|Finally, Pets Really Are Part of the Family!
Some Big Companies are offering Dependent Benefits!
Calls for a Family Wine!
Fermented in stainless steel tanks with the use of indigenous yeasts,
Rosso is the wine you want for long talks and big thoughts, the ideal one
$17.99 @MetroWines. Ask for 2!
Metro Wines Blogs
2018 Comunica, in collaboration with Michele D'Aprix
A refreshing young Montsant white by Celler Comunica,
La Pua is a blend of Garnacha Blanca and Garnacha Tinta. Notes of cantaloupe,
fig and green apple on the nose compliment a crisp brightness on the palate.
$29 at Cellar Comunica and SOLD OUT
$24 @MetroWines and, in a mixed case,
delivered signed to your car by Michele D'Aprix!
at Celebrity Parking Lot Pick Up on May 10th from 3-6pm!
Parking Lot Pick Up
We are crazy busy answering phones, finding boxes, packing boxes,
delivering and working curbside. Fridays are especially manic!
So when we heard Winemaker Michele D'Aprix
has been holding up for the last 6 weeks in North Carolina, we asked for help.
Without hesitation, Michele said she will be here to handle curbside
on Friday, May 8th from 3pm to 6pm.
When you buy a case of Michele's wines,
Signed Bottles! will be delivered to your car by a face masked Michele wearing gloves.
And Michele will be available for a 6 feet of separation photo!
Michele's wines have always been some of the favorites @MetroWines including
Pentimento Bordeaux, Maz Caz White Rhone (see next post!),
Maz Ca Red Rhone (very few bottles left, Angulaire Sauvignon Blanc Blend
and Comunica Monsanto Spanish Garnatxa White Blend
Just a Little Bright Spot
from Public Palate Productions
News Release: Thursday, April 23rd, 2020
|From The MetroWines FYI Department
Wine Enthusiast has issued their "40 Under 40" Edition
The cover went to Amada Wittstrom-Higgins, VP of Operations
Ancient Peaks Winery, Santa Margarita, CA
As a second generation owner, Wittstrom-Higgins oversees everything from brand development and distribution to events and special projects. The 900 acres in Paso Robles begets high end wines for affordable prices. She is also the founder of
you know Ancient Peaks! $19.99
Jeb Dunnuck, 90 Points
Wine Enthusiast, 90 Points
From The MetroWines FYI Department
Wine Enthusiast has issued their "40 Under 40" Edition
The cover went to Amada Wittstrom-Higgins, VP of Operations, Ancient Peaks Winery, Santa Margarita, CA
As a second generation owner, Wittstrom-Higgins oversees everything from brand development and distribution to events and special projects. The 900 acres in Paso Robles begets high end wines for affordable prices. She is also the founder of "Dream Big Darling" (https://dreambigdarling.org), a nonprofit devoted to elevating and promoting women in the wine industry.
If you shop @MetroWines, you know Ancient Peaks! $19.99
Jeb Dunnuck, 90 Points
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is a terrific value and is 83%Cabernet Sauvignon, 14%Petit Verdot, and Petite Sirah. It has a Bordeaux-ish bouquet of new saddle leather, cedarwood, tobacco leaf, and smoky black fruits as well as medium body, plenty of fruit, sweet tannins, and a good finish. 4-6 years.
Wine Enthusiast, 90 Points
Floral aromas of violet and cherry blossom drop into rich black-cherry and cocoa tones on the nose of this widely available bottling. The palate is juicy in black cherry and blackberry flavors,with accents of oak and cracked pepper, all framed by a chalky texture.
From The MetroWines Book Review Department:
(Name Dropping Alert: I have had the honor and pleasure of hosting
a book signing event for Mary Doria Russell at my home in Washington DC.
Mary is not only a literary genius and success - like I need to say that!, but also
warm, charming, fun, and she has the best black pencil skirt EVER!)
From the bestselling and award-winning author of The Sparrow comes
an inspiring historical novel about “America’s Joan of Arc” Annie Clements—
the courageous woman who started a rebellion by leading a strike
against the largest copper mining company in the world.
Shop the Book at Malaprops here:
Continuing with the pioneering women theme,
"Your Read it With Bottle"
is Glenelly Cabernet Sauvignon, Glass Collection, 2016.
$19.99 at Vivino.
$14.99 @MetroWines! Price Pioneers!
Glenelly Estate in Stellenbosch was purchased by May de Lencquesaing, former owner of Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse deLalande in France. This Cabernet Sauvignon delivers a classic Bordeaux profile, with bright, tangy acidity, excellent structure, fine tannins and perfect balance. A core of pure blackcurrant and dark cherry fruit, and notes of dark chocolate, herbs and spice.
