<![CDATA[Villa Ragazzi - Blog]]>Thu, 15 Feb 2018 15:18:44 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Celebrate Wine Feb 18, and Fly Wine Free!]]>Thu, 15 Feb 2018 21:10:50 GMThttp://villaragazziwine.com/blog/celebrate-wine-feb-18-and-fly-some-homePicture
Did you know that this Sunday is National Drink Wine Day?

It was news to us, but good news. Not that anyone at Villa Ragazzi needs any encouragement to settle into a friendly conversation with a glass of Napa Valley Sangiovese wine in hand. Or champagne. Or just about anything from anywhere, so long as it's delicious. 

Alaska Airlines has a wonderful way to celebrate Feb 18, and every other day. Check out the great news for those traveling by air throughout the west coast!

<![CDATA[Time to Make Friends with Food Wines]]>Sun, 04 Feb 2018 01:27:23 GMThttp://villaragazziwine.com/blog/time-to-make-friends-with-food-winesThat's what wine columnist Anthony Gismondi recommends in the Vancouver Sun. 
"...Sangiovese, the obscure grape name behind many more famous wine names (Chianti Classico, Rosso di Montalcino and Brunello di Montalcino), may be the best bottle of all to take to the dinner table. What makes it such a fabulous food wine is its healthy level of natural acidity, medium tannins and alcohol. Steak, roasted game birds, beans, mushrooms and more — they all work with Sangiovese."

Read his entire article here,  then discover some Villa Ragazzi favorite recipes here.  Anyone have a good one for roast guinea fowl (faraona)?

<![CDATA[Interesting People Do Interesting Things]]>Mon, 29 Jan 2018 01:28:21 GMThttp://villaragazziwine.com/blog/interesting-people-do-interesting-thingsPicture
Villa Ragazzi 2013 Faraona was reviewed last week by the wine columnist for the St. Helena Star and Napa Valley Register. Catherine Bugue is a busy person, between weekly tasting panels, writing articles, teaching, and her own business. She's co-owner and director of education at Napa Valley Wine Academy. And she loves Italian red wine, which she has studied extensively. 

​You can read her Faraona review here. Note the useful information on super-Tuscan style wines. 

Although Catherine wrote about the 2013 Faraona, sold out since last fall, the 2014 Faraona has the same blend of Rodeno clone Sangiovese (75%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (25%). Both years were described by the Wine Spectator as "dream vintages."

Now I'm drooling about mushroom-shallot ragoût and a nice glass of Faraona.


<![CDATA[Quail Bait]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 18:26:02 GMThttp://villaragazziwine.com/blog/quail-baitPicture
Those black dots all over Villa Ragazzi's piazza are fallen ripe olives. They make a mess for me to clean up, but they also attract birds. Lira the winery cat likes this. While the birds are stuffing their faces, she patiently watches for an opportunity to pounce.

This morning there were five fat quail, the state bird of California, feasting here. Two of them together would outweigh Lira, so she ceded her ground and slunk off to take a nap in the sun. 

​Only two days until we release the 2017 Rosato di Sangiovese!  (Lira yawns.)

<![CDATA[It's a Beautiful Day (again) in Napa Valley]]>Mon, 01 Jan 2018 20:01:39 GMThttp://villaragazziwine.com/blog/its-a-beautiful-day-again-in-napa-valley
  You have to look closely to guess which of these photos was taken at Villa Ragazzi on November 17, 2017 and which was taken today - New Year's Day 2018. 
  We're enjoying clear, cold nights and relatively balmy (60's) days while waiting for the usual winter rains. Excellent tennis weather.
  Happy New Year!
<![CDATA[What's Wrong with this Photo?]]>Tue, 28 Nov 2017 02:35:07 GMThttp://villaragazziwine.com/blog/whats-wrong-with-this-photoPictureSomething's missing from the Rodeno family Thanksgiving, and it's not the turkey
3 ... 2 ... 1 ... You're right!  There's no Villa Ragazzi Sangiovese in this Thanksgiving lineup. How could that be? 
  The Villa Ragazzi went into an exceptionally tasty, extravagant gravy. Anthony Bourdain's
make ahead recipe calls for red wine and fish sauce, a combination I found irresistible.
  Cook with wine you'd drink, the wise ones  say,


<![CDATA[A Look at How Villa Ragazzi Sangiovese Ages]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 23:11:41 GMThttp://villaragazziwine.com/blog/a-look-at-how-villa-ragazzi-sangiovese-agesPicture
But first, our gratitude to the thousands of first responders and fire fighters who have nearly contained the wildfires that exploded in Napa and Sonoma 11 days ago. We are grateful to have been spared, but others are less fortunate. If you can help by visiting or buying Napa and Sonoma wines and/or making a donation, please do.

