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Cakebread’s Vintage Party Is Celebrated by All in Napa Valley Slideshow

Cakebread’s Vintage Party Is Celebrated by All in Napa Valley Slideshow


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We tie on our apron for this year’s 27th American Harvest Workshop

Chefs Lineup

The cast assembles for a group photo at Cakebread’s Dancing Bear Ranch on Howell Mountain — from the left, wine educator Michael Weiss, Dennis Cakebread, chef McDowell, Bruce Cakebread, and chefs Biggers, Severson, Haugen, and Turley.

Cakebread Garden

Back at the winery, menu preparation begins in the Cakebread’s expansive garden, where Marcy Snow goes over the vegetables in season with chef McDowell as the other chefs forage among the tomatoes and corn.

Marketplace

The winery has set up a special marketplace in their tree-lined courtyard where 18 local food purveyors display everything from meats to chocolates, cheeses, and oysters. Bob Engel of Gourmet Mushrooms in Sebastopol, Calif., goes through his magic mushrooms catalogue with the chefs.

Vineyard Lecture

The next morning, after a hearty breakfast in Cakebread’s Suscal Vineyard overlooking the lower valley, vineyards director Toby Halkovich gives an alfresco lecture on how grapes are grown and an update of the 2013 harvest in progress.

Winery Tour

Julianne Laks has been at Cakebread since 1986 and head winemaker since 2002. With the heady aroma of fermenting grapes hanging in the air, she gives the pro and amateur chefs a behind-the-scenes tutorial on winemaking.

Chef Harvesting Grapes

Chef Severson woke at 4:30 a.m., still trying to put together the elements of his oyster dish for the first public dinner this evening. But he is now wide-awake and ready to pick grapes at Foster Road vineyard. A half-hour and a ton of sauvignon blanc later, everyone emerges with fingers intact.

Point Reyes Cheese

During the course of the workshop, visits are made to various food purveyors. After a tour of the cow dairy at the family-run Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese operations, everyone is treated to a mid-morning snack of cheese and Cakebread wine.

Hog Island Oysters

Then we go to Tomales Bay for more high-on-the-hog food touring at Hog Island Oysters. As oysters are being cleaned and graded in the background, market manager George Curth tells where oysters come from and how they are grown before we slurp down a bivalve or two.

Chefs Planning

Culinary director and workshop manager Brian Streeter (in glasses) is the person in charge of making sure all food and wine events at Cakebread run smoothly. As final menu preparations take place, he and the chefs share a laugh discussing which wines to serve with their courses.

Chef Preparation

Show time! Chef Haugen demonstrates sauce preparation for an antelope loin to amateur chefs Larry and Karen Cress of Spring, Texas. The kitchen rocks with more than two dozen chefs and winery staff as 65 guests on the Pecan Patio dig into chef McDowell’s lardo-crusted wild salmon.

Chefs Plating in Kitchen

Dr. Timothy Wilson of Rochester, Minn., adds a finishing touch to the dessert course as all the chefs gather in the kitchen to help plate the final course. Outside, sommelier Weiss explains the reasoning behind the evening’s pairings of food and wine.

Pouring Chocolate Sauce

It’s all chefs are on deck as the five join in to take a curtain call as they pour hot chocolate sauce with the evening’s dessert. Chef Severson serves a table at a ladies’ night out. Soon, the chefs re-assemble in the kitchen for a wrap-up and a raid on any un-poured Cakebread. Workshop over!


Napaman.com


The magnificent Victorian home on Spottswoode Estate, St. Helena, captured in a photo-collage, which I made five years ago.


First, a disclaimer: I am a Spottswoodean at heart, have been on the mailing list of this majestic, time-tested winery since moving to Napa Valley ten years ago. So anything I say is colored by my admiration for what the Novak family has achieved and for the elegant, balanced Cabernets, which they produce. Amen.

As one of the winery’s long time customers, and not as a working journalist, I was invited this past weekend to the winery’s Major, Major, Event of the Century. Make that its Major, Major Event of the Century-And-A-Quarter – to mark 125 years that the estate has been around and to celebrate the wines and hard work of the Novaks, who have farmed the land for the past 25 years.

Today, we know Spottswoode Estate as a family-owned vineyard and winery. But it’s always had a homey feel, right from the start. Exactly 125 years ago, German immigrant George Schonewald landed in the valley and bought 31 acres in the sleepy town (then and now!) of St. Helena, planting 17 of them with wine grapes.


At the center of the estate is the Victorian home, built by George Schonewald in 1882.


For his home, Schonewald constructed a beautiful Victorian dwelling in the Colonial Revival manner with Queen Anne features. He also planted four acres of formal garden and christened the property ‘Esmeralda,’ according to Beth Novak Milliken in a book called Spottswoode, 125 Years, which she and her family just published to celebrate the heritage of the property.

Through a succession of owners, ‘Esmeralda’ became ‘Stonehurst,’ which became ‘Lyndenhurst,’ and then, finally, under the ownership of Mrs. Albert Spotts, in 1910, the property became known as ‘Spottswoode.’ How English, how charming, how long lasting.


Mary Weber Novak, CEO of Spottswoode.

Jack, a doctor, and Mary Novak moved to St. Helena in 1972 from San Diego. At 40, Jack wanted a change in life, wanted to get into farming and to raise his family in a rural setting. Jack knew little about wine and even less about growing grapes.

Spottswoode was ideal for a family of seven it had the large Victorian manse, and lots of land for the kids on which to run around.

When Jack died of a heart attack at the age of 44, in 1977, Mary grabbed hold of the family reins, nurturing her children while nourishing her vines. With Tony Soter on board as winemaker, the family produced its first Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon in 1982, one hundred years after the estate’s founding.


Beth Novak Milliken, president of Spottswoode.

Today, two of Mary’s daughters, Beth and Lindy, work for the winery. The family mantra is simple: they are committed to producing wines that faithfully reflect their grape origins. And let it be known – they seem to have a magic touch, because nearly every vintage of Spottswoode Cabernet that I have tasted exhibits uncommonly familiar elegance, finesse and balance.

In 1985, winemaker Soter (who has gone on to a string of wine-making successes) proposed that Spottswoode should start to farm organically. In 1990, the winery earned its ‘Big O’ certification -- Organic.

Speaking of winemakers, in 25 years, there have only been four here. Following Tony Soter were Pam Starr, Rosemary Cakebread and today, Jennifer Williams.


Rosemary Cakebread, former winemaker at Spottswoode and now independent consulting winemaker to the property. She was on hand Saturday to pour one of the wines she made, the exceptional 2000 Spottswoode Estate Cab, easily a 94-point wine.


On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Estate, as well as the 25th anniversary of the Novaks’ Estate Cabernet, the family hit the winery library, pulling out some stunning older Cabs for their ardent supporters – the folks on their mailing list – and neighboring winemakers. All gathered on the front lawn of Spottswoode, under a hot sun.



Two of the guests were Molly and Donn Chappellet who, in 1967, built the second new winery in Napa Valley (after Bob Mondavi) since World War II. Their early Chappellet Cabs are among the best ever made in America using the search engine on the right-hand column, find the napaman.com story about the 1969 Chappellet -- awesome!


Wines poured and tasted at the Spottswoode 25 Year Wine Anniversary:

2006 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc
A voluptuous, rich, ripe, almost syrupy Sauvignon Blanc with lingering notes that suggest peach and apple pie. Sixty-five percent of the fruit comes from Napa Valley, the remainder from Sonoma County. A slightly hot wine, at over 14.1 percent alcohol. 90 points.

1989 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a magnum
Made by Tony Soter, this wine is now fully mature, displaying signs of mushroom, earth and rusty fruit, although there is still some bright fruit present at mid-palate. Drink up if you still have some in your cellar. 91 points.

1992 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Tending toward maturity, this delicious beverage displays lots of dark fruit, and some earthy bottom notes like all the other Cabs poured for the party, this one is elegant, balanced, a total joy to drink. The anniversary party quickly became one of those Napa Valley events where I found myself swallowing wines, not spitting them – they were just too good! 91 points.

1997 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a 3 liter bottle
Bring on the drinking hordes this bottle can handle ‘em all! The wine has a rich, purple color like the robes of Plantagenet kings on the nose and palate there are spices, cedar, herbs, vanilla, and a harmonious integration of wood and fruit. The wine has a really long finish, probably influenced by the addition of up to 6 percent Cabernet Franc, which is grown on the estate and which is added every vintage to between 4 and 6 percent of the final blend. 93 points.

