Beyond Biodynamics Smith Madrone Wines in the Spotlight

Smith-Madrone winery has been making estate grown and bottled wine for 40 years! Founded in 1971 by brothers Stu and Charles Smith, Smith-Madrone makes about 4000 cases per year farmed from their 200 acre ranch in St Helena California. A visit to the winery will always be accompanied by a tour from one of the Smith brothers. In 2010, Stu Smith became somewhat of a wine world personality with the launching of his www.biodynamicsisahoax.com web site. From the opening paragraph of the web site: “I challenge any Biodynamic farmer or supporter to defend the writings of Rudolf Steiner.  I submit […]

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Episode 100 V Sattui Winery

The history of V. Sattui Winery dates back to 1885 when Italian born winemaker and baker Vittorio Sattui built a great reputation in San Francisco with St. Helena Wine Company.  An expanding operation led to a new location and new name, V. Sattui Wine Company in the San Francisco Mission District. Prohibition forced the end of V. Sattui and the wine company lay dormant for 60 years. Pledged to re-establish a family legacy, Dario Sattui pursued his dreams and passions which led to the eventual re-establishment of V. Sattui on their existing property in 1975. This story intrigues me for […]

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Cabernets Compete to be King

Budweiser may be the “King of Beers” but it has nothing on Cabernet, the King of wine. Okay, yes I realize Barolo has been deemed the “wine of the kings,” but in America, King of Rock is Elvis, the King of Pop is Michael Jackson the King of burgers is Burger King and the KING of wine is Cabernet! I have to admit, I love the king! Last week we explored the noble queen of wine, Pinot Noir. Each of the lovely ladies paraded their wears without shame. They pranced across the stage seeking to be chosen for the night. […]

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Episode #67 Penche Winery Leaning Toward Excellence

I have a confession. I’ve had this beautiful elegant and understated label staring at me for over two months.  There is something engaging about the simple serif font with only the winery name and vintage on the front. There were times I even set the bottle on top of the cellar buffet just for show. Finally, the time has come to pop the cork and discover if what’s inside the bottle is as elegant and beautiful as the outside. Penche is French for leaning bending or tilting and the winery name is taken from the old oak trees on the […]

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Episode #53 Smith-Madrone Winery

Big wine, small lot, Napa vineyards, small price. Looking at the Smith brothers, you might mistake them for iron workers in Pittsburgh or mine workers in West Virginia. One sip of their wine and there is no mistaking that Stuart and Charles Smith are definitely wine makers! Planted in 1971 Smith-Madrone Vineyards sits on 200 acres of steep hillside on top of Spring Mountain in Napa Valley. The vineyards consist of 13 acres of Chardonnay, 13 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and 7 acres of Riesling. With less than 5000 cases of wine made each year, attention to detail stands out […]

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