“Life is too short to drink bad wine.”


…the next day we woke to gray skies with no promise of rain. And, as predicted, by the time we finished breakfast, the weather turned absolutely beautiful. Blue skies, golden sun, crisp air, green vineyards. Wow!

The first on the itinerary was an appointment we had at Sullivan Wines. Some wineries require an appointment and some do not. Some give you a choice.

Sullivan holds a special meaning to P and T that date back many years. And they share something in common, so this particular winery was close to P’s heart and on his wishlist.

As we were to discover before our trip was over, each winery has a history. A story that is as unique as the wines they produce.

Located in Rutherford in the Napa Valley, Sullivan Winery was started back in the early 1970′s. Jim Sullivan, a graphic designer who had worked on projects for the rock bands in the 60′s which included the Monkees, Dick Clark Productions, and Clymer Books, arrived in Napa Valley and fell in love with the area and with wine making. Jim used his graphic designer experience to create the Sullivan label and the home he and his sons built The same home on the land they still make the wine and where his widow still lives.

Upon arriving, Mrs. Sullivan met us as we made our way to the terrace and when she learned we were from North Texas, was excited and asked us if we still had Central Markets here. Evidently, on her trips to our area several years ago, she shopped at one and was impressed.

Soon, we were ushered to a quaint table and under the trees in the garden, with the perfect weather, we experienced the Sullivan Wines. One of the Sullivan sons arrived and came over and introduced himself and soon the CEO came and sat with us for awhile, both entertaining us with stories until called away to business.

We bought several bottles of the Sullivan Chardonnay 2007 wine, One red wine was pretty interesting, though, as the longer it sat opened to breathe, the more the taste changed.

Sullivan Winery will always be remembered by us as definitely an intimate experience they make certain the customers not only are treated to great wine, but leave feeling as if they are part of the family.

Next on the list, was the Franciscan winery just down the road. There we tried their wines and learned more about wine making.

Note: any mistakes in my posts I take full credit for. I tried to write down as much as possible, but may have missed something.

There are several aspects to a bottle of wine.

Vintage: what year the grapes are picked. (that’s the year you will see on the bottle).

Winemaker: who the winemaker is in charge at the time the wine is made.

Aroma: what you smell (are supposed to smell) when you breathe in the bouquet of the wine. People who can do this definitely have a special gift and talent. I have a long way to go to attain this level.

Flavor: the different tastes, both subtle and not so subtle, of the wine as you roll it around your tongue. Again, I have a long way to go. I only know if I like it or not.

Appellation: the area the grapes were grown and the wine made such as Napa or Sonoma valley.

Time in Oak: mostly for just red wines. White wines are not aged in oak

Type of oak: very important.

Alcohol: how much alcohol the wine contains

How many cases produced: some wineries only make enough for their wine club and not for general distribution.

At Franciscans, we bought a bottle of the 2008 Fountain court white wine.

More on the day’s activities to be continued…


This entry was posted on Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 at 8:10 pm and is filed under Traveling, Wine. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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