Meteor Vineyard is my first job in the wine industry. After moving to Napa from Cleveland, Ohio a couple of years ago I quickly realized that I wanted to be into the wine industry.
In an effort to increase my level of wine knowledge (I love to drink wine however, my knowledge of the process was minimal at best) I signed up for the WSET level 1 course through the Napa Wine Academy. The class was held on a Saturday in October at the beautiful St. Supery Winery.
It was a small group of 7, consisting of people from all walks of life, with different jobs, and different levels of knowledge. We all came together to expand our knowledge together with our enthusiastic instructor Catherine.
The class covered basic wine knowledge from the main styles of wine, characteristics of grape varieties, how to taste and serve wines (and many things in between!)
We were able to learn about wine varieties and different wine growing regions while trying wines from different areas of the world. We were able to work on understanding the art that is food pairings and discuss amongst the group. The class was hands on, fun, interesting and exciting.
Not only did I emerge with a better knowledge and understanding of wine, I learned even more from discussions with the instructor and my peers. The experience was amazing, something I would sign up for again; who knows, maybe level 2 is in my future!
Many of you have probably heard of the most recent wine gadget, the Coravin. This device, invented by a medical device entrepreneur, was created as a way to access wine in the bottle without removing the cork. The Coravin pierces the enclosure with a slender hollow needle and injects Argon gas that replaces the wine that is forced out.
What this allows you to do in essence is remove wine from the bottle and be able to revisit this wine days, weeks or months down the line without suffering the usual effects of an open bottle.
Not only does the device come with a digital readout for exact pour measure to allow the bottle’s wine volume to be used to its full potential, it permits a restaurant to pour older, more rare vintages by the glass without the wine going bad (and you don’t have to worry about empty bottles at the end of the night!)
Mauro Cirilli, Wine Director at Press Club San Francisco, has been involved with the Coravin project for three years. Press Club was selected to utilize the Coravin prototype to give feedback on how it could be improved before launching the device into the market.
Thanks to the device Cirilli was able to put together the largest list in the world of magnum bottles available by the glass, one of these wines being our 2008 Meteor Vineyard Perseid.
“Coravin will change the way people enjoy wines and will improve sales and lower costs for wineries and distributors,” Cirilli said.
Cirilli reiterates the point that the Coravin is meant mostly for the high-end wines, “the ones that we never thought to get just a glass and then put the bottle back in the cellar,” he said.
According to Cirilli, the device will allow restaurants, wine bars and retailers to enrich their lists with new selections, while bringing in extra attention to a larger variety of wines and extra money to the establishments. Wineries and distributors will be able to avoid bottle waste while saving thousands of dollars.
Cirilli says, “Both patrons and business will earn something extra. Coravin gives us unlimited access (cork permitted!)”
Desmond Echavarrie, MS, Senior Wine Advisor at Soutirage, said he recently used the Coravin to test several bottles of 20-year-old Napa Cabernet for an event on Alcatraz Island. “Given the choice of three library vintages from the same winery that we had to purchase 3 cases of, it was a small sampling via Coravin that sealed the deal,” Echavarrie said.
All in all the Coravin sounds like a winner to me; ability to try various library wines by the glass, while saving money, can’t beat that!
Dawnine Dyer on the 2013 vintage;
"I'm very excited about the 2013 vintage. Harvest was early (and sugars a little higher than normal) but we got luck with the weather in the 3 weeks before harvest- temperatures in the low 80s- no heat spikes and the first rain settled the dust and softened the skins and voila- perfection! The color evolution during cold soak has been impressive and as we start into fermentation, the aromas are just lovely.
Bordeaux may own 2009 and 2010 but Napa Valley has 2012 and 2013 sowed up!"
Mike Wolf on the 2013 vintage at Meteor Vineyard;
"We started harvest on 9/19 and finished on 9/28, which is significantly earlier than is typical. All of the fruit was picked at night, and delivered to the winery first thing in the morning. Yields were slightly above normal, and the quality and ripeness were exceptional."