Inspired by antique glasses from May de Lencquesaing’s private collection, Glenelly’s Glass Collection celebrates the parallels between the art of making wine and the art of making glass. Both glass and fine wine come from poor soil, and just as the glassblower breathes life into glass, the winemaker’s love gives life to wine.
“Since my childhood in the heart of Bordeaux’ finest vineyards till today,I have travelled the world and discovered the amazing diversity of terroirs. On my first visit to Stellenbosch I knew that this was where I wanted to fulfil my dream of starting a new adventure outside of France. In 2003, and after visiting many vineyards, I recognized the amazing potential of Glenelly.
I also believed in continuing the French heritage of wine making in South Africa going back more than three centuries.
My vision is to establish Glenelly as a world-class estate, producing award-winning wines with power, elegance and balance.”
From The Ciao Asheville Book Review Department:
Mary DORIA Russell has an Italian Heritage!
Mary Doria Russell is also the author of "A Thread of Grace," the little-known story of the vast underground effort by Italian citizens who saved the lives of 43,000 Jews during the final phase of World War II.
"AThread of Grace" puts a human face on history."
Shop book @Malaprops: https://www.
NPR on "Thread of Grace"
"Your Read it With Bottle"
is Ventale Valpolicella Superiore 2016
Imported by Frederick Wildman&Sons 14.99
Hand picked fruit, aged in 70%Oak, 20%Chestnut and 10%CherryWood for 18 months and then a few months in bottiglia (bottle). A blend of Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella sourced primarily from vineyards in the breezy Illasi Valley, the name Ventale is inspired by the Italian word for wind.
A medium bodied red with a touch of cranberry tartness and red cherry. Fresh vibrancy with velvety tannins make this the perfect "drink it with bottle."
WOW. What a night. Michele D'Aprix is not just a great winemaker but a natural comedienne! About 35 participants came out to welcome Michele. We learned. We laughed. We left knowing all about Bordeaux.
News Release: Monday, February 11th
Andy Hale will set the stage for the class with general information about the Bordeaux region and Michelle D'Aprix will present the facts about the region and the wine from a winemaker's point of view as well as share an insider's guide to the "real" Bordeaux.
More About Michele d'Aprix in MountainX: https://
News Release: Thursday, October 18th
"Word is that Michele is serving her Maz Caz Wines for Thanksgiving with her family in Raleigh," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "Michele tells us that this vintage of the Rose is especially perfect for the holiday table!"
About Michele d'Aprix in MountainX: https://
100% Sangiovese Rose Imported by Kermit Lynch
Although he always enjoyed visiting vineyards and attending tastings, Giuseppe Maria “Giugi” Sesti did not initially choose a career in wine. Instead, his Venetian upbringing inspired him to study music, art, and astronomy, the last of which became his profession. He met his future wife in North Wales while writing his first book on this topic, and in 1975 Giugi and Sarah moved their family to Tuscany, where they bought the abandoned ruins of the hamlet and castle of Argiano, slowly clearing the land and restoring the buildings to create the breathtaking estate we see there today. Giugi was now a father of four, vice-director of a local Baroque opera festival, and actively writing books on astronomy, but he miraculously found spare time to visit local wineries and help his neighbors in the vineyards and cellar. His passion for wine grew along with his experience, and in 1991 he planted his own vineyards on the slopes around the castle. The children helped pick and stomp grapes from the earliest age, and though they, too, pursued international studies in various fields, they always managed to come home for the harvest. In 1999 the couple’s only daughter, Elisa, joined the estate full time, and today she is an active partner in all aspects of the vineyard management and winemaking.
While helping out at neighboring estates Giugi observed that simplicity and careful attention were the most important factors in producing great wines, while chemical intervention skewed their delicate balance; so he determined to make entirely natural wines right from the start. He even took a pioneering extra step by applying his prodigious knowledge of the moon’s influence on living things to his vineyard management and winemaking. Today the family continues this thoroughly eco-friendly philosophy (although no official certification currently meets their personal standards), and Elisa’s primary concern is the materia prima, or raw material, that goes into the wine. The Sesti lineup includes a white Sauvignon and a Sangiovese Rosato born directly of necessity, since the family wanted something light and cooling to drink under the hot summer sun; they were forced to increase production when visiting friends and clients tried these wines and started placing orders. But their basic trio—the Brunello, Brunello Riserva “Phenomena,” and Rosso di Montalcino—provides traditional expressions of the appellation, robust and powerful yet refreshing, with great aging potential in the Brunellos.
