Faustini Wines Blog
Welcome to the Faustini Wines blog. Here you will find info on what's happening at the winery, our thoughts on winemaking, food, life, and wine industry news. Let us know if you want us to post on any topics....
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Pinot Noir (or black pine) is the most widely planted varietal in the world. This thinned skinned grape grows in tight dark purple, pine-cone shaped clusters. Apart from its growing condition the Pinot Noir grape is argued to produce the finest wines in the world, its proclamation as one of the 9 Noble red grapes stems from its famous location in the French Burgundy wine region. During the first century A.D. this grape varietal was known to the Ancient Romans as “Helvanacia Minor”, which they turned into wine during their conquest of France’s Burgundy region. The hilly area where Pinot Noir was cultivated was known as the Côte d'Or (aka “The Slope of Gold”) and is still the king growing area of pinot noir today.
For a long time pinot noir was known as “the heartbreak grape” because it was prone to both disease conditions in the vineyard and being fickle in the cellar. It is also very genetically unstable and highly prone to mutation. The new clones of this grape which have been found in many new world countries deliver thicker skins, which both repel pesky invaders in the vineyard, and offer more reliable color and body in the winery.
Pinot Noir performs best in cooler climates where it can maintain its bright & crisp acidity. Our pinot noir grapes are sourced from Sonoma County where it has predominately moist conditions and marine influences from the Pacific Ocean. The daily winds that make its way into Sonoma slow down the ripening, which promotes natural balance and flavor in the wine. Ultimately, this area provides the ideal growing conditions for this temperamental grape. The ability of these flavorful grapes in cool conditions also makes Pinot an ideal choice for your favorite champagnes & sparkling wines (hello Velvet & Vinyl!!)
2012 Opportunity Collection Pinot Noir
COLOR: Medium clear ruby
AROMA: Fruit forward with notes of raspberry, sweet black cherry and vanilla
PALATE: Ripe Cherries with accents of semi-sweet chocolate, and an elegant finish
I like to think of Pinot Noir as a versatile food pairing wine. Its lighter complexity makes it worthwhile for a salmon dish or some grilled vegetables but also has enough body to pair with some richer meats such as seared duck breast. If you ever find yourself at large dinner or party when you’ve been given the task of choosing the wine for all different palates, a nice Pinot Noir will usually do the trick (and may help you keep your friends) I hope you’ll keep this grape in mind when you have to put your wine thinking cap on…Till next time oenophiles, Cheers!
By, Shannon Hurley
The Napa Valley- a term used today as a synonym for Napa County, is the best known U.S wine region in the world. For the most part Napa’s reputation has been built from the award winning Cabernet Sauvignons and of course the Bordeaux style blends. These amazing wines come from well-established big names and of course small boutique wineries like Faustini. Surprisingly enough Napa makes up only 4% in total California wine production. Don't let this number fool you! Although small in terms of grape harvest, you will see why this wine growing region keeps seasoned oneophiles coming back for more.
Back in the Early Days
Settler George Calvert Yount (for those of you who are thinking Yountville and the French Laundry you're right!) made his way to California in 1831. In 1834 he went to Sonoma, where he was employed as a carpenter by General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo. After working for Vallejo, Yount received the Rancho Caymus land grant in 1836, and became the first permanent settler in the Napa Valley. By 1838 he saw that the area had a lot of potential for growing wine grapes, and by 1839 with the help of two other pioneers, he was able to plant the first Vitis Vinifera grapes in the area. Charles Krug established Napa’s first commercial winery in 1861, which is still being operated today by his good friends the Mondavi family. Now there are more then 300 wineries in Napa to date.
Ideal terroir (meaning the all-inclusive physical environment of a wine growing area) is essential for making a great wine, and although Napa is one of the smallest wine growing regions, you can see that the grapes really speak for themselves. Defined by the Vaca and Mayacamas mountain ranges and influenced by its juxtaposition to the Pacific Ocean, the Napa Valley enjoys a beautiful dry Mediterranean climate (only 2% of the world has this!) perfectly suited to the growing of astonishing wine grapes. These mountains protect the Valley from the chilly air off the Pacific Ocean, and the scorching heat of the Central Valley. The Napa River runs generally north to south of the county, and helps keeps the valley cool at night. This ideal combination with the warm daytime temperature and chilly night air allows the grapes to ripen softly and in sync with one another.
