Wilderness to Wonderful
When restaurant designer Pat Kuleto wanted to start a winery in California, he bought 761 acres of rough, mountainous terrain on the eastern rim of Napa Valley — land that most people deemed impossible to tame into vineyards. That was in 1992. Today, 97 acres of that wilderness are bearing a wide range of grape varietals. About 30 more acres will eventually be made into vineyards. But the remaining 634 acres? There’s no way they will accommodate a grape vine.
And that’s fine with Pat Kuleto and his winemaker, David Lattin. They are men who value quality over quantity. Within the planted acres of vineyards they believe they have found the perfect setting — microclimate, soil type and elevation — to bring out the finest character of each grape. Their wines are their proof.
Take Kuleto Estate Chardonnay 2006 ($45). It has an aroma that recalls grapefruit and other citrus, good structure, a slight nuttiness in the taste and just the lightest hint of oak. In all, a lovely, balanced wine.
Its Pinot Noir 2006 ($50) is one of the most intriguing California wines made of this grape that I have ever tasted. Produced in the Burgundian method of open-top fermentation, it indeed captures the elusive aroma of a true Burgundy with an overlay of cherry. In the mouth, it is liquid silk, and its finish lingers.
Kuleto’s Zinfandel 2006 ($40) is again true to the character of the grape, with a peppery aroma and a juicy, spicy taste. Overall, an inviting wine that is blended with 10 percent Sangiovese, which adds acidity and helps give the wine excellent balance.
Kuleto’s Sangiovese 2005 ($35), on the other hand, is blended with 25 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright, forward wine that recalls cherries and spice. Like all of Kuleto’s wine, it is very well balanced.
Not to worry — Kuleto’s remaining 634 acres have not exactly been neglected. There is the winery, of course. There is Pat Kuleto’s Tuscanstyle home named Villa Cucina. There is the man-made lake named Brunello. And there are vegetable gardens, herb gardens and ranging livestock. That still leaves a lot of acres — just not for grapes.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group announced plans to take over an existing hotel in Switzerland. The property is undergoing extensive renovations in preparation to open at the end of next year as Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern. The property was previously Hotel Palace Luzern, on the shores of Lake Lucerne and in the heart of the city; it originally opened in 1906.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
As part of Germany’s climate package, a plan to reduce emissions, the country will raise departure taxes at German airports. Taxes will go up as much as 60 percent, and are expected to raise up to €740 million. The funds will then be used to lower VAT on rail fares from 19 percent to 7 percent.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, ahead of its naming ceremony Nov. 21. The 1,100-foot-long ship boasts a guest capacity of nearly 4,000. Since Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of the shi, Oct. 30, Norwegian Encore sailed from Germany to England before making its way to New York City, then Miami, where the christening ceremony takes place next week.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, elegant and refined, the Greek “Lady of the North” is a modern, vivacious city that welcomes visitors eager to learn about its history and culture, and at the same time have fun, relax, go shopping or simply explore the cityscape by the sea.