I took my mother to see this film so that she may understand through a movie what I could not share with her verbally but what she has witnessed physically with me. This is not a war movie but a film of what war does to you and how it affects you after you are no longer in physical war but your mind stays in mental war and no one understands ( EMPATHY) except those there with you. But This a good Movie to watch, get now on http://tinyurl.com/y7btmwph
Keenan Winery and Vineyards is recognized as a pioneering vineyard of the Spring Mountain District; Peter Conradi planted vineyards there in the late 19th century; in 1974, Robert Keenan, Michael Keenan's father, purchased 180 forested acres, including the original 100-acre site of the old Conradi vineyard. Robert re-planted with rows of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and used the foundation from the original stone winery to build a new winery in time for harvest in 1977.
Each year as we approach the holiday season, we reflect on our good fortune that Robert Keenan followed his hunch about the potential for growing grapes on Spring Mountain, and each vintage of excellent Keenan Keenan Napa Wines has confirmed for us that we're on the right track!
To honor Robert Keenan's early commitment to Spring Mountain, one of the first steps we took when Michael Keenan took over responsibility for Keenan in 1998, was to begin an intensive replanting program of the whole estate. We focused on increasing soil health through organic farming and the use of organic compost and cover crops. We identified the best rootstock and clone for each grape variety, then we surveyed every square foot of our estate to pinpoint just the right location to plant each one. Because of Keenan Estates' high elevation and steep, rugged terrain surrounded by deeply forested land, we knew it was vital to insure efficient irrigation and be sure that each row was positioned to take advantage of optimum sunlight.
These sustainable farming methods are complemented with labor intensive, hands-on practices and an intimate knowledge of each vineyard site. Today we believe that all 48 acres of pristine estate vineyards - planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Chardonnay Zinfandel Napa Valley wines - are now producing the very best quality fruit we can grow and the resulting wines are richly natural, complex, and classically structured; wines that truly reflect their mountainside terroir.
In 2007 our solar power system went on-line and now supplies energy to the winery, administrative offices, and visitor hospitality areas, as well as to the homes located on the property. This environmentally pro-active energy source, combined with the sustainable farming practices of our estate vineyards resulted in certification of Keenan Estate as Napa Green Certified Land by the Napa Valley Vintners Association.
For us, sustainable winegrowing means adhering to practices that maintain healthy Napa Valley Winery, working to guarantee their productivity over the long haul, preserving them for future generations. But our efforts don't stop there: we believe that 'sustainable' shouldn't focus only on farming and reducing harmful environmental impacts - it also means conserving resources, reducing waste and pollution in the winery as well. And at Keenan, we take sustainability as part of our future business plan too - by continuing to focus on offering our customers and Wine Club Napa members quality wines at reasonable prices, recognizing and appreciating long-term loyalty and support from our Keenan winery team, and providing encouragement to the younger members of our family and team to become part of this wonderful lifestyle.
California Chardonnay has gone through a transformation over the years. It was the Judgement of Paris in 1976 that put it on the map as a serious wine that could rival Burgundy producers who'd been making wine for centuries.
But during the 1990's, a lot of experimentation in the California wine market took place. The ideologies wanted to reflect American culture and aimed to create a bigger more flavorful wine.
Three major changes happened: 1) Winemakers started using a heavy hand in techniques like full Malolactic fermentation. This process changed the tart malic acid to a silky / buttery lactic acid. 2) They also let the grapes hang longer to create more sugars. 3) Lastly, they barrel fermented the wine for lengthy periods of time to create dominant baking spice flavors.
These wines began to take on a playful cocktail shape for social occasions rather than serious artistic statements for dinners. Whereas French Burgundy Chardonnay wines have focused on subtle fruit, rocky minerality and vibrant acidity that bring out the savoriness in food.
In last 6 years, the old school style of Chard's has come full circle. This happened for 2 reasons: 1) In 2010 and 2011, record low temperatures forced winemakers to return to the old style of more acidity and structure.
2.) Coincidentally, a younger generation of winemakers started making food friendly Napa Valley Wines, as they grew tired of the one dimensionality of the commercial Chardonnays made during the last two decades.
I find Chardonnay to be truly delightful when made well. Here are 5 really delicious Napa Valley Chardonnay Napa Valley Wines that approximate the complexity of Burgundy; grown right here in our own backyard:
Blended with 4% Viognier for flowery aromatics, all the fruit for this wine is made from a 30-year-old certified organic vineyard on John Fetzer's Sundial Ranch. http://www.saracina.com
Keenan Chard 2013, Estate, Spring Mountain. Napa Valley - $32.99 retail
Barrel fermented with no Malolactic (this process changes the tart malic acid to a silky / buttery lactic acid) this minimalist intervention wine comes from a vineyard that sits on picturesque Spring Mountain overlooking Napa Valley. http://www.keenanwinery.com
Situated a few miles from the San Pablo Bay makes all the difference when the fog from the bay and cool nights swoop in to brighten up the acidity of these grapes. https://www.stompinggirlwines.com
2013 Chardonnay Fort Ross Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast - $40.99 retail
Winemaker Jeff Pisoni, son of California wine rock star Gary Pisoni, has recently joined the Fort Ross team, so I'm confident the winemaking is in good hands. http://www.fortrossvineyard.com
Stony Hill Chardonnay 2008, Spring Mountain, Napa Valley - $41.99 retail
Fred McRea purchased the property in 1945 becoming one of Napa's first bonded wineries. Their first vintage was in 1952, and I don't think the style of winemaking has changed one bit! Not that it's a bad thing - these wines are as unique as any in California. http://www.stonyhillvineyard.com
Make sure you try of few of these pairings and leave me a comment or question below. I'd like to know what's been your experience of Chardonnay. Are you a fan or are you someone that won't drink Napa Valley wines because you assume that they're all too oaky and buttery? If that's the case, did any of these wines change your mind?