottle

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.

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Decanting Demystified

Decanting is a time-honored wine ritual, but it’s not just for show. When you decant a bottle of wine, two things happen. Slow and careful decanting allows mature wine (typically red wine) to separate from bitter sediment that develops in the aging process. Meanwhile young wines also benefit from decanting, although the aim in not to take the wine off its sediment (as there is rarely any sediment in young wine), but rather to aerate the wine, softening its youthful bite or tannins and coaxing the development of more complex aromas.

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