Metro Wines Blogs

Metro Wines Asheville, NC

Veronique Boss-Drouhin

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. 



Continue reading
1228 Hits

Montenedoli Vernaccia 2013

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 Patriarca Elisabetta, Mistress of the Vines

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?

VernacciaVernaccia 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.Vernaccia

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.


Continue reading
1047 Hits

Il Moro, Valle Dell'Acate, Sicily

News Release: Friday, October 16th

Gaetana Jacono Gola LIVE from Sicily
Just in time for Thanksgiving, Gaetana Jacono Gola, owner and winemaker at Valle Dell'Acate in Sicily, joins us LIVE via Skype from Sicily for a tasting of her new wine, "Il Moro."  Join us for this "on the house" LIVE tasting on Friday, November 20th at 11:30am @MetroWines. 
This 100% Nero d'Avola is made from 20 year old vines grown in very dark, almost black soil with a good presence of small dark stones. The wine presents a good structure with aromas of red berries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries and dark chocolate. With strong but pleasant tannins, the wine is balanced and very pleasant.
"This is a limited edition wine," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines, "but abundantly affordable and perfect for the holidays as a gift or on your table."
Contact: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
google: https://goo.gl/knC8LP

From Gaetana Giacono Gola


The Moro DOC Sicilia Nero d'Avola
Area 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.

Continue reading
1276 Hits

Donati Family Vineyard

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

Scenic View in the Paicines 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.

Continue reading
1519 Hits

Vin Perdu 2012


Accolades for Vin Perdu Napa Valley 2012

"The 2012 Proprietory Red Blend Vin Perdu is a creative blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot. Floral, peppery, spicy, meaty notes, good acidity and attractive freshness and purity are hallmarks of wine consultant/winemaker Heidi Barrett. This cuvée has the most potential complexity of this trio, but like its siblings, it is still youthful, holding much of its charm and character in reserve. Nevertheless, the dense ruby/purple color and the beautiful fruit that can be coazed out suggest a medium to full-bodied red that should hit its peak in 4-5 years and last 15 or more years."
- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, October 2014

Heidi Barrett - winemaker for many Napa Valley cult wines

"Heidi Barrett has been the winemaker for many of the top Napa Valley cult wines such as Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle, Grace Family, Paradigm and more."

"The challenge of producing a Napa Valley Merlot in the style of the great Pomerol wines such as Petrus and Le Pin inspired Heidi Barrett to create Amuse Bouche wine."

Robert Parker has dubbed Heidi Barrett "the first lady of wine."

The Winemaker - Amuse Bouche Napa Valley Merlot
Heidi Peterson Barrett

Heidi Barrett grew up in the Napa Valley in a winemaking family and was destined to become one of California's leading winemakers. It is said that winemaking is a combination of science and art. With a scientist-winemaker father and an artist mother it is no big surprise that Heidi was drawn to the wine industry. With great enthusiasm, a love for what she does, and an incredible wealth of experience, Heidi blends the art and science of winemaking like few can.

Through high school, she spent her summers in wineries and vineyards, taking on all jobs from sorting vine cuttings to bottling line work. She then continued her winemaking education at UC Davis. While at Davis she was an assistant to Dr. Ann Noble, the developer of the aroma wheel. Heidi also did an internship at a large co-op winery in southern Germany, which produced many varieties of wine, both whites and reds. There she learned the art of making balanced wines, no matter what the variety.

Winemaker Heidi Barrett with Amuse Bouche Napa Valley MerlotAfter graduating from UC Davis in 1980 with a B.S. Degree in Fermentation Science, she went to work for Justin Meyer at Franciscan Vineyards and Silver Oak. After subsequent crush jobs at both Lindeman's Wines in Australia and Rutherford Hill, Heidi Barrett became assistant winemaker to Jerry Luper at Bouchaine Vineyards. Then in 1983, at age 25 became winemaker at Buehler Vineyards. It was here that she first attracted critical acclaim by greatly improving the wine quality and taking the production from 6,000 cases to 20,000 cases. This wide range of experience has given Heidi a unique insight into winemaking. "I think it is important to have a wide variety of experience to draw from. You can't just step in and be the winemaker unless you have a lot of experience in the cellar. I wanted to make sure that when I finally had the title of winemaker, I had earned it."

In 1988, she left Buehler to become an independent winemaker (freelance), making wine for a number of small wineries. Within a week she was hired by Gustav Dalla Valle and was winemaker at Dalla Valle Vineyards until spring 1996. It was there that she took her abilities to the next level creating some powerful yet elegant Cabernets, including the famous "Maya" cult wine, a proprietary Cabernet blend that received two perfect 100 point scores from Robert Parker ( the '92 and '93) as well as record breaking bids at the Napa Valley Wine Auction. She started making wine for Screaming Eagle in 1992, which has also received two perfect 100 pt scores (the '92 and recent '97). A 6-liter bottle of '92 SE set a world record for the highest price ever paid for a single bottle of wine at the 2000 Napa Valley Wine Auction selling for $500,000. A vertical offering of this cult wine went for $650,000 at the 2001 NVWA.

Since 1988 she has developed an impressive client list of ultra-premium wineries. In addition to her very own wines from La Sirena, she is currently the winemaker for Amuse Bouche, Paradigm, Lamborn, Kenzo Estate, Au Sommet, Vin Perdu, and Fantesca. Past winemaking clients include Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle, Jones Family, Grace Family, Vineyard 29, David Arthur, Barbour Vineyards, and Showket.

"I like the challenge of working with so many different wines. My philosophy is to make the best wines possible with emphasis on the unique characteristics of each individual vineyard. I try to maximize the potential of each vintage in a very balanced, elegant style of winemaking"

Winemaker Heidi Barrett with 2003 Amuse Bouche Napa Valley MerlotHeidi also started making her own wine, La Sirena in 1994 with a tiny production of Sangiovese. "I was looking for a name for my wine which would be as magical as I think wine is. La Sirena which means "the Mermaid" in Italian and Spanish is a way of representing two of my great passions". In 1996 she made the first Cabernet Sauvignon for La Sirena and in 2000 the first Syrah.

In 2002, Heidi partnered with longtime friend John Schwartz to create Amuse Bouche, a Pomerol-inspired Merlot from Napa Valley. Recognizing that the cult wine phenomenon has created an almost aspirational class structure among collectors, the partners decided to make this limited edition wine available to a much broader consumer base. Winemaker Heidi Barrett explains, "We have created Amuse Bouche, a limited edition, superb Pomerol style wine with the added value of limited edition art that is available to consumers through a variety of channels."

She has been a wine judge at various competitions over the last 20 years, was president of Napa Valley Wine Tech, and has graced the covers of both The Wine News and The Wine Enthusiast. She has been a featured guest on several television programs, was winemaker of the year, made Parker's list of wine personalities of the year 1994,1995 and is on Parker's wine heroines list of 1998 (one of two from the US). Parker has dubbed her the "first lady of wine".

Heidi Barrett lives in Calistoga with her husband, Bo (winemaker at Chateau Montelena) and their two daughters, Remi and Chelsea. She is a well-liked and respected winemaker in the Napa Valley. She also very much enjoys being a mom, skiing, painting, and her garden.

Continue reading
2344 Hits