We get super excited early August for multiple reasons; verasion in the vineyard, sunny Napa Valley days and perfectly clear nights to view the Perseid meteor showers.
Here is an excellent time lapse shot of last years showers from Sierra Sky Watcher:
Chef Tony talking to guests about the art of dough and topping combinations while they sip Meteor cabernet (look at all of those options!)
There is no doubt Chef Tony is a ten-time world-champion pizza acrobat after seeing this:
Pizza and Meteor Vineyard cabernet: a Saturday well spent at Meteor
Alister & Paine speaks with Meteor Vineyard winemaker/partner Dawnine Dyer about making wine from Meteor Vineyard fruit and the 2008 vintage.
COLOR - 92%
AROMA - 94%
TASTE - 94%
FINISH - 93%
OVERALL IMPRESSION - 93%
Summary : Aromas of pure cassis and sun warmed black berries meld seamlessly with notes of mocha, fennel, sweet tobacco and filberts. The rich, plush mouth feel explodes with flavor and intensity, bolstered by supple tannins and lovely oak integration. Though this wine will clearly benefit from time in the cellar, it is absolutely gorgeous.
There is much to be thankful for in the last year. First and foremost we survived the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar (phew). More important was the tremendous support and recognition for the wines over the past year. While we are never big on the Top 10 roundup, we made a list of the hallmark moments for Meteor Vineyard in 2012.
Meteor Vineyard Top 10 of 2012
1. Coombsville became Napa Valley’s 16th AVA. The news broke December 2011, but it truly became “official” in January 2012. What’s the big deal? Coombsville is a longtime winemaker secret, having provided fruit for some of Napa Valley’s most lauded wines. Now the secret is out with estate grown wines from the region dominating conversations about Napa Valley.
2. “Generation Next: Cult Cabs in the New Millenium”. We were incredibly excited to be a part of the panel “Napa’s Generation Next: Cult Cabs in the new Millenium” at the 2012 Pebble Beach Food and Wine event alongside such lauded names as Scarecrow, Dana Estate, Ovid and Futo!
3. Epic multi city Meteor Vineyard “Vertical Tour”. The entire Meteor Vineyard team joined forces in the spring for a vertical tasting tour for nearly 500 Meteor Vineyard fans. Even cooler was where they took place; Tumblr HQ in New York, Soho House in Los Angeles and The George Town Club Washington D. C.
4. The magnificent 2012 vintage. Everything you have heard is true – the 2012 vintage was SPECTACULAR.
5. Interactive Coombsville Map. We have always enjoyed the slight kitsch quality of the illustrated maps you see in souvenir shops around the world. We used this foundation to design an interactive map of Coombsville exploring the wineries and attributes that make the new AVA unique and distinctive.
6. New Website. If you haven’t visited the site in a while check it out; from critics reviews to our social media activity, from purchasing our current releases to learning more about past vintages, it’s all here.
7. Events, Events, Events. In 2012 we took part in some of the hottest food and wine events and wine auctions in the US including; Auction Napa Valley, Sun Valley Wine Auction, Jackson Hole Wine Auction, Pebble Beach Food and Wine, Los Angeles Food and Wine, Heart’s Delight Wine Auction, Cabernet for Connoisseurs and many others.
8. New Distribution Markets. As acclaim for the Meteor Vineyard wines has spread we have many fans across the country asking where they can get them in their local markets. In 2012 we garnered new distribution partners in a number of states including New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Texas. In the coming months look for the wines in a couple of additional markets including Florida, North Carolina and Georgia.
9. Meteor Vineyard’s resident chef (and owner) Barry Schuler’s Thanksgiving extravaganza. A photo essay captures it all.
10. Critical Success. While we have always made wine for ourselves (and in a style we love) we are continually heartened by the praise from professional wine critics.
Now what? Our 2009 Special Family Reserve will be released late March 2013 followed by the release of our 2010 Perseid in September – mark your calendars! In between we will be taking part in events ranging from Cabernet for Connoisseurs to the Staglin Music Festival. Check out our events page for details!
We wish you an exciting and bountiful 2013.
The Meteor Vineyard Team