On to the title topic.

We are often asked how our Sangiovese ages. Herewith the recent tasting notes on Villa Ragazzi's first vintage, 1989, offered by a new friend. Tom Hill is a southern CA computational physicist who pays a lot of attention to Italian varietals grown here, Nebbiolo in particular. 

"Broke into a box of old Sangios last night and this was the best. I was not expecting much from this wine and was quite pleasantly surprised how good it was. I haven't tried their Sangio in many a year and should remedy that. This Villa Ragazzi offered up some real pleasure w/my Grano Arso pasta. Tasting notes:
Villa Ragazzi Sangiovese Rodeno Vnyd/Napa Valley (13%) 1989: Med.color w/some bricking; rather earthy/dusty light cherry/black cherry/Sangio bit pencilly/old Chianti/rustic/oak complex interesting nose; [on the palate] some complex flavor, med. long rather tart/tangy light cherry/black cherry/Sangio light toasty oak slight pencilly/rustic/rough/earthy complex finish w/light smooth tannins; showing its age and lost most of its fruit; on the downside but still offers up some pleasure."

Based on Tom's notes and our own experience w/older vintages of our Sangiovese (see "Age" posted 9.24.2011), I surmise that 15-20 years is a reasonable range for cellaring Villa Ragazzi. That said, still alive at 28 years isn't bad for a first attempt with this challenging, rewarding variety. Cheers!

<![CDATA[Beautiful Cabernet Crop]]>Mon, 02 Oct 2017 02:04:58 GMThttp://villaragazziwine.com/blog/beautiful-cabernet-crop

There's been some moaning and groaning  in Napa Valley this summer about several bouts of warm weather, but the 5th leaf Cabernet we harvested on September 30, 2017 looks pretty fine. Robert Mondavi Winery is pleased with the fruit Rodeno Vineyards/Villa Ragazzi delivered.
Happy growers, we!

<![CDATA[Harvest update, and a 47-year old surprise]]>Thu, 07 Sep 2017 00:18:15 GMThttp://villaragazziwine.com/blog/harvest-update-and-a-47-year-old-surprise
Harvest: Villa Ragazzi picked Sangiovese for red winemaking on September 1, a full 9 days earlier than last year. Even for an early variety like Sangiovese, that's early. The fruit looked great!

The surprise? Last night we brought this 47-year old bottle of Louis Martini Pinot Noir to our traditional anniversary dinner at La Toque (one of Napa's finest restaurants). It had been in our cellar since 1978, when Louis P. Martini gave me a mixed case of his wines as a thank you for organizing Napa Valley's first joint vintner tour of the US. (Another vintner gave me a tree.) Moët & Chandon loaned us their business jet, so we traveled in style. The whole story is in my book, Bubbles to Boardrooms http://tinyurl.com/ycuk2p2k.

We knew Louis made wines that age well, but weren't sure what to expect since very little good Pinot Noir was made back then. No worries: the cork was in perfect condition, the color a lovely clear red, and the fruit very present along with bottle age characters. ​Delicious. Thank you again, Louis. 
<![CDATA[Harvest!]]>Mon, 28 Aug 2017 19:05:07 GMThttp://villaragazziwine.com/blog/harvestPicture
We picked the Sangiovese for Villa Ragazzi (dry) Rosato early this morning while the grapes were cool and before day temps resumed their current, unusual three-digit run.

The fruit looked beautiful (love that deep blue color), clean, and evenly ripened - we pick early for Rosato to achieve the desired low alcohol, delicacy, and crispness. Unfortunately, there was only 1/2 ton again this year. We had hoped for a bit more. You might let us know if you want to claim some of the +/- 30 cases of 2017 Rosato that will be released early next year.

Next up, possibly as early as next week, is harvesting Sangiovese for red wine. 

Oh, and we're releasing the 2014 Sangiovese. 

Busy times in Napa Valley.