When David Graves and Dick Ward founded Saintsbury winery in 1981, they were considered impractical risk takers. At a time when it seemed every California winery was adding cabernet sauvignon to its list of red wines, Graves and Ward were making only one red — pinot noir — from the glorious, temperamental, cool-climate red grape of Burgundy. Their goal? To prove an ethereal, Burgundian-like pinot noir could be produced in Napa Valley.
They believed they could achieve that with grapes grown in Carneros, a cool area that skirts the southern part of Napa and Sonoma where far-sighted vintners had been planting pinot noir for years. They experimented in the vineyard and cellar. They introduced new pinot noir clones. They have, in fact, never stopped improving, updating and experimenting.
Twenty-six years later, having shown beyond doubt that fine, delicate pinot noir can be made in Napa Valley, Saintsbury is considered one of the prime producers of pinot noir in California.
To sample these extraordinary wines, start with Saintsbury Carneros Pinot Noir 2004 ($30) made from a blend of grapes from several vineyards. Attractive, balanced and flavorful, the wine is rich in hints of cherry. Saintsbury produced a reserve wine from 1990 to 2002; and what a lovely wine that last one is — soft, silky, with fragrant, whistle-clear pinot flavors. In place of reserves, Saintsbury now concentrates on single-vineyard pinots. Among them, Brown Ranch Carneros Pinot Noir is a sensual wine with distinctive blackberry and earthy flavors. The 2004 is a wine of excellent structure and great complexity with the perfume of pinot noir leaping out of the glass. At $70, Brown Ranch is the most expensive Saintsbury wine.
Saintsbury also offers three single-vineyard bottlings. Lee Vineyard 2004 is a rich, warm pinot noir; inviting with its fresh cherry aromas and fine balance. To taste Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir 2004 is to delve into a basket of fresh cherries. Toyon Farm 2004 is an elegant wine, graceful and classical, all satin and silk. Each is $50.
And each is individual. Each expresses the personality of its vineyard, just as the wines of Burgundy express theirs. And both — Burgundy and California — express the glory of pinot noir.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
United Airlines teamed with Timeshifter, a sleep help app, to assist travelers battling jet lag. Timeshifter outlines the best times to see and avoid light, sleep and either enjoy or pass on caffeine to best avoid jet lag when traveling through time zones. The app is specifically targeted to those traveling across three or more time zones and customizes advice for each passenger based on his or her own sleep preferences and normal sleep pattern, as well as their particular flight.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Make sure you catch the new pop-up cocktail lounge at Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara in Carlsbad before it’s gone. Starry Nights, located on the Seasons Restaurant veranda, is open through Jan. 31, 2020.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.