Wow! Here’s a discount code for Rocca Wines

     It isn’t often that a premier Napa Valley vineyard and winery offers a discount on their award-winning wines. Mary Rocca, owner of Rocca Family Vineyards in Napa has generously offered a discount on her wines to all of my readers. Deals like this rarely happen with world-class wineries so don’t hesitate because it expires on 10/16/19 and I know you will regret missing this one. Go to http://roccawines.com  and enter either discount code at checkout. WPASHIP (one dollar shipping on any order) or WPA25 ( $25 off any order of 2 bottles or more).

L to R Vineyard Manager Sergio Melgoza, Mary Rocca Owner Rocca Family Vineyards, Winemaker Paul Colantuoni and Banner a Lagotto Romanolo (Italian truffle hunting dog)

 

 

Down in Roccaland

     If you have ever had the good fortune to see your family name on the label of a wine bottle you can understand my interest when I saw mine attached to a premium Napa Valley winery. I started to wonder if there might be some family connection. I contacted Mary Rocca, owner of Rocca Family Vineyards to explore the possibility of us being related. I found Mary to be very kind and welcoming as we exchanged information about our ancestry. I learned a great deal about my own heritage and also about Mary’s. We found some amazing coincidences that would have never been discovered had we not reached out to each out. Mary generously sent a gift of her wine to be shared at my family reunion as an introduction between our families. I would like to say “Thank You” to Mary for all the time and effort she has taken from her busy schedule to assist me in this project. Although we haven’t identified any recent common threads we continue to search. Even if we can’t find any blood relatives uniting our families I will always consider Mary not only a friend but family. Mary has generously offered to discount the wine purchases of all of my readers when they enter either of these codes at checkout on http://roccawines.com  WPASHIP ($1 SHIPPING ON ANY ORDER) or WPA25 ($25 OFF ANY ORDER OF 2 BOTTLES OR MORE) These codes expire on 10/16/19 so don’t miss out on your chance to buy extraordinary wine from an outstanding Napa Valley winery with an insider’s deal.

Anyone that has ever dreamed of owning a vineyard and winery in Napa, California can only imagine the excitement that Mary Rocca and her husband Eric Grigsby felt when they

Mary Rocca at Rocca Family Vineyards Napa, California

decided to pursue that very dream. They began their search for the ideal Napa vineyard in 1996 while Mary juggled her dental practice, Eric his medical practice and not to mention their four young children at home. Their three-year search for the perfect vineyard came to fruition when they found a 21-acre vineyard deep in the heart of the Napa Valley. They renamed it the Grigsby vineyard and planted new rows of vines between the existing ones to essentially double their grape production. This vineyard is located between the warmer climate of the upvalley and the cooler maritime influences of the San Francisco Bay. The Grigsby vineyard is mainly Cabernet Sauvignon but also has 1 acre of Merlot and roughly 2.5 acres of Syrah. In 2000 Mary purchased the 11-acre Collinetta vineyard in the Coombsville appellation. The Collinetta vineyard is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (Clone 4 & Clone 337) but also has an acre of Cabernet Franc and an acre of Petit Verdot. Now with all the pieces in place Mary could focus on making her vision for Rocca Family Vineyards a reality.

     Many decisions had to be made when it came to what pillars the winery and vineyard

The Grigsby Vineyard

would be established on. For many of those choices Mary drew upon the deeply seated beliefs she had built her life and career on. First and foremost, Rocca wines had to be the best they could possibly be and show not only the most natural expression of the vines but also the environment in which they were grown. With that in mind, the choice to farm both vineyards with organic and sustainable viticulture was the only acceptable path forward. As conscientious stewards of the environment, everyone at

The Collinetta Vineyard

Rocca is acutely aware of the long-lasting and far-reaching effects that pesticides and herbicide can cause in the delicate balance of the ecosystem both locally and globally. The Grigsby and Collinetta vineyards have proven themselves by producing some of Napa Valley’s finest wine grapes and because they are organically farmed are U.S.D.A. organic and C.C.O.F. certified.

     In 1999 Mary hired Celia Welch Masyczek of Scarecrow fame as Rocca’s first winemaker and together they produced a long line of award winning and critically acclaimed wines. In 2008 Paul Colantuoni assumed the role of master winemaker at Rocca wines from Celia. With vineyard manager Sergio Melgoza nurturing the grapes and Paul’s skillful hand now making Rocca Family Vineyards wine the winery has continued on its accending arc vintage after vintage.

     If you would like to know more about the Rocca Family Vineyards story or are interesting in purchasing their wine please visit http://roccawines.com  Don’t forget to use the codes to receive a discount on your wine purchases. WPASHIP for $1 DOLLAR SHIPPING ON ANY ORDER or WPA25 for $25 OFF 2 BOTTLES OR MORE.

     Follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter            

Vineyard Manager Sergio Melgoza, Mary Rocca and Winemaker Paul Colantuoni (left to right)

 

2015 J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon

     Occasionally someone will ask me for my thoughts on a wine pairing for a dinner party or a casual evening of grilling in the backyard with friends. I would always make the same mistake of only thinking about pairing the wine to the menu and budget. The problem with that approach is that I was overlooking the most important part of the equation, the guests themselves. 

I now consider who will be attending first before trying to choose a wine that will satisfy the criteria of both food pairing and budget. It is difficult to completely concentrate on the wine at these gatherings because there are so many distractions. With that thought in mind I attempt to please the most people I can by “Painting with a broad brush, using bold strokes”.