Key Appellations in Napa
Napa County is one of the counties included in the North Coast AVA (American Viticultural Area) of California. Within Napa itself there are also 16 other sub AVAs. The most prestigious area of Napa Valley stretches north from the city of Napa upward which includes the Yountville, (where we source our Malbec Rosé) Stags Leap District, Oakville, Rutherford (Beach House #34 Sauvignon Blanc), St. Helena, Calistoga and Howell Mountain (Secret Veil) AVAs. This is a prime Cabernet Sauvignon growing area, and plays humble host to many of the famous American wineries and vineyards such as Silver Oak & Caymus. Below the city of Napa in the cooler part of the county, you will find the well-known Oak Knoll District and the Carneros AVA's which have ideal climates for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. These grapes are often used to make a majority of the sparkling wines produced around Napa.
So Where is Faustini?
Our winery is located in the Coombsville AVA. Coombsville is a quiet area, in the southeastern corner of the Napa Valley, closely situated against the foothills of the Vaca mountians (just 15 minutes outside of the city of Napa!). Most people who visit Napa generally never pass through it, or even know it exists, it's basically a hidden secret of the Valley! Yet, for anyone who has fallen in love with Napa Valley wines, or a seasoned Napa traveler who wishes to get out of the tourist area… Coombsville is an absolute MUST-SEE destination!
Here are some facts about the Coombsville AVA
Climate: Temperate climate moderated by close proximity to the San Pablo Bay and the influences of marine air.
Elevation: Most vineyards are in the 100-500 foot (30-150 m) zone, though a small portion tops 1000 feet (300 m)
Rainfall: 25 inches (65 cm) annually
Soils: Primarily weathered volcanic rock and alluvial deposits from the Vaca Range that surrounds the region
Principal varieties: Dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon on the hillsides with Merlot, Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir in the lower, cooler sites
As we wrap things up it's important to understand that Faustini is a winery. This means that all of our winemaking is done at our Coombsville location, and like many other wineries we too have a number of our grapes growing in not only Coombsville but other well-known parts of Napa, providing you with the ultimate tasting experience for each wine that we make. I hope you enjoyed this educational “Flight to Napa” and feel inspired to embark on a journey to visit Faustini, as well as the many other beautiful wineries and vineyards which lie in Napa County. Till next time my fellow oneophiles…Cheers!!
By, Shannon Hurley
-The Society of Wine Educators Handbook
-The Encyclopedia of Wine- Tom Stevenson
With the warm weather in full bloom it’s time to take a break from those heartier pairings and lighten up with a refreshing take. We’re talking Rosé!
The development of Rosé wine dates back to the 1700’s with the popularity of “Claret” meaning clear or light-colored wine. This was a popular style of red Bordeaux during the 1700′s. Back then, the British were the ones who favored pale style wines made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Of course these days Bordeaux wines have become gallant and darker, and the lovely rosé has received a category of its very own.
Today rosé has a variety of names depending on its origin. Whether you call it “Rosé” in France or America, “Rosado” in Spain, “Rosato” in Italy or simply “blush" – they all refer to some seriously pink business. The wines can typically range from a light salmon subtle hue to a vibrant magenta pink, depending on the grape used and how long the skins were in contact with the juice. Rosés can be made in three different styles off-dry, sweet, or dry the most popular style produced around the world today. There are two different ways to make Rosé. First we have “Saignee” this is the practice of “bleeding off” lightly tinted grape juice after a brief maceration process (soaking of grape skins). Since wine’s color actually comes from the skins, the longer the skins, pips and seeds remain in contact with the grape, the darker and more tannic the rosé gets. The second less common way is to simply blend white wine with a red to make it appear pink.
Think Pink, Drink Pink!
Our rosés are the perfect pairing for spring and summer, since they are served chilled and can be a refreshing garnish to any warm day. They are also extremely versatile wines and pair well with a number of different dishes.
It’s not too often that you’ll find a Malbec Rosé coming out of Napa. Although this grape has some Argentinian roots, this crisp wine is often compared to a Provence style rosé.