Subscribe to our Sunday Email or follow our online calendar for news of dinners and wine pairing events.
News Release: Tuesday, March 6th, 2018
Contact for Golden Fleece: Kathleen Marshall (828) 424-7655
local watercress, graviera flakes, olive oil, lemon, topped with edible flower petals
Ahi Tuna Salad
local butter lettuce, radish, avocado, citrus supremes, sesame ginger dressing
Pork Belly and Pears
seared local pork belly, grilled pears, asparagus, candied garlic
basil-vanilla custard wrapped in phyllo nest, sugar glass, with a berry coulis
News Release: Friday, February 23rd, 2018
We had a great evening @MetroWines with Suzanne Tate of TATE. Sometimes Napa Valley Wines are just too big. But TATE has the formula. Hearty, roust wines that are still elegant. And you might say that is just wine speak. But it's like a balance beam. Not so easy as you might think.
Based in St. Helena in the Napa Valley, the winery is a two person business, David and Suzanne Tate. That's it. David Tate is the primary winemaker but Suzanne adds her touch on occasion.
Part of article in Forbes on Veronique Boss-Drouhin here:
The four Drouhin children oversee all aspects of the company, with Véronique Drouhin-Boss as winemaker for both the Oregon winery and the French winery. Their father, Robert Drouhin serves in myriad capacities but he’s best known for his pioneering vision. Robert was one of the first to introduce biodynamic practices to Burgundy and was integral in creating a Domain in Chablis because of his belief in the area’s terroir for Chardonnay (back in 1968).
Given the deeply rooted Frenchness of Drouhin it may have been a bit of a surprise to some when Robert Drouhin did something even more visionary and took a gamble growing wine in Oregon back in the 1980’s.
“My father liked the topography and identical climate in Oregon. He considered California, but felt overall that it was too fertile and the soil too rich to produce wines with aging potential,” explains Véronique. His instincts were once again proven correct. Today Oregon land, specifically the Dundee Hills where Drouhin set up shop, is prime Pinot Noir growing country. Because she has the unique view of making wine on two continents, I asked her to talk about New World versus Old World and what she’s learned from her American experience.
Entire article HERE.
Montenedoli Tradizionale Vernaccia Di San Gimignano, Italy
Dry White Wine from Winemaker Elisabetta Fagiuoli
Blend: 100% Vernaccia
Fermentation:Following local tradition, the must macerates long on the skins, and is pressed just before the fermentation begins, to capture the character and the flavors of the land.
Pale yellow, tending towards gold, with hay and almonds on the nose, and rich on the palate, with a firm dry finish.
Food-Wine Pairings: Perfect for ideal for olive oil-based Mediterranean dishes. Well suited for all manner of seafood dishes, including raw fish, and is perfect with sushi. For vegetable based dishes year round, including the tannins of artichokes or asparagus, and the iron of spinach and liver.
Who is Montenedoli?
We came to Montenidoli in 1965, drawn by the spirituality of the gold-backed Madonnas with Child painted by the XIII-XIV Century Sienese Masters, works that broadcast a unique message to the world.
Sergio, the Patriarch, was a teacher, and we had many children, many with special needs, for whom Montenidoli was a happy nest.
And when they took flight the abandoned lands remained, waiting to be brought back to life.
For the farmers had abandoned the hill in the early 1900s, drawn by the two Great Wars and the promise of industry.
The vines were overgrown by brambles, while the olive trees had gone wild.
But Elisabetta had the land in her blood, thanks to her family, which had cultivated vines and olive trees in Custozza, not far from Verona, since the 1700s, and also thanks to her childhood, spent wandering the vineyards of Valpolicella.
Following her family traditions, they respected the land, cultivating it with exclusively organic methods. Sulfur and copper are the only substances used to fignt parasites, and only if absolutely necessary, because they believe sunlight and clean air to be the best medicine to make the vines healthy, strong, and resistant to disease and bad weather.
The vineyards multiplied, planted to the indigenous varietals: Vernaccia, san Gimignano's historic white grape, Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Trebbiano Gentile, and Malvasia Bianca -- The traditional grapes of Chianti.
The first wine was born in a great vintage -- 1971.
It enjoyed the honor of being one of the first wines commented upon by Luigi Veronelli.
What is Vernaccia?
Vernaccia di San Gimignano has always been San Gimignano’s classic white wine.
The Pliocene soils around the City of the Fair Towers, which were once submerged by the furthest reaches of the Ligurian Sea, were the perfect habitat for molluscs whose shells make the terrains highly calcareous. Up to the ancient sea level, mid-way up the hills, it’s the perfect terrain for great white wines.