2000 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Made and poured by Rosemary Cakebread, this vintage Cab was for me, far and away, the single best wine of the party. Even better than the 1997, also made by Rosemary. My tasting notes include the word ‘juicy’ a number of times, each of them underlined for emphasis. Lots of up-front fruit, a gorgeous harmony of fruit and wood. The wine has a poetic mouthfeel, bordering on seductive. Oh how I loved this wine! 94 points.

2004 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
As you might expect, this young wine is a purple tooth-stainer. Even so, it has early balance and a sort of precocious elegance. Lots of luscious fruit flavors, including black currant. 93 points.

2004 Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon
Until estate vines reach maturity (about 9 years of age), the winemaking philosophy at Spottswoode has been to bottle younger fruit under a second label – Lyndenhurst, named for one of the incarnations of the estate around 1910.
Lyndenhurst Cabs are always 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon no Cabernet Franc is added to spice up the wine. This is a rich, syrupy thick, brilliantly concentrated, cherry-dominated wine, providing a neat, sweet, juicy swallow. 92 points.

For anyone wishing to visit Spottswoode, tours are given Tuesday through Friday at 10 sharp on a by-appointment-only basis. To book, call 707-963-0134 between 9 and 4 daily, or email [email protected] The winery is closed weekends and major holidays.

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery is at 1902 Madrona Ave., St. Helena.


Napaman.com


The magnificent Victorian home on Spottswoode Estate, St. Helena, captured in a photo-collage, which I made five years ago.


First, a disclaimer: I am a Spottswoodean at heart, have been on the mailing list of this majestic, time-tested winery since moving to Napa Valley ten years ago. So anything I say is colored by my admiration for what the Novak family has achieved and for the elegant, balanced Cabernets, which they produce. Amen.

As one of the winery’s long time customers, and not as a working journalist, I was invited this past weekend to the winery’s Major, Major, Event of the Century. Make that its Major, Major Event of the Century-And-A-Quarter – to mark 125 years that the estate has been around and to celebrate the wines and hard work of the Novaks, who have farmed the land for the past 25 years.

Today, we know Spottswoode Estate as a family-owned vineyard and winery. But it’s always had a homey feel, right from the start. Exactly 125 years ago, German immigrant George Schonewald landed in the valley and bought 31 acres in the sleepy town (then and now!) of St. Helena, planting 17 of them with wine grapes.


At the center of the estate is the Victorian home, built by George Schonewald in 1882.


For his home, Schonewald constructed a beautiful Victorian dwelling in the Colonial Revival manner with Queen Anne features. He also planted four acres of formal garden and christened the property ‘Esmeralda,’ according to Beth Novak Milliken in a book called Spottswoode, 125 Years, which she and her family just published to celebrate the heritage of the property.

Through a succession of owners, ‘Esmeralda’ became ‘Stonehurst,’ which became ‘Lyndenhurst,’ and then, finally, under the ownership of Mrs. Albert Spotts, in 1910, the property became known as ‘Spottswoode.’ How English, how charming, how long lasting.


Mary Weber Novak, CEO of Spottswoode.

Jack, a doctor, and Mary Novak moved to St. Helena in 1972 from San Diego. At 40, Jack wanted a change in life, wanted to get into farming and to raise his family in a rural setting. Jack knew little about wine and even less about growing grapes.

Spottswoode was ideal for a family of seven it had the large Victorian manse, and lots of land for the kids on which to run around.

When Jack died of a heart attack at the age of 44, in 1977, Mary grabbed hold of the family reins, nurturing her children while nourishing her vines. With Tony Soter on board as winemaker, the family produced its first Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon in 1982, one hundred years after the estate’s founding.


Beth Novak Milliken, president of Spottswoode.

Today, two of Mary’s daughters, Beth and Lindy, work for the winery. The family mantra is simple: they are committed to producing wines that faithfully reflect their grape origins. And let it be known – they seem to have a magic touch, because nearly every vintage of Spottswoode Cabernet that I have tasted exhibits uncommonly familiar elegance, finesse and balance.

In 1985, winemaker Soter (who has gone on to a string of wine-making successes) proposed that Spottswoode should start to farm organically. In 1990, the winery earned its ‘Big O’ certification -- Organic.

Speaking of winemakers, in 25 years, there have only been four here. Following Tony Soter were Pam Starr, Rosemary Cakebread and today, Jennifer Williams.


Rosemary Cakebread, former winemaker at Spottswoode and now independent consulting winemaker to the property. She was on hand Saturday to pour one of the wines she made, the exceptional 2000 Spottswoode Estate Cab, easily a 94-point wine.


On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Estate, as well as the 25th anniversary of the Novaks’ Estate Cabernet, the family hit the winery library, pulling out some stunning older Cabs for their ardent supporters – the folks on their mailing list – and neighboring winemakers. All gathered on the front lawn of Spottswoode, under a hot sun.



Two of the guests were Molly and Donn Chappellet who, in 1967, built the second new winery in Napa Valley (after Bob Mondavi) since World War II. Their early Chappellet Cabs are among the best ever made in America using the search engine on the right-hand column, find the napaman.com story about the 1969 Chappellet -- awesome!


Wines poured and tasted at the Spottswoode 25 Year Wine Anniversary:

2006 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc
A voluptuous, rich, ripe, almost syrupy Sauvignon Blanc with lingering notes that suggest peach and apple pie. Sixty-five percent of the fruit comes from Napa Valley, the remainder from Sonoma County. A slightly hot wine, at over 14.1 percent alcohol. 90 points.

1989 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a magnum
Made by Tony Soter, this wine is now fully mature, displaying signs of mushroom, earth and rusty fruit, although there is still some bright fruit present at mid-palate. Drink up if you still have some in your cellar. 91 points.

1992 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Tending toward maturity, this delicious beverage displays lots of dark fruit, and some earthy bottom notes like all the other Cabs poured for the party, this one is elegant, balanced, a total joy to drink. The anniversary party quickly became one of those Napa Valley events where I found myself swallowing wines, not spitting them – they were just too good! 91 points.

1997 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a 3 liter bottle
Bring on the drinking hordes this bottle can handle ‘em all! The wine has a rich, purple color like the robes of Plantagenet kings on the nose and palate there are spices, cedar, herbs, vanilla, and a harmonious integration of wood and fruit. The wine has a really long finish, probably influenced by the addition of up to 6 percent Cabernet Franc, which is grown on the estate and which is added every vintage to between 4 and 6 percent of the final blend. 93 points.

2000 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Made and poured by Rosemary Cakebread, this vintage Cab was for me, far and away, the single best wine of the party. Even better than the 1997, also made by Rosemary. My tasting notes include the word ‘juicy’ a number of times, each of them underlined for emphasis. Lots of up-front fruit, a gorgeous harmony of fruit and wood. The wine has a poetic mouthfeel, bordering on seductive. Oh how I loved this wine! 94 points.

2004 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
As you might expect, this young wine is a purple tooth-stainer. Even so, it has early balance and a sort of precocious elegance. Lots of luscious fruit flavors, including black currant. 93 points.

2004 Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon
Until estate vines reach maturity (about 9 years of age), the winemaking philosophy at Spottswoode has been to bottle younger fruit under a second label – Lyndenhurst, named for one of the incarnations of the estate around 1910.
Lyndenhurst Cabs are always 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon no Cabernet Franc is added to spice up the wine. This is a rich, syrupy thick, brilliantly concentrated, cherry-dominated wine, providing a neat, sweet, juicy swallow. 92 points.

For anyone wishing to visit Spottswoode, tours are given Tuesday through Friday at 10 sharp on a by-appointment-only basis. To book, call 707-963-0134 between 9 and 4 daily, or email [email protected] The winery is closed weekends and major holidays.

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery is at 1902 Madrona Ave., St. Helena.


Napaman.com


The magnificent Victorian home on Spottswoode Estate, St. Helena, captured in a photo-collage, which I made five years ago.


First, a disclaimer: I am a Spottswoodean at heart, have been on the mailing list of this majestic, time-tested winery since moving to Napa Valley ten years ago. So anything I say is colored by my admiration for what the Novak family has achieved and for the elegant, balanced Cabernets, which they produce. Amen.

As one of the winery’s long time customers, and not as a working journalist, I was invited this past weekend to the winery’s Major, Major, Event of the Century. Make that its Major, Major Event of the Century-And-A-Quarter – to mark 125 years that the estate has been around and to celebrate the wines and hard work of the Novaks, who have farmed the land for the past 25 years.

