Pretty much everyone agrees that great wine begins in the vineyard. Without exceptional grapes, the crafting of exceptional wine is impossible.
That said, the people who do the crafting also play critical roles in bringing bottled bliss to our dinner tables, porches and picnic baskets. Without passionate people, those grapes may as well be used for juice or jelly.
California’s Napa Valley is populated by dozens of men and women for whom winemaking is not merely a job, but a source of great joy. Let’s meet a few of them…
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“We love wine. We love family. We love friends. We really love wine!”
Those are the words of Patrick McEvoy, winemaker and co-proprietor of Bolen Family Estates. The 2013 harvest was the eighth for McEvoy and partners Rafer Caudill and Ed Stritch.
While most wineries in the Napa Valley focus on Cabernet Sauvignon, Bolen Family Estates is known for another red variety: Merlot.
“Our limited production allows us to get to know each barrel of wine we produce,” McEvoy says.
“We harvest. We crush. We punch down. We press. We barrel. We taste. We top. We bottle. We do everything. We know each barrel intimately. They are part of the family.”
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Amy Hanaiali’i’s success as a singer-songwriter speaks for itself.
She is Hawaii’s top-selling female vocalist of all-time, and has received five Grammy nominations for “Best Hawaiian Music Album.” Her role as a cultural force for Hawaiian culture stems from composing in Hawaiian language and bringing it to the world with a blend of current and diverse musical styles.
Now, she has taken her passion for perfection to another artistic endeavor: winemaking. She utilizes fruit from a single vineyard — Davidson Ranch — in the St. Helena District of the Napa Valley that was hand-selected by acclaimed vintner John Truchard,
“In Hawaii, we love family get-togethers with food, wine and music,” Amy says. “Bringing my music to you in this bottle feels like home to me.”
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Is it any wonder the wines of Bolen Family Estates and Hanaiali’i are so phenomenal?