The climate of the Tuscan countryside is temperate, and dry in the summer. It’s a perfect climate for great red wines, and indeed our valleys are renowned for them. We have always considered Vernaccia to be the red of white wines: the grapes may not yield highly fruited bouquets, but the wines are vigorous and long-lived: mineral wines of great power and structure that profit from wood and display excellent aging capacity, with their bouquets gaining interesting secondary aromas with the passage of time in bottle.
The same bunches, depending upon how they are fermented, will yield different structures and flavors, making for different wines that do share a common identity.
Indeed, the three Vernaccias produced at Montenidoli differ considerably from each other, and each plays a distinct role in terms of wine food pairings, aging, and the way it drinks best:
- Vernaccia Tradizionale:
Fermented on the skins, it is traditional and ideal for olive oil-based Mediterranean cuisine.
- Vernaccia Fiore:
Matured on the lees, it's refined and elegant, and perfect with haute cuisine.
- Vernaccia Carato:
12 months in wood make it a meditation wine, in the manner of the great reds.
News Release: Friday, October 16th
From Gaetana Giacono Gola
The Moro DOC Sicilia Nero d'AvolaArea and common production: C.da Bidini - Acate (Rg), Sicily Eastern Recognition: IGT Sicilia Rosso, from 2012 Moro DOC Sicilia Nero d'Avola grapes: Nero d'Avola Training system:trellis, cordon rammed, 5,000 plants / ha Yield per hectare: 5800 kg Aging: Wood and steel and aging in bottle for at least 9-12 months Ten. Alc .: 13.50% Color: Bright ruby red with garnetAroma: Fruity of cherry and raspberry and spice background nicely balanced Taste: Full, warm and elegant, very persistent, with typical austere tannins but polite Pairings: Second courses of meat Sicilian, Piglet Nebrodi, game and roasts, cut meat and fillet.Recommended with Ragusa DOP. Serve at 16-18 ° C
BLACK EARTH: vineyard c.ca 120 meters above sea level with the ground very dark, almost black, of medium tending to compact with a good presence of small dark stones. It is a vineyard of c.ca 20 years and produces a Nero d'Avola, called the Moro , good structure but where the aromas of red berries, blackberries, raspberries and cherries are a marked much as is dark chocolate tannin good strength and very pleasant.
Join the Asheville School of Wine for a Wine Tasting with Mark Donati of Donati Family Vineyard on Tuesday, October 27th from 5 to 7pm @Metrowines. The tasting is "on the house."
Successful winemaking must be a cooperative effort on behalf of our vineyard and winemaking teams. Under the direction of our winemaking team, Donati Family Vineyard grapes are grown to standards that deliver the highest quality. The vineyard field staff monitors the vineyard blocks throughout the year and pick the grapes at the ideal time.
Once the grapes arrive at the winery they are again inspected for quality. For our white wine program a whole cluster press is used to extract the juice. After a gentle pressing, the juice is immediately transferred to stainless steel fermenters for a 24 hour cold settling. The white juice will ferment for approximately 30 days at 55F until “dry”, yielding no residual sugar. Post primary fermentation the whites are fined and filtered before being botted the following spring to preserve the aromatic qualities in each variety.
Red grapes are de-stemmed and pumped directly into the fermentation tanks. We utilize both static and open top fermenters in our program. During fermentation the must is allowed to reach temperatures up to 85F to extract the intense color and flavors the Donati wines are known for. The red varietals will ferment for 7-10 days, then the wine is racked to another tank and the remaining skins, seeds, and pulp is gently pressed.
The aging process for our red wines begins in a combination of both French and American oak barrels from a select group of coopers. The red wines are barrel aged for 12-18 months. During this time, a continuous sensory assessment of each lot gives us the ability to designate the premium lots for our higher-end wines. When those lots are selected the wine is racked and blended and stored in barrels until bottling. The red wines are bottled “un-fined and unfiltered” to preserve natural flavors and aromas the grape varietals have to offer.
Overall, the winemaking team brings hands-on experience, analytic knowledge and a strong dedication to the industry. We are here to make the best wines possible to share with you. Please visit our web page detailing the varietals and blends that we have to offer.
Denise Valoff joined the Donati Family Vineyard team in 2007 as the Assistant Winemaker and became the head Donati Winemaker in 2011. She has been involved in the wine industry for the past 15 years and gained her knowledge primarily through hands-on experience.