Today, we know Spottswoode Estate as a family-owned vineyard and winery. But it’s always had a homey feel, right from the start. Exactly 125 years ago, German immigrant George Schonewald landed in the valley and bought 31 acres in the sleepy town (then and now!) of St. Helena, planting 17 of them with wine grapes.


At the center of the estate is the Victorian home, built by George Schonewald in 1882.


For his home, Schonewald constructed a beautiful Victorian dwelling in the Colonial Revival manner with Queen Anne features. He also planted four acres of formal garden and christened the property ‘Esmeralda,’ according to Beth Novak Milliken in a book called Spottswoode, 125 Years, which she and her family just published to celebrate the heritage of the property.

Through a succession of owners, ‘Esmeralda’ became ‘Stonehurst,’ which became ‘Lyndenhurst,’ and then, finally, under the ownership of Mrs. Albert Spotts, in 1910, the property became known as ‘Spottswoode.’ How English, how charming, how long lasting.


Mary Weber Novak, CEO of Spottswoode.

Jack, a doctor, and Mary Novak moved to St. Helena in 1972 from San Diego. At 40, Jack wanted a change in life, wanted to get into farming and to raise his family in a rural setting. Jack knew little about wine and even less about growing grapes.

Spottswoode was ideal for a family of seven it had the large Victorian manse, and lots of land for the kids on which to run around.

When Jack died of a heart attack at the age of 44, in 1977, Mary grabbed hold of the family reins, nurturing her children while nourishing her vines. With Tony Soter on board as winemaker, the family produced its first Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon in 1982, one hundred years after the estate’s founding.


Beth Novak Milliken, president of Spottswoode.

Today, two of Mary’s daughters, Beth and Lindy, work for the winery. The family mantra is simple: they are committed to producing wines that faithfully reflect their grape origins. And let it be known – they seem to have a magic touch, because nearly every vintage of Spottswoode Cabernet that I have tasted exhibits uncommonly familiar elegance, finesse and balance.

In 1985, winemaker Soter (who has gone on to a string of wine-making successes) proposed that Spottswoode should start to farm organically. In 1990, the winery earned its ‘Big O’ certification -- Organic.

Speaking of winemakers, in 25 years, there have only been four here. Following Tony Soter were Pam Starr, Rosemary Cakebread and today, Jennifer Williams.


Rosemary Cakebread, former winemaker at Spottswoode and now independent consulting winemaker to the property. She was on hand Saturday to pour one of the wines she made, the exceptional 2000 Spottswoode Estate Cab, easily a 94-point wine.


On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Estate, as well as the 25th anniversary of the Novaks’ Estate Cabernet, the family hit the winery library, pulling out some stunning older Cabs for their ardent supporters – the folks on their mailing list – and neighboring winemakers. All gathered on the front lawn of Spottswoode, under a hot sun.



Two of the guests were Molly and Donn Chappellet who, in 1967, built the second new winery in Napa Valley (after Bob Mondavi) since World War II. Their early Chappellet Cabs are among the best ever made in America using the search engine on the right-hand column, find the napaman.com story about the 1969 Chappellet -- awesome!


Wines poured and tasted at the Spottswoode 25 Year Wine Anniversary:

2006 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc
A voluptuous, rich, ripe, almost syrupy Sauvignon Blanc with lingering notes that suggest peach and apple pie. Sixty-five percent of the fruit comes from Napa Valley, the remainder from Sonoma County. A slightly hot wine, at over 14.1 percent alcohol. 90 points.

1989 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a magnum
Made by Tony Soter, this wine is now fully mature, displaying signs of mushroom, earth and rusty fruit, although there is still some bright fruit present at mid-palate. Drink up if you still have some in your cellar. 91 points.

1992 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Tending toward maturity, this delicious beverage displays lots of dark fruit, and some earthy bottom notes like all the other Cabs poured for the party, this one is elegant, balanced, a total joy to drink. The anniversary party quickly became one of those Napa Valley events where I found myself swallowing wines, not spitting them – they were just too good! 91 points.

1997 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a 3 liter bottle
Bring on the drinking hordes this bottle can handle ‘em all! The wine has a rich, purple color like the robes of Plantagenet kings on the nose and palate there are spices, cedar, herbs, vanilla, and a harmonious integration of wood and fruit. The wine has a really long finish, probably influenced by the addition of up to 6 percent Cabernet Franc, which is grown on the estate and which is added every vintage to between 4 and 6 percent of the final blend. 93 points.

2000 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Made and poured by Rosemary Cakebread, this vintage Cab was for me, far and away, the single best wine of the party. Even better than the 1997, also made by Rosemary. My tasting notes include the word ‘juicy’ a number of times, each of them underlined for emphasis. Lots of up-front fruit, a gorgeous harmony of fruit and wood. The wine has a poetic mouthfeel, bordering on seductive. Oh how I loved this wine! 94 points.

2004 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
As you might expect, this young wine is a purple tooth-stainer. Even so, it has early balance and a sort of precocious elegance. Lots of luscious fruit flavors, including black currant. 93 points.

2004 Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon
Until estate vines reach maturity (about 9 years of age), the winemaking philosophy at Spottswoode has been to bottle younger fruit under a second label – Lyndenhurst, named for one of the incarnations of the estate around 1910.
Lyndenhurst Cabs are always 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon no Cabernet Franc is added to spice up the wine. This is a rich, syrupy thick, brilliantly concentrated, cherry-dominated wine, providing a neat, sweet, juicy swallow. 92 points.

For anyone wishing to visit Spottswoode, tours are given Tuesday through Friday at 10 sharp on a by-appointment-only basis. To book, call 707-963-0134 between 9 and 4 daily, or email [email protected] The winery is closed weekends and major holidays.

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery is at 1902 Madrona Ave., St. Helena.


Napaman.com


The magnificent Victorian home on Spottswoode Estate, St. Helena, captured in a photo-collage, which I made five years ago.


First, a disclaimer: I am a Spottswoodean at heart, have been on the mailing list of this majestic, time-tested winery since moving to Napa Valley ten years ago. So anything I say is colored by my admiration for what the Novak family has achieved and for the elegant, balanced Cabernets, which they produce. Amen.

As one of the winery’s long time customers, and not as a working journalist, I was invited this past weekend to the winery’s Major, Major, Event of the Century. Make that its Major, Major Event of the Century-And-A-Quarter – to mark 125 years that the estate has been around and to celebrate the wines and hard work of the Novaks, who have farmed the land for the past 25 years.

Today, we know Spottswoode Estate as a family-owned vineyard and winery. But it’s always had a homey feel, right from the start. Exactly 125 years ago, German immigrant George Schonewald landed in the valley and bought 31 acres in the sleepy town (then and now!) of St. Helena, planting 17 of them with wine grapes.


At the center of the estate is the Victorian home, built by George Schonewald in 1882.


For his home, Schonewald constructed a beautiful Victorian dwelling in the Colonial Revival manner with Queen Anne features. He also planted four acres of formal garden and christened the property ‘Esmeralda,’ according to Beth Novak Milliken in a book called Spottswoode, 125 Years, which she and her family just published to celebrate the heritage of the property.

Through a succession of owners, ‘Esmeralda’ became ‘Stonehurst,’ which became ‘Lyndenhurst,’ and then, finally, under the ownership of Mrs. Albert Spotts, in 1910, the property became known as ‘Spottswoode.’ How English, how charming, how long lasting.


Mary Weber Novak, CEO of Spottswoode.

Jack, a doctor, and Mary Novak moved to St. Helena in 1972 from San Diego. At 40, Jack wanted a change in life, wanted to get into farming and to raise his family in a rural setting. Jack knew little about wine and even less about growing grapes.

Spottswoode was ideal for a family of seven it had the large Victorian manse, and lots of land for the kids on which to run around.

When Jack died of a heart attack at the age of 44, in 1977, Mary grabbed hold of the family reins, nurturing her children while nourishing her vines. With Tony Soter on board as winemaker, the family produced its first Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon in 1982, one hundred years after the estate’s founding.


Beth Novak Milliken, president of Spottswoode.

Today, two of Mary’s daughters, Beth and Lindy, work for the winery. The family mantra is simple: they are committed to producing wines that faithfully reflect their grape origins. And let it be known – they seem to have a magic touch, because nearly every vintage of Spottswoode Cabernet that I have tasted exhibits uncommonly familiar elegance, finesse and balance.

In 1985, winemaker Soter (who has gone on to a string of wine-making successes) proposed that Spottswoode should start to farm organically. In 1990, the winery earned its ‘Big O’ certification -- Organic.