Aroma: Ripe cherry & peach flesh with hints of strawberry
Palate: Pink grapefruit & tart red currant flavors linger softly on the fresh finish
Food Pairing: Grilled Mahi-Mahi with bell pepper salad
This full bodied rose is beautifully layered with ripe fruit from the Coomsville AVA (American Viticultural Area) in Napa, with the overall balance to pair with just about anything.
Aroma: Cranberry, fresh watermelon & rose petal
Palate: Pomegranate & ripe black cherry with subtle cinnamon notes
Food Pairing: Sirloin burger with maple bacon, blue cheese & sweet potato fries
So wine lovers, if you are opting to try something outside of your wine box don’t be afraid! Rosé is on the rise and many people have discovered the truth behind the myth that all rosés are “sweet and girly”. Come stop by our tasting room on Broad Street in Red Bank today for a flight with our featured rosés. Till next time, Cheers!
The year 2011 will always be remembered as the year we laid the foundation for our family business for the next decade. So much has changed since the beginning of the year that I thought I would do a quick review of some our changes and offer a glimpse into the future at Faustini Wines.
2011 - A Year in Review at Faustini Wines
Launched our new website along with wine clubs, social networking integration and onsite reviews
Partnered with a new fulfillment house which allows us to provide enhanced customer service for shipping orders.
Successfully moved our production facility that provides us the ability to grow
Added three new vineyard sources (two of which are certified organic)
Successfully launched a new wine brand at the Atlantic City Food and Wine Show - Play Date
Secured distribution for our wines in New York and New Jersey wine markets
Hired a full time winemaker to help shape the direction of our wine programs
Harvested and crushed our first ever vintage of Napa Valley Malbec
Lastly, we ended the year with a bang with our nationally televised interview on Fox Business News http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/1314987374001/turning-wine-passion-into-a-successful-business/
Now that the foundation is in place, its time to look forward. We fully expect to have our wines represented in more and more fine restaurants in NYC and NJ in 2012. We will be expanding our portfolio to include a new Cabernet Sauvignon called "1023". This is a 100% Cabernet from a certified organic fruit source in Rutherford. We also plan to expand the Play Date line of wines.
Lastly (and some might say most exciting), is the opening of our tasting room in Napa in the spring of 2012. We have been working hard on this for most of 2011 and are now ready to go. Please plan to visit us this summer and join our mailing list to be notified about our grand opening party!
We have been patiently waiting and now the day is here. Today we harvested our Cabernet Sauvignon from our certified organic vineyard source in Rutherford. More on the 2011 harvest in the weeks to come but for now, here's a sneak peak of the fruit coming in.
Enjoy Father's Day next week with a great recipe from Faustini Wines.
3/4 Cup Chopped Pancetta
3/4 Cup Chopped Roma Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Chopped Yellow Onion
2 dozen Fresh Little Neck Clams
4 cloves Chopped Garlic
3 Tablespoon Un-Salted Butter
1 Tablespoon Chopped Itailan Parsley
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
1 Teaspoon Grey Salt
Pinch Crushed Red Pepper flakes (optional)
1 Lemon (Juice of)
In sauté pan, add olive oil and pancetta and render it down. Then add onion and cook until almost transparent, then add garlic. Add mixture into a roasting pan along with butter, lemon juice, grey salt, wine, clams, and red pepper flakes (optional).
Cover roasting pan with aluminum foil and place inside oven pre-heated at 425 degrees (you can also place on an outdoor grill). Allow 10-15 minutes cook time. As the first clam opens, add chopped tomatoes and cover for another 2-5 minutes. Once all of the clams open, remove from oven/grill place into large bowl and add chopped parsley. Enjoy
Also, great over linguine
The inaugural 2010 Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival was met with huge success and the 2011 Festival promises to be even larger and more prestigious. This will be the premier event of Atlantic City’s summer season with four days of events, tastings and celebrity appearances. Featuring world-renowned chefs, the festival will be held at all four Atlantic City properties: Harrah's Resort, Caesars, Showboat and Bally's. A portion of the proceeds from the festival will benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Join us on Tuesday, November 9th: 7pm - 9pm at Glen Goldbaum 72 and Glen Goldbaum's Lambs & Wolves Den of Beauty for a party. Featuring a display of iconic images by famed rock photographer Mark Weiss, a tasting of wines from Napa Valley winery and local local Red Bank residents Anthony & Michelle Faustini, and vintage hot towel shaves by superstar barber Shane Bruno.