Not knowing that it would lead to a career, she began working in the laboratory at one of the industry's largest wineries while attending Cal Poly. After working in winemaking during harvest she was hooked and continued to work in production throughout her college years. Upon graduation she went on to become the Assistant Winemaker for a smaller and more handcrafted winery. Her knowledge began to grow rapidly being exposed to the different facets of wine production by working in the cellar, processing fruit, and bottling. Her degree in Food Science gave her strength in the chemistry side of winemaking and her continued experience has been a continual education in winemaking. Moving on from there she went to work for a custom crush facility. She managed the laboratory, ensuring product quality through science. Being a large scale facility she gained more experience in the lab setting through automation, however, knew that she wanted to be a part of winemaking again.
Denise now possess the trifecta needed to make the highest quality wine:
Denise found her home at Donati Family Vineyard where she is involved in all aspects of wine production.
“The greatest reward about our jobs is seeing people enjoy what you have worked so hard to make. Working with an agricultural product has its challenges; you never know what Mother Nature may bring and then you try to make a high quality product that a wide variety of individuals will enjoy. This constant challenge is what makes winemaking exciting”.
The Donati Family Vineyard
The Donati Family Estate Vineyard site enjoys a variety of soils from limestone to decomposed granite to clay loam, and access to the cooling ocean breezes of the Monterey Bay. Like much of southern Napa, Sonoma, and Monterey counties, Paicines has long warm days followed by cool nights. “It’s a lot cooler than people think it would be here,” says Matt. “On the UC Davis scale of growing areas and heat where Region I is the coolest and V the warmest, Paicines is a cool Region II.”
The vineyard is planted to various select clones of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Syrah, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc and Petite Verdot. Vine selections are carefully screened for viral diseases prior to planting, ensuring that the future of the vineyard is secure, and that vine health and fruit integrity remain intact from planting through harvest.
Matt Donati believes in hands-on year-round vineyard management to create an environment where the grapes themselves can be left alone to thrive during ripening.
Regular, judicious thinning of shoots during the growing season, attention to every detail of vine canopy training and light management within the fruiting zone, pre and post-veraison green fruit removal, along with scientific analysis of soil and leaf moisture throughout the growing season ensures that every aspect of the Donati Estate viticultural program contributes to the success of the vintage.
Primary efforts are directed at sustainable farming, allowing for natural predators and reduced use of pesticides to provide a clean, hospitable environment for vine growth and fruit maturation. Of course, this path of action requires extreme diligence in scouting for possible problems. But, with active personnel regularly hand-tending each and every vine, the family is gradually learning that effective and efficient sustainable practices can indeed make a significant difference in both the local environment and in the ultimate grape and wine quality.
Donati Vineyard not only has selected a unique and superior site for its vineyard plantings, but has done an extraordinary job of identifying those clones and blocks that are capable of developing into stellar wines in the cellar. With perfect fruit health and absolute ripeness the goals of that vineyard team, I am readily able to craft fully expressive wines, rich in character and nuance. It is sincerely an exciting prospect to work with grapes of such high quality and distinctive personality.”
Donati Family Vineyards
It’s no secret Italians have a love for the vine in their blood – Ron Donati is no different. In 1988 when he purchased the Paicines property, his vision was for his sons to grow high quality, unique grapes from the 9th oldest AVA in California. Soon, after rave reviews of the fruit, Ron Donati got to thinking…good grapes make great wine. Thus is born Donati Family Vineyard. In 2003, Donati produced Merlot, Cabernet, Meritage, Chardonnay, and Pinot Blanc. They held these in bottle until 2005 when they started hand selling the product to great restaurants and boutique wine shops. Again, their ears were burning with positive reviews and re-orders from customers. They had so many requests from the public to get their hands on their wine – Donati couldn’t turn them down. Though Paicines offers a lovely home for their grapes, with a population of 204, it’s not the best place for a Tasting Room, so they chose Templeton, CA (right outside of Paso Robles) for their new home. March 1, 2007 was their first day of business in the Tastig Room, and they are still enjoying the continued support and love from their customers.
About Mark Donati
Mark Donati became President of Donati Family Vineyard in early 2010. Prior to becoming President, Mark ran family businesses in California ranging from Real Estate Development to Agricultural ventures. Through hard work and dedication, he effectively grew these businesses into successful ventures. Starting in 2010, Mark began a total reorganization of Donati Family Vineyard by taking a small local winery and transforming it into a national brand with distribution in 30 states. Today, Mark continues to strive to make Donati Family Vineyard into a world-class winery, producing some of the finest wines from California’s Central Coast. Mark currently resides in Templeton, CA with his wine, Tracy, and their three children: Veronica, Nicole, and Nicholas.