Speaking of winemakers, in 25 years, there have only been four here. Following Tony Soter were Pam Starr, Rosemary Cakebread and today, Jennifer Williams.


Rosemary Cakebread, former winemaker at Spottswoode and now independent consulting winemaker to the property. She was on hand Saturday to pour one of the wines she made, the exceptional 2000 Spottswoode Estate Cab, easily a 94-point wine.


On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Estate, as well as the 25th anniversary of the Novaks’ Estate Cabernet, the family hit the winery library, pulling out some stunning older Cabs for their ardent supporters – the folks on their mailing list – and neighboring winemakers. All gathered on the front lawn of Spottswoode, under a hot sun.



Two of the guests were Molly and Donn Chappellet who, in 1967, built the second new winery in Napa Valley (after Bob Mondavi) since World War II. Their early Chappellet Cabs are among the best ever made in America using the search engine on the right-hand column, find the napaman.com story about the 1969 Chappellet -- awesome!


Wines poured and tasted at the Spottswoode 25 Year Wine Anniversary:

2006 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc
A voluptuous, rich, ripe, almost syrupy Sauvignon Blanc with lingering notes that suggest peach and apple pie. Sixty-five percent of the fruit comes from Napa Valley, the remainder from Sonoma County. A slightly hot wine, at over 14.1 percent alcohol. 90 points.

1989 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a magnum
Made by Tony Soter, this wine is now fully mature, displaying signs of mushroom, earth and rusty fruit, although there is still some bright fruit present at mid-palate. Drink up if you still have some in your cellar. 91 points.

1992 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Tending toward maturity, this delicious beverage displays lots of dark fruit, and some earthy bottom notes like all the other Cabs poured for the party, this one is elegant, balanced, a total joy to drink. The anniversary party quickly became one of those Napa Valley events where I found myself swallowing wines, not spitting them – they were just too good! 91 points.

1997 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a 3 liter bottle
Bring on the drinking hordes this bottle can handle ‘em all! The wine has a rich, purple color like the robes of Plantagenet kings on the nose and palate there are spices, cedar, herbs, vanilla, and a harmonious integration of wood and fruit. The wine has a really long finish, probably influenced by the addition of up to 6 percent Cabernet Franc, which is grown on the estate and which is added every vintage to between 4 and 6 percent of the final blend. 93 points.

2000 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Made and poured by Rosemary Cakebread, this vintage Cab was for me, far and away, the single best wine of the party. Even better than the 1997, also made by Rosemary. My tasting notes include the word ‘juicy’ a number of times, each of them underlined for emphasis. Lots of up-front fruit, a gorgeous harmony of fruit and wood. The wine has a poetic mouthfeel, bordering on seductive. Oh how I loved this wine! 94 points.

2004 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
As you might expect, this young wine is a purple tooth-stainer. Even so, it has early balance and a sort of precocious elegance. Lots of luscious fruit flavors, including black currant. 93 points.

2004 Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon
Until estate vines reach maturity (about 9 years of age), the winemaking philosophy at Spottswoode has been to bottle younger fruit under a second label – Lyndenhurst, named for one of the incarnations of the estate around 1910.
Lyndenhurst Cabs are always 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon no Cabernet Franc is added to spice up the wine. This is a rich, syrupy thick, brilliantly concentrated, cherry-dominated wine, providing a neat, sweet, juicy swallow. 92 points.

For anyone wishing to visit Spottswoode, tours are given Tuesday through Friday at 10 sharp on a by-appointment-only basis. To book, call 707-963-0134 between 9 and 4 daily, or email [email protected] The winery is closed weekends and major holidays.

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery is at 1902 Madrona Ave., St. Helena.


Napaman.com


The magnificent Victorian home on Spottswoode Estate, St. Helena, captured in a photo-collage, which I made five years ago.


First, a disclaimer: I am a Spottswoodean at heart, have been on the mailing list of this majestic, time-tested winery since moving to Napa Valley ten years ago. So anything I say is colored by my admiration for what the Novak family has achieved and for the elegant, balanced Cabernets, which they produce. Amen.

As one of the winery’s long time customers, and not as a working journalist, I was invited this past weekend to the winery’s Major, Major, Event of the Century. Make that its Major, Major Event of the Century-And-A-Quarter – to mark 125 years that the estate has been around and to celebrate the wines and hard work of the Novaks, who have farmed the land for the past 25 years.

Today, we know Spottswoode Estate as a family-owned vineyard and winery. But it’s always had a homey feel, right from the start. Exactly 125 years ago, German immigrant George Schonewald landed in the valley and bought 31 acres in the sleepy town (then and now!) of St. Helena, planting 17 of them with wine grapes.


At the center of the estate is the Victorian home, built by George Schonewald in 1882.


For his home, Schonewald constructed a beautiful Victorian dwelling in the Colonial Revival manner with Queen Anne features. He also planted four acres of formal garden and christened the property ‘Esmeralda,’ according to Beth Novak Milliken in a book called Spottswoode, 125 Years, which she and her family just published to celebrate the heritage of the property.

Through a succession of owners, ‘Esmeralda’ became ‘Stonehurst,’ which became ‘Lyndenhurst,’ and then, finally, under the ownership of Mrs. Albert Spotts, in 1910, the property became known as ‘Spottswoode.’ How English, how charming, how long lasting.


Mary Weber Novak, CEO of Spottswoode.

Jack, a doctor, and Mary Novak moved to St. Helena in 1972 from San Diego. At 40, Jack wanted a change in life, wanted to get into farming and to raise his family in a rural setting. Jack knew little about wine and even less about growing grapes.

Spottswoode was ideal for a family of seven it had the large Victorian manse, and lots of land for the kids on which to run around.

When Jack died of a heart attack at the age of 44, in 1977, Mary grabbed hold of the family reins, nurturing her children while nourishing her vines. With Tony Soter on board as winemaker, the family produced its first Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon in 1982, one hundred years after the estate’s founding.


Beth Novak Milliken, president of Spottswoode.

Today, two of Mary’s daughters, Beth and Lindy, work for the winery. The family mantra is simple: they are committed to producing wines that faithfully reflect their grape origins. And let it be known – they seem to have a magic touch, because nearly every vintage of Spottswoode Cabernet that I have tasted exhibits uncommonly familiar elegance, finesse and balance.

In 1985, winemaker Soter (who has gone on to a string of wine-making successes) proposed that Spottswoode should start to farm organically. In 1990, the winery earned its ‘Big O’ certification -- Organic.

Speaking of winemakers, in 25 years, there have only been four here. Following Tony Soter were Pam Starr, Rosemary Cakebread and today, Jennifer Williams.


Rosemary Cakebread, former winemaker at Spottswoode and now independent consulting winemaker to the property. She was on hand Saturday to pour one of the wines she made, the exceptional 2000 Spottswoode Estate Cab, easily a 94-point wine.


On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Estate, as well as the 25th anniversary of the Novaks’ Estate Cabernet, the family hit the winery library, pulling out some stunning older Cabs for their ardent supporters – the folks on their mailing list – and neighboring winemakers. All gathered on the front lawn of Spottswoode, under a hot sun.



Two of the guests were Molly and Donn Chappellet who, in 1967, built the second new winery in Napa Valley (after Bob Mondavi) since World War II. Their early Chappellet Cabs are among the best ever made in America using the search engine on the right-hand column, find the napaman.com story about the 1969 Chappellet -- awesome!


Wines poured and tasted at the Spottswoode 25 Year Wine Anniversary:

2006 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc
A voluptuous, rich, ripe, almost syrupy Sauvignon Blanc with lingering notes that suggest peach and apple pie. Sixty-five percent of the fruit comes from Napa Valley, the remainder from Sonoma County. A slightly hot wine, at over 14.1 percent alcohol. 90 points.

1989 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a magnum
Made by Tony Soter, this wine is now fully mature, displaying signs of mushroom, earth and rusty fruit, although there is still some bright fruit present at mid-palate. Drink up if you still have some in your cellar. 91 points.

1992 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Tending toward maturity, this delicious beverage displays lots of dark fruit, and some earthy bottom notes like all the other Cabs poured for the party, this one is elegant, balanced, a total joy to drink. The anniversary party quickly became one of those Napa Valley events where I found myself swallowing wines, not spitting them – they were just too good! 91 points.