     J. Lohr is one of California’s more dependable large, mid-priced producers and one of my favorite go to wineries in situations like these. The 2015 J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon is a solid choice in the settings I have described. 2015 J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine that is not elegant but has enough character to fulfill the expectations of your guest. It is an easy drinking Cab from Paso Robles with mellow oak, medium tannins and cherry/blackberry flavors that evolve into a lingering fruit finish which is very typical of a Paso Robles Cabernet. Pricing in the $15-$20 range makes it an outstanding value for a wine of this quality. If you can’t find it in your area you should have little problem substituting another J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cab vintage as a replacement to fit your needs.

Are you planning a party and want to serve something new? J. Lohr can help with free recipe booklets which include wine pairings that you can download and print. Go to http://jlohr.com  click: “life”, then click: “entertaining”.

If you are feeling adventurous and have a few extra dollars to spend you might want to explore J. Lohr’s artisan Cabernet Sauvignon label “Hilltop”. Hilltop is a bigger Cab with a slightly higher price of $35. Like all J.Lohr wines it displays the benefits gained from J. Lohr practicing Bordeaux winegrowing techniques in their Central California Coast vineyards.

It’s Wine Time at the Colony

wine time     It’s Wine Time at the Colony wine festival returns to 365 Saxonburg Blvd Saxonburg, Pa on June 21st and September 6th, 2014.  The event has expanded and will feature 13 Pennsylvania wineries spanning three of the states most popular wine-producing regions.  Food purveyors will provide you with a taste of Pennsylvania cuisine using fresh and wholesome ingredients to prepare creations not found on a typical festival menu.  A wide range of artisans will be on hand to display their creative wares.  The tasting admission is $20 gets you wine-tasting and a souvenir wine glass while the non-tasting admission is $10 and is good for admission only.  Check their website for ticket specials.  winetimeatthecolony.com

Christian W. Klay Winery

Christian W. Klay Winery Photo Courtesy: Christian W. Klay Winery
Christian W. Klay Winery Photo Courtesy: Christian W. Klay Winery

     I had the pleasure to drink several Christian W. Klay wines at a friend’s wedding reception that was held very near the Klay winery’s home in Chalk Hill,Pa.  I enjoyed their Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, both displayed good structure and a medium body that paired well with my steak dinner.  The Chardonnay I tried didn’t impress me as much as the Cab and Merlot.  When I asked my wife for her opinion on the White Zinfandel she gave me a favorable comment saying it was pleasing and easy to drink.  The Christian W. Klay winery has been a mainstay of the wine industry in Western Pennsylvania since opening in Fayette county in 1997 and has always raised the quality of their wines with every vintage.  These wines, as well as the wines of many other W.Pa. wineries, continue to improve every year and I look forward to the offerings that will come from the superb 2013 vintage.  www.cwklaywinery.com

Harvest at Ripepi Winery

Rows of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Ripepi Vineyard
Rows of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Ripepi Vineyard
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes

     When Rich Ripepi, owner and winemaker of Ripepi Winery and Vineyard in Monongahela, Pa invited us to take part in the harvest at his vineyard we gladly accepted.  It was a beautiful early fall day as we walked from the winery to the rows of Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the adjacent vineyard.  We picked up our clippers from the tool bucket, located a section of unharvested vines by the empty bins laid out beneath them and went to work.  It wasn’t too long before Rich came by and his excitement about this years harvest was written all over his face.  He talked in glowing terms about how well the grapes had ripened during the month of September because of the warm weather and plentiful sunshine from the nearly cloudless skies.  I asked Rich how he determined when it was time to pick and he told me he uses all the traditional methods like Brix (these berries were 23), acidity and other factors but what it really all comes down to is if he tastes the grapes and they taste ripe to him then it is time to pick.  After a very wet summer which called for a more robust spraying program and more cultivation than normal there was an amazing turn of events that lead to this being one of the best harvest ever.  We took a break and walked with Rich to the winery where the pressing of the Traminette grapes which were picked earlier that day was nearing completion.  After being destemed the grapes were mixed with rice husks to make it easier to press out the juice.  Rich grabbed a glass and said “Do you want to taste it?” as he fills it with the freshly press juice that flows from the press, it was sweet and full of flavor.  While walking back to the vineyard to finish picking, Rich relates the most interesting stories about his evolving journey as a winemaker which makes the time pass quickly as we strip the last vines of their fruit.  We would like to say “Thank You” to Rich Ripepi for inviting us to share this experience with him and his family.  More information about the Ripepi Winery and their award-winning wines can be found at www.Ripepiwine.com

Bodegas Arrayan Premium Red Blend 2005

16052010      This proprietary red blend provides a complexity that can’t be matched by comparable mono-varietals because it has a powerful blend of 55% Syrah, 20% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot coupled with 14 months of aging in new French oak behind it.  After starting with an aroma of sweet fruit, it is no surprise that the palate is one of lush black fruit which remains very persistent on your tongue and is then matched by the even longer finish.  This cuvee would be an excellent addition to a steak dinner or a nice complement to an evening spent entertaining around your homes outdoor space while you maximize the culinary potential of your grill.  Wine Advocate gave this wine a 93 point rating and it can be found in select P.L.C.B. stores at a discounted price of $24.99 with the product code 032370.  P.L.C.B. lists the quoted price at $45.00 but I managed to find it listed on Amazon wine for $39.99 making the $24.99 price a very good deal for a wine of this caliper.  The Arrayán family of wines are produced by La Casa de Las Cuatro Rayas in the Méntrida region of Spain.