1997 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a 3 liter bottle
Bring on the drinking hordes this bottle can handle ‘em all! The wine has a rich, purple color like the robes of Plantagenet kings on the nose and palate there are spices, cedar, herbs, vanilla, and a harmonious integration of wood and fruit. The wine has a really long finish, probably influenced by the addition of up to 6 percent Cabernet Franc, which is grown on the estate and which is added every vintage to between 4 and 6 percent of the final blend. 93 points.

2000 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Made and poured by Rosemary Cakebread, this vintage Cab was for me, far and away, the single best wine of the party. Even better than the 1997, also made by Rosemary. My tasting notes include the word ‘juicy’ a number of times, each of them underlined for emphasis. Lots of up-front fruit, a gorgeous harmony of fruit and wood. The wine has a poetic mouthfeel, bordering on seductive. Oh how I loved this wine! 94 points.

2004 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
As you might expect, this young wine is a purple tooth-stainer. Even so, it has early balance and a sort of precocious elegance. Lots of luscious fruit flavors, including black currant. 93 points.

2004 Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon
Until estate vines reach maturity (about 9 years of age), the winemaking philosophy at Spottswoode has been to bottle younger fruit under a second label – Lyndenhurst, named for one of the incarnations of the estate around 1910.
Lyndenhurst Cabs are always 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon no Cabernet Franc is added to spice up the wine. This is a rich, syrupy thick, brilliantly concentrated, cherry-dominated wine, providing a neat, sweet, juicy swallow. 92 points.

For anyone wishing to visit Spottswoode, tours are given Tuesday through Friday at 10 sharp on a by-appointment-only basis. To book, call 707-963-0134 between 9 and 4 daily, or email [email protected] The winery is closed weekends and major holidays.

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery is at 1902 Madrona Ave., St. Helena.


Napaman.com


The magnificent Victorian home on Spottswoode Estate, St. Helena, captured in a photo-collage, which I made five years ago.


First, a disclaimer: I am a Spottswoodean at heart, have been on the mailing list of this majestic, time-tested winery since moving to Napa Valley ten years ago. So anything I say is colored by my admiration for what the Novak family has achieved and for the elegant, balanced Cabernets, which they produce. Amen.

As one of the winery’s long time customers, and not as a working journalist, I was invited this past weekend to the winery’s Major, Major, Event of the Century. Make that its Major, Major Event of the Century-And-A-Quarter – to mark 125 years that the estate has been around and to celebrate the wines and hard work of the Novaks, who have farmed the land for the past 25 years.

Today, we know Spottswoode Estate as a family-owned vineyard and winery. But it’s always had a homey feel, right from the start. Exactly 125 years ago, German immigrant George Schonewald landed in the valley and bought 31 acres in the sleepy town (then and now!) of St. Helena, planting 17 of them with wine grapes.


At the center of the estate is the Victorian home, built by George Schonewald in 1882.


For his home, Schonewald constructed a beautiful Victorian dwelling in the Colonial Revival manner with Queen Anne features. He also planted four acres of formal garden and christened the property ‘Esmeralda,’ according to Beth Novak Milliken in a book called Spottswoode, 125 Years, which she and her family just published to celebrate the heritage of the property.

Through a succession of owners, ‘Esmeralda’ became ‘Stonehurst,’ which became ‘Lyndenhurst,’ and then, finally, under the ownership of Mrs. Albert Spotts, in 1910, the property became known as ‘Spottswoode.’ How English, how charming, how long lasting.


Mary Weber Novak, CEO of Spottswoode.

Jack, a doctor, and Mary Novak moved to St. Helena in 1972 from San Diego. At 40, Jack wanted a change in life, wanted to get into farming and to raise his family in a rural setting. Jack knew little about wine and even less about growing grapes.

Spottswoode was ideal for a family of seven it had the large Victorian manse, and lots of land for the kids on which to run around.

When Jack died of a heart attack at the age of 44, in 1977, Mary grabbed hold of the family reins, nurturing her children while nourishing her vines. With Tony Soter on board as winemaker, the family produced its first Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon in 1982, one hundred years after the estate’s founding.


Beth Novak Milliken, president of Spottswoode.

Today, two of Mary’s daughters, Beth and Lindy, work for the winery. The family mantra is simple: they are committed to producing wines that faithfully reflect their grape origins. And let it be known – they seem to have a magic touch, because nearly every vintage of Spottswoode Cabernet that I have tasted exhibits uncommonly familiar elegance, finesse and balance.

In 1985, winemaker Soter (who has gone on to a string of wine-making successes) proposed that Spottswoode should start to farm organically. In 1990, the winery earned its ‘Big O’ certification -- Organic.

Speaking of winemakers, in 25 years, there have only been four here. Following Tony Soter were Pam Starr, Rosemary Cakebread and today, Jennifer Williams.


Rosemary Cakebread, former winemaker at Spottswoode and now independent consulting winemaker to the property. She was on hand Saturday to pour one of the wines she made, the exceptional 2000 Spottswoode Estate Cab, easily a 94-point wine.


On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Estate, as well as the 25th anniversary of the Novaks’ Estate Cabernet, the family hit the winery library, pulling out some stunning older Cabs for their ardent supporters – the folks on their mailing list – and neighboring winemakers. All gathered on the front lawn of Spottswoode, under a hot sun.



Two of the guests were Molly and Donn Chappellet who, in 1967, built the second new winery in Napa Valley (after Bob Mondavi) since World War II. Their early Chappellet Cabs are among the best ever made in America using the search engine on the right-hand column, find the napaman.com story about the 1969 Chappellet -- awesome!


Wines poured and tasted at the Spottswoode 25 Year Wine Anniversary:

2006 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc
A voluptuous, rich, ripe, almost syrupy Sauvignon Blanc with lingering notes that suggest peach and apple pie. Sixty-five percent of the fruit comes from Napa Valley, the remainder from Sonoma County. A slightly hot wine, at over 14.1 percent alcohol. 90 points.

1989 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a magnum
Made by Tony Soter, this wine is now fully mature, displaying signs of mushroom, earth and rusty fruit, although there is still some bright fruit present at mid-palate. Drink up if you still have some in your cellar. 91 points.

1992 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Tending toward maturity, this delicious beverage displays lots of dark fruit, and some earthy bottom notes like all the other Cabs poured for the party, this one is elegant, balanced, a total joy to drink. The anniversary party quickly became one of those Napa Valley events where I found myself swallowing wines, not spitting them – they were just too good! 91 points.

1997 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a 3 liter bottle
Bring on the drinking hordes this bottle can handle ‘em all! The wine has a rich, purple color like the robes of Plantagenet kings on the nose and palate there are spices, cedar, herbs, vanilla, and a harmonious integration of wood and fruit. The wine has a really long finish, probably influenced by the addition of up to 6 percent Cabernet Franc, which is grown on the estate and which is added every vintage to between 4 and 6 percent of the final blend. 93 points.

2000 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Made and poured by Rosemary Cakebread, this vintage Cab was for me, far and away, the single best wine of the party. Even better than the 1997, also made by Rosemary. My tasting notes include the word ‘juicy’ a number of times, each of them underlined for emphasis. Lots of up-front fruit, a gorgeous harmony of fruit and wood. The wine has a poetic mouthfeel, bordering on seductive. Oh how I loved this wine! 94 points.

2004 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
As you might expect, this young wine is a purple tooth-stainer. Even so, it has early balance and a sort of precocious elegance. Lots of luscious fruit flavors, including black currant. 93 points.

2004 Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon
Until estate vines reach maturity (about 9 years of age), the winemaking philosophy at Spottswoode has been to bottle younger fruit under a second label – Lyndenhurst, named for one of the incarnations of the estate around 1910.
Lyndenhurst Cabs are always 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon no Cabernet Franc is added to spice up the wine. This is a rich, syrupy thick, brilliantly concentrated, cherry-dominated wine, providing a neat, sweet, juicy swallow. 92 points.

For anyone wishing to visit Spottswoode, tours are given Tuesday through Friday at 10 sharp on a by-appointment-only basis. To book, call 707-963-0134 between 9 and 4 daily, or email [email protected] The winery is closed weekends and major holidays.

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery is at 1902 Madrona Ave., St. Helena.


Napaman.com


The magnificent Victorian home on Spottswoode Estate, St. Helena, captured in a photo-collage, which I made five years ago.


First, a disclaimer: I am a Spottswoodean at heart, have been on the mailing list of this majestic, time-tested winery since moving to Napa Valley ten years ago. So anything I say is colored by my admiration for what the Novak family has achieved and for the elegant, balanced Cabernets, which they produce. Amen.

As one of the winery’s long time customers, and not as a working journalist, I was invited this past weekend to the winery’s Major, Major, Event of the Century. Make that its Major, Major Event of the Century-And-A-Quarter – to mark 125 years that the estate has been around and to celebrate the wines and hard work of the Novaks, who have farmed the land for the past 25 years.

Today, we know Spottswoode Estate as a family-owned vineyard and winery. But it’s always had a homey feel, right from the start. Exactly 125 years ago, German immigrant George Schonewald landed in the valley and bought 31 acres in the sleepy town (then and now!) of St. Helena, planting 17 of them with wine grapes.


At the center of the estate is the Victorian home, built by George Schonewald in 1882.


For his home, Schonewald constructed a beautiful Victorian dwelling in the Colonial Revival manner with Queen Anne features. He also planted four acres of formal garden and christened the property ‘Esmeralda,’ according to Beth Novak Milliken in a book called Spottswoode, 125 Years, which she and her family just published to celebrate the heritage of the property.

Through a succession of owners, ‘Esmeralda’ became ‘Stonehurst,’ which became ‘Lyndenhurst,’ and then, finally, under the ownership of Mrs. Albert Spotts, in 1910, the property became known as ‘Spottswoode.’ How English, how charming, how long lasting.


Mary Weber Novak, CEO of Spottswoode.

Jack, a doctor, and Mary Novak moved to St. Helena in 1972 from San Diego. At 40, Jack wanted a change in life, wanted to get into farming and to raise his family in a rural setting. Jack knew little about wine and even less about growing grapes.

Spottswoode was ideal for a family of seven it had the large Victorian manse, and lots of land for the kids on which to run around.

When Jack died of a heart attack at the age of 44, in 1977, Mary grabbed hold of the family reins, nurturing her children while nourishing her vines. With Tony Soter on board as winemaker, the family produced its first Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon in 1982, one hundred years after the estate’s founding.


Beth Novak Milliken, president of Spottswoode.

Today, two of Mary’s daughters, Beth and Lindy, work for the winery. The family mantra is simple: they are committed to producing wines that faithfully reflect their grape origins. And let it be known – they seem to have a magic touch, because nearly every vintage of Spottswoode Cabernet that I have tasted exhibits uncommonly familiar elegance, finesse and balance.

In 1985, winemaker Soter (who has gone on to a string of wine-making successes) proposed that Spottswoode should start to farm organically. In 1990, the winery earned its ‘Big O’ certification -- Organic.

Speaking of winemakers, in 25 years, there have only been four here. Following Tony Soter were Pam Starr, Rosemary Cakebread and today, Jennifer Williams.


Rosemary Cakebread, former winemaker at Spottswoode and now independent consulting winemaker to the property. She was on hand Saturday to pour one of the wines she made, the exceptional 2000 Spottswoode Estate Cab, easily a 94-point wine.


On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Estate, as well as the 25th anniversary of the Novaks’ Estate Cabernet, the family hit the winery library, pulling out some stunning older Cabs for their ardent supporters – the folks on their mailing list – and neighboring winemakers. All gathered on the front lawn of Spottswoode, under a hot sun.



Two of the guests were Molly and Donn Chappellet who, in 1967, built the second new winery in Napa Valley (after Bob Mondavi) since World War II. Their early Chappellet Cabs are among the best ever made in America using the search engine on the right-hand column, find the napaman.com story about the 1969 Chappellet -- awesome!


Wines poured and tasted at the Spottswoode 25 Year Wine Anniversary:

2006 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc
A voluptuous, rich, ripe, almost syrupy Sauvignon Blanc with lingering notes that suggest peach and apple pie. Sixty-five percent of the fruit comes from Napa Valley, the remainder from Sonoma County. A slightly hot wine, at over 14.1 percent alcohol. 90 points.

1989 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a magnum
Made by Tony Soter, this wine is now fully mature, displaying signs of mushroom, earth and rusty fruit, although there is still some bright fruit present at mid-palate. Drink up if you still have some in your cellar. 91 points.

1992 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Tending toward maturity, this delicious beverage displays lots of dark fruit, and some earthy bottom notes like all the other Cabs poured for the party, this one is elegant, balanced, a total joy to drink. The anniversary party quickly became one of those Napa Valley events where I found myself swallowing wines, not spitting them – they were just too good! 91 points.

1997 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a 3 liter bottle
Bring on the drinking hordes this bottle can handle ‘em all! The wine has a rich, purple color like the robes of Plantagenet kings on the nose and palate there are spices, cedar, herbs, vanilla, and a harmonious integration of wood and fruit. The wine has a really long finish, probably influenced by the addition of up to 6 percent Cabernet Franc, which is grown on the estate and which is added every vintage to between 4 and 6 percent of the final blend. 93 points.

2000 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Made and poured by Rosemary Cakebread, this vintage Cab was for me, far and away, the single best wine of the party. Even better than the 1997, also made by Rosemary. My tasting notes include the word ‘juicy’ a number of times, each of them underlined for emphasis. Lots of up-front fruit, a gorgeous harmony of fruit and wood. The wine has a poetic mouthfeel, bordering on seductive. Oh how I loved this wine! 94 points.

2004 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
As you might expect, this young wine is a purple tooth-stainer. Even so, it has early balance and a sort of precocious elegance. Lots of luscious fruit flavors, including black currant. 93 points.

2004 Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon
Until estate vines reach maturity (about 9 years of age), the winemaking philosophy at Spottswoode has been to bottle younger fruit under a second label – Lyndenhurst, named for one of the incarnations of the estate around 1910.
Lyndenhurst Cabs are always 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon no Cabernet Franc is added to spice up the wine. This is a rich, syrupy thick, brilliantly concentrated, cherry-dominated wine, providing a neat, sweet, juicy swallow. 92 points.

For anyone wishing to visit Spottswoode, tours are given Tuesday through Friday at 10 sharp on a by-appointment-only basis. To book, call 707-963-0134 between 9 and 4 daily, or email [email protected] The winery is closed weekends and major holidays.

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery is at 1902 Madrona Ave., St. Helena.


Napaman.com


The magnificent Victorian home on Spottswoode Estate, St. Helena, captured in a photo-collage, which I made five years ago.


First, a disclaimer: I am a Spottswoodean at heart, have been on the mailing list of this majestic, time-tested winery since moving to Napa Valley ten years ago. So anything I say is colored by my admiration for what the Novak family has achieved and for the elegant, balanced Cabernets, which they produce. Amen.

As one of the winery’s long time customers, and not as a working journalist, I was invited this past weekend to the winery’s Major, Major, Event of the Century. Make that its Major, Major Event of the Century-And-A-Quarter – to mark 125 years that the estate has been around and to celebrate the wines and hard work of the Novaks, who have farmed the land for the past 25 years.

Today, we know Spottswoode Estate as a family-owned vineyard and winery. But it’s always had a homey feel, right from the start. Exactly 125 years ago, German immigrant George Schonewald landed in the valley and bought 31 acres in the sleepy town (then and now!) of St. Helena, planting 17 of them with wine grapes.


At the center of the estate is the Victorian home, built by George Schonewald in 1882.


For his home, Schonewald constructed a beautiful Victorian dwelling in the Colonial Revival manner with Queen Anne features. He also planted four acres of formal garden and christened the property ‘Esmeralda,’ according to Beth Novak Milliken in a book called Spottswoode, 125 Years, which she and her family just published to celebrate the heritage of the property.

Through a succession of owners, ‘Esmeralda’ became ‘Stonehurst,’ which became ‘Lyndenhurst,’ and then, finally, under the ownership of Mrs. Albert Spotts, in 1910, the property became known as ‘Spottswoode.’ How English, how charming, how long lasting.


Mary Weber Novak, CEO of Spottswoode.

Jack, a doctor, and Mary Novak moved to St. Helena in 1972 from San Diego. At 40, Jack wanted a change in life, wanted to get into farming and to raise his family in a rural setting. Jack knew little about wine and even less about growing grapes.

Spottswoode was ideal for a family of seven it had the large Victorian manse, and lots of land for the kids on which to run around.

When Jack died of a heart attack at the age of 44, in 1977, Mary grabbed hold of the family reins, nurturing her children while nourishing her vines. With Tony Soter on board as winemaker, the family produced its first Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon in 1982, one hundred years after the estate’s founding.


Beth Novak Milliken, president of Spottswoode.

Today, two of Mary’s daughters, Beth and Lindy, work for the winery. The family mantra is simple: they are committed to producing wines that faithfully reflect their grape origins. And let it be known – they seem to have a magic touch, because nearly every vintage of Spottswoode Cabernet that I have tasted exhibits uncommonly familiar elegance, finesse and balance.

In 1985, winemaker Soter (who has gone on to a string of wine-making successes) proposed that Spottswoode should start to farm organically. In 1990, the winery earned its ‘Big O’ certification -- Organic.

Speaking of winemakers, in 25 years, there have only been four here. Following Tony Soter were Pam Starr, Rosemary Cakebread and today, Jennifer Williams.


Rosemary Cakebread, former winemaker at Spottswoode and now independent consulting winemaker to the property. She was on hand Saturday to pour one of the wines she made, the exceptional 2000 Spottswoode Estate Cab, easily a 94-point wine.


On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Estate, as well as the 25th anniversary of the Novaks’ Estate Cabernet, the family hit the winery library, pulling out some stunning older Cabs for their ardent supporters – the folks on their mailing list – and neighboring winemakers. All gathered on the front lawn of Spottswoode, under a hot sun.



Two of the guests were Molly and Donn Chappellet who, in 1967, built the second new winery in Napa Valley (after Bob Mondavi) since World War II. Their early Chappellet Cabs are among the best ever made in America using the search engine on the right-hand column, find the napaman.com story about the 1969 Chappellet -- awesome!


Wines poured and tasted at the Spottswoode 25 Year Wine Anniversary:

2006 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc
A voluptuous, rich, ripe, almost syrupy Sauvignon Blanc with lingering notes that suggest peach and apple pie. Sixty-five percent of the fruit comes from Napa Valley, the remainder from Sonoma County. A slightly hot wine, at over 14.1 percent alcohol. 90 points.

1989 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a magnum
Made by Tony Soter, this wine is now fully mature, displaying signs of mushroom, earth and rusty fruit, although there is still some bright fruit present at mid-palate. Drink up if you still have some in your cellar. 91 points.

1992 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Tending toward maturity, this delicious beverage displays lots of dark fruit, and some earthy bottom notes like all the other Cabs poured for the party, this one is elegant, balanced, a total joy to drink. The anniversary party quickly became one of those Napa Valley events where I found myself swallowing wines, not spitting them – they were just too good! 91 points.

1997 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a 3 liter bottle
Bring on the drinking hordes this bottle can handle ‘em all! The wine has a rich, purple color like the robes of Plantagenet kings on the nose and palate there are spices, cedar, herbs, vanilla, and a harmonious integration of wood and fruit. The wine has a really long finish, probably influenced by the addition of up to 6 percent Cabernet Franc, which is grown on the estate and which is added every vintage to between 4 and 6 percent of the final blend. 93 points.

2000 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Made and poured by Rosemary Cakebread, this vintage Cab was for me, far and away, the single best wine of the party. Even better than the 1997, also made by Rosemary. My tasting notes include the word ‘juicy’ a number of times, each of them underlined for emphasis. Lots of up-front fruit, a gorgeous harmony of fruit and wood. The wine has a poetic mouthfeel, bordering on seductive. Oh how I loved this wine! 94 points.

2004 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
As you might expect, this young wine is a purple tooth-stainer. Even so, it has early balance and a sort of precocious elegance. Lots of luscious fruit flavors, including black currant. 93 points.

2004 Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon
Until estate vines reach maturity (about 9 years of age), the winemaking philosophy at Spottswoode has been to bottle younger fruit under a second label – Lyndenhurst, named for one of the incarnations of the estate around 1910.
Lyndenhurst Cabs are always 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon no Cabernet Franc is added to spice up the wine. This is a rich, syrupy thick, brilliantly concentrated, cherry-dominated wine, providing a neat, sweet, juicy swallow. 92 points.

For anyone wishing to visit Spottswoode, tours are given Tuesday through Friday at 10 sharp on a by-appointment-only basis. To book, call 707-963-0134 between 9 and 4 daily, or email [email protected] The winery is closed weekends and major holidays.

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery is at 1902 Madrona Ave., St. Helena.


Napaman.com


The magnificent Victorian home on Spottswoode Estate, St. Helena, captured in a photo-collage, which I made five years ago.


First, a disclaimer: I am a Spottswoodean at heart, have been on the mailing list of this majestic, time-tested winery since moving to Napa Valley ten years ago. So anything I say is colored by my admiration for what the Novak family has achieved and for the elegant, balanced Cabernets, which they produce. Amen.

As one of the winery’s long time customers, and not as a working journalist, I was invited this past weekend to the winery’s Major, Major, Event of the Century. Make that its Major, Major Event of the Century-And-A-Quarter – to mark 125 years that the estate has been around and to celebrate the wines and hard work of the Novaks, who have farmed the land for the past 25 years.

Today, we know Spottswoode Estate as a family-owned vineyard and winery. But it’s always had a homey feel, right from the start. Exactly 125 years ago, German immigrant George Schonewald landed in the valley and bought 31 acres in the sleepy town (then and now!) of St. Helena, planting 17 of them with wine grapes.


At the center of the estate is the Victorian home, built by George Schonewald in 1882.


For his home, Schonewald constructed a beautiful Victorian dwelling in the Colonial Revival manner with Queen Anne features. He also planted four acres of formal garden and christened the property ‘Esmeralda,’ according to Beth Novak Milliken in a book called Spottswoode, 125 Years, which she and her family just published to celebrate the heritage of the property.

Through a succession of owners, ‘Esmeralda’ became ‘Stonehurst,’ which became ‘Lyndenhurst,’ and then, finally, under the ownership of Mrs. Albert Spotts, in 1910, the property became known as ‘Spottswoode.’ How English, how charming, how long lasting.


Mary Weber Novak, CEO of Spottswoode.

Jack, a doctor, and Mary Novak moved to St. Helena in 1972 from San Diego. At 40, Jack wanted a change in life, wanted to get into farming and to raise his family in a rural setting. Jack knew little about wine and even less about growing grapes.

Spottswoode was ideal for a family of seven it had the large Victorian manse, and lots of land for the kids on which to run around.

When Jack died of a heart attack at the age of 44, in 1977, Mary grabbed hold of the family reins, nurturing her children while nourishing her vines. With Tony Soter on board as winemaker, the family produced its first Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon in 1982, one hundred years after the estate’s founding.


Beth Novak Milliken, president of Spottswoode.

Today, two of Mary’s daughters, Beth and Lindy, work for the winery. The family mantra is simple: they are committed to producing wines that faithfully reflect their grape origins. And let it be known – they seem to have a magic touch, because nearly every vintage of Spottswoode Cabernet that I have tasted exhibits uncommonly familiar elegance, finesse and balance.

In 1985, winemaker Soter (who has gone on to a string of wine-making successes) proposed that Spottswoode should start to farm organically. In 1990, the winery earned its ‘Big O’ certification -- Organic.

Speaking of winemakers, in 25 years, there have only been four here. Following Tony Soter were Pam Starr, Rosemary Cakebread and today, Jennifer Williams.


Rosemary Cakebread, former winemaker at Spottswoode and now independent consulting winemaker to the property. She was on hand Saturday to pour one of the wines she made, the exceptional 2000 Spottswoode Estate Cab, easily a 94-point wine.


On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Estate, as well as the 25th anniversary of the Novaks’ Estate Cabernet, the family hit the winery library, pulling out some stunning older Cabs for their ardent supporters – the folks on their mailing list – and neighboring winemakers. All gathered on the front lawn of Spottswoode, under a hot sun.



Two of the guests were Molly and Donn Chappellet who, in 1967, built the second new winery in Napa Valley (after Bob Mondavi) since World War II. Their early Chappellet Cabs are among the best ever made in America using the search engine on the right-hand column, find the napaman.com story about the 1969 Chappellet -- awesome!


Wines poured and tasted at the Spottswoode 25 Year Wine Anniversary:

2006 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc
A voluptuous, rich, ripe, almost syrupy Sauvignon Blanc with lingering notes that suggest peach and apple pie. Sixty-five percent of the fruit comes from Napa Valley, the remainder from Sonoma County. A slightly hot wine, at over 14.1 percent alcohol. 90 points.

1989 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a magnum
Made by Tony Soter, this wine is now fully mature, displaying signs of mushroom, earth and rusty fruit, although there is still some bright fruit present at mid-palate. Drink up if you still have some in your cellar. 91 points.

1992 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Tending toward maturity, this delicious beverage displays lots of dark fruit, and some earthy bottom notes like all the other Cabs poured for the party, this one is elegant, balanced, a total joy to drink. The anniversary party quickly became one of those Napa Valley events where I found myself swallowing wines, not spitting them – they were just too good! 91 points.

1997 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a 3 liter bottle
Bring on the drinking hordes this bottle can handle ‘em all! The wine has a rich, purple color like the robes of Plantagenet kings on the nose and palate there are spices, cedar, herbs, vanilla, and a harmonious integration of wood and fruit. The wine has a really long finish, probably influenced by the addition of up to 6 percent Cabernet Franc, which is grown on the estate and which is added every vintage to between 4 and 6 percent of the final blend. 93 points.

2000 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Made and poured by Rosemary Cakebread, this vintage Cab was for me, far and away, the single best wine of the party. Even better than the 1997, also made by Rosemary. My tasting notes include the word ‘juicy’ a number of times, each of them underlined for emphasis. Lots of up-front fruit, a gorgeous harmony of fruit and wood. The wine has a poetic mouthfeel, bordering on seductive. Oh how I loved this wine! 94 points.

2004 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
As you might expect, this young wine is a purple tooth-stainer. Even so, it has early balance and a sort of precocious elegance. Lots of luscious fruit flavors, including black currant. 93 points.

2004 Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon
Until estate vines reach maturity (about 9 years of age), the winemaking philosophy at Spottswoode has been to bottle younger fruit under a second label – Lyndenhurst, named for one of the incarnations of the estate around 1910.
Lyndenhurst Cabs are always 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon no Cabernet Franc is added to spice up the wine. This is a rich, syrupy thick, brilliantly concentrated, cherry-dominated wine, providing a neat, sweet, juicy swallow. 92 points.

For anyone wishing to visit Spottswoode, tours are given Tuesday through Friday at 10 sharp on a by-appointment-only basis. To book, call 707-963-0134 between 9 and 4 daily, or email [email protected] The winery is closed weekends and major holidays.

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery is at 1902 Madrona Ave., St. Helena.


Napaman.com


The magnificent Victorian home on Spottswoode Estate, St. Helena, captured in a photo-collage, which I made five years ago.


First, a disclaimer: I am a Spottswoodean at heart, have been on the mailing list of this majestic, time-tested winery since moving to Napa Valley ten years ago. So anything I say is colored by my admiration for what the Novak family has achieved and for the elegant, balanced Cabernets, which they produce. Amen.

As one of the winery’s long time customers, and not as a working journalist, I was invited this past weekend to the winery’s Major, Major, Event of the Century. Make that its Major, Major Event of the Century-And-A-Quarter – to mark 125 years that the estate has been around and to celebrate the wines and hard work of the Novaks, who have farmed the land for the past 25 years.

Today, we know Spottswoode Estate as a family-owned vineyard and winery. But it’s always had a homey feel, right from the start. Exactly 125 years ago, German immigrant George Schonewald landed in the valley and bought 31 acres in the sleepy town (then and now!) of St. Helena, planting 17 of them with wine grapes.


At the center of the estate is the Victorian home, built by George Schonewald in 1882.


For his home, Schonewald constructed a beautiful Victorian dwelling in the Colonial Revival manner with Queen Anne features. He also planted four acres of formal garden and christened the property ‘Esmeralda,’ according to Beth Novak Milliken in a book called Spottswoode, 125 Years, which she and her family just published to celebrate the heritage of the property.

Through a succession of owners, ‘Esmeralda’ became ‘Stonehurst,’ which became ‘Lyndenhurst,’ and then, finally, under the ownership of Mrs. Albert Spotts, in 1910, the property became known as ‘Spottswoode.’ How English, how charming, how long lasting.


Mary Weber Novak, CEO of Spottswoode.

Jack, a doctor, and Mary Novak moved to St. Helena in 1972 from San Diego. At 40, Jack wanted a change in life, wanted to get into farming and to raise his family in a rural setting. Jack knew little about wine and even less about growing grapes.

Spottswoode was ideal for a family of seven it had the large Victorian manse, and lots of land for the kids on which to run around.

When Jack died of a heart attack at the age of 44, in 1977, Mary grabbed hold of the family reins, nurturing her children while nourishing her vines. With Tony Soter on board as winemaker, the family produced its first Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon in 1982, one hundred years after the estate’s founding.


Beth Novak Milliken, president of Spottswoode.

Today, two of Mary’s daughters, Beth and Lindy, work for the winery. The family mantra is simple: they are committed to producing wines that faithfully reflect their grape origins. And let it be known – they seem to have a magic touch, because nearly every vintage of Spottswoode Cabernet that I have tasted exhibits uncommonly familiar elegance, finesse and balance.

In 1985, winemaker Soter (who has gone on to a string of wine-making successes) proposed that Spottswoode should start to farm organically. In 1990, the winery earned its ‘Big O’ certification -- Organic.

Speaking of winemakers, in 25 years, there have only been four here. Following Tony Soter were Pam Starr, Rosemary Cakebread and today, Jennifer Williams.


Rosemary Cakebread, former winemaker at Spottswoode and now independent consulting winemaker to the property. She was on hand Saturday to pour one of the wines she made, the exceptional 2000 Spottswoode Estate Cab, easily a 94-point wine.


On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Estate, as well as the 25th anniversary of the Novaks’ Estate Cabernet, the family hit the winery library, pulling out some stunning older Cabs for their ardent supporters – the folks on their mailing list – and neighboring winemakers. All gathered on the front lawn of Spottswoode, under a hot sun.



Two of the guests were Molly and Donn Chappellet who, in 1967, built the second new winery in Napa Valley (after Bob Mondavi) since World War II. Their early Chappellet Cabs are among the best ever made in America using the search engine on the right-hand column, find the napaman.com story about the 1969 Chappellet -- awesome!


Wines poured and tasted at the Spottswoode 25 Year Wine Anniversary:

2006 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc
A voluptuous, rich, ripe, almost syrupy Sauvignon Blanc with lingering notes that suggest peach and apple pie. Sixty-five percent of the fruit comes from Napa Valley, the remainder from Sonoma County. A slightly hot wine, at over 14.1 percent alcohol. 90 points.

1989 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a magnum
Made by Tony Soter, this wine is now fully mature, displaying signs of mushroom, earth and rusty fruit, although there is still some bright fruit present at mid-palate. Drink up if you still have some in your cellar. 91 points.

1992 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Tending toward maturity, this delicious beverage displays lots of dark fruit, and some earthy bottom notes like all the other Cabs poured for the party, this one is elegant, balanced, a total joy to drink. The anniversary party quickly became one of those Napa Valley events where I found myself swallowing wines, not spitting them – they were just too good! 91 points.

1997 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, poured from a 3 liter bottle
Bring on the drinking hordes this bottle can handle ‘em all! The wine has a rich, purple color like the robes of Plantagenet kings on the nose and palate there are spices, cedar, herbs, vanilla, and a harmonious integration of wood and fruit. The wine has a really long finish, probably influenced by the addition of up to 6 percent Cabernet Franc, which is grown on the estate and which is added every vintage to between 4 and 6 percent of the final blend. 93 points.

2000 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Made and poured by Rosemary Cakebread, this vintage Cab was for me, far and away, the single best wine of the party. Even better than the 1997, also made by Rosemary. My tasting notes include the word ‘juicy’ a number of times, each of them underlined for emphasis. Lots of up-front fruit, a gorgeous harmony of fruit and wood. The wine has a poetic mouthfeel, bordering on seductive. Oh how I loved this wine! 94 points.

2004 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
As you might expect, this young wine is a purple tooth-stainer. Even so, it has early balance and a sort of precocious elegance. Lots of luscious fruit flavors, including black currant. 93 points.

2004 Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon
Until estate vines reach maturity (about 9 years of age), the winemaking philosophy at Spottswoode has been to bottle younger fruit under a second label – Lyndenhurst, named for one of the incarnations of the estate around 1910.
Lyndenhurst Cabs are always 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon no Cabernet Franc is added to spice up the wine. This is a rich, syrupy thick, brilliantly concentrated, cherry-dominated wine, providing a neat, sweet, juicy swallow. 92 points.

For anyone wishing to visit Spottswoode, tours are given Tuesday through Friday at 10 sharp on a by-appointment-only basis. To book, call 707-963-0134 between 9 and 4 daily, or email [email protected] The winery is closed weekends and major holidays.

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery is at 1902 Madrona Ave., St. Helena.


Watch the video: The Vintage Estate. House Wedding Napa Valley - Yountville, CA - Lisa u0026 Casey Highlight Video (July 2022).


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