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Michael Baldacci
 
March 4, 2015 | Michael Baldacci

Bracketology

 

March Madness, a term coined to describe the only emotion that a 64 team bracket can bring upon us as individuals. Each year, every team's record is reset to 0-0, with just one loss eliminating a team from competition. Every year, there are the teams that have been defined as the ‘favorite’, but inevitably there is the Cinderella Story that captures the hearts and minds of EVERYONE. Whether it is the Stephen Curry lead Davidson team that as a 10 seed went all the way to the Elite 8, or my personal favorite the 1990 LMU (my alma-mater, GO LIONS!) team that persevered through the sudden and tragic passing of their star player Hank Gathers, to make it all the way to the Elite 8!

 

 

This year Baldacci Family Vineyards will be putting our own spin on March Madness. We want to see which restaurants our fans like the most in the Napa Valley. The first round brackets will determine which restaurants from each of the 4 towns; Calistoga, St. Helena, Yountville and Napa, will move on to the final championship.

The Yountville bracket will consist of the amazingly fresh, and socially friendly foods of Lucy’s, the classic Italian dishes of famed Chef Michael Chiarello’s Bottega, a long standing favorite, Mustard’s Grill, with their famous pork chop, and the new kid on the block, Redd Wood, which is known for their artisan pizzas and amazing pasta dishes.

Napa will put forth some tough competitors with Oenotri dishing out its traditional southern Italian cuisine, ZUZU and their amazing Spanish tapas, longstanding restaurant La Toque, known for their foie gras, and finally Bounty Hunter, with their fantastic smoked meats and killer wine list!

St. Helena, our neighbors to the north, will have Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, a long standing local hot spot, my personal favorite, Farmstead, with Chef Stephen Barber at the helm serving up savory meats, poultry and fish, night after night, Cook with its simple yet elegantly styled food, and last but certainly not least, Market St. Helena, truly a locals' and tourists' favorite, featuring home-style meals including their delicious fried chicken.

We didn’t forget about Calistoga! This northern most town will be represented by Solbar, JoLe, Barolo, and my personal pick as the upset of the tournament, Busters Original BBQ...

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see which restaurants are slated against each other that day… A like gets you a vote for one restaurant while a comment will get you a vote for another… May the best restaurant win!!

Michael Baldacci
 
February 24, 2015 | Michael Baldacci

Premiere Napa Valley 2015 Wrap-Up

 

Premiere Napa Valley just wrapped up, and here is the brief breakdown of the week full of festivities, and the results of the auction.

Premiere Napa Valley, or “Premiere” as it is often referred to by vintners is an auction that is put on by our trade association the Napa Valley Vintners. The NVV’s mission statement is “to promote, protect, and enhance the Napa Valley appellation, our wines, vintners and community.” The auction raises funds for their annual budget, and it is a memorable week in the Napa Valley that every vintner looks forward to each year.

The auction is Saturday, but the week is full of fun events. As a winery we participated in a couple different ways. On Wednesday night, Kellie and I hosted three young sommeliers, or somms, for dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants Lucy’s. We appreciated the opportunity to pick their brains about trends they are seeing in the industry from the restaurant side. We are happy to report that we are in a good position, as people love to see Napa Valley on the lists, and specifically Stags Leap District.

Thursday and Friday night we poured alongside other vintners and showcased our wines for hundreds of trade members. For vintners this is a great way to build new contacts, continue existing ones and reconnect with old relationships. Trade includes, retailers, distributors and restauranteurs from all over the country, and even a small contingent from China.

Each vintner crafts a unique wine for the auction, they are wines that can only be purchased at the auction. Rolando once again crafted us an amazing wine, taking his favorite barrel of our “Brenda’s Vineyard” collection.

Michael Baldacci & Cyrus Hazzard from Total Wine

Saturday was the big day, with vintner arrivals at 8:30 AM, the tasting before the auction got kicked off promptly at 9:00 AM as anxious members of the trade filled the Culinary Institute of America to try as many of the 225 lots as possible. The wine showed beautifully, and was a perfect representation of our Stags Leap District Estate.

After tasting the wines all morning the auction finally commenced. We successfully wrapped up the event later that afternoon with the NVV raising just over 6 million dollars. Another record year for the vintners, and a success for everyone involved. We could not be more proud of the place we call home. Baldacci is honored to continuously participate in Premiere each year to support our beautiful community.  

 

 

 

Michael Baldacci
 
February 24, 2014 | Michael Baldacci

My Weekend at the 2014 Premiere Napa Valley

2014 Premiere Napa Valley (PNV) just concluded with a record-breaking auction after a week of tastings, events and dinners.  Being a member of the Steering Committee as well as the Stags Leaps District board I wanted to share my “insider’s” perspective on this wild and fun – yet important – annual event.

Premiere Napa Valley has been taking place for the last 18 years bringing together the top media, trade and restaurateurs to the Valley for one week full of NAPA! Wineries donate 5, 10, and 20 case lots of wine uniquely made for the culmination of the PNV: the auction. This serves as a barometer for how the vintage (in this years’ case the much anticipated 2012 vintage) will be received in the market and gives an opportunity for bidders to experience and potentially buy truly one-of-a-kind, ultra small production wines.

My PNV week started on Thursday afternoon where we poured our 2009 Allwin Syrah in a tasting that featured “unique wines of Napa Valley.” The lunch hosted at Trefethen was a part of a weeklong boot camp for twenty handpicked sommeliers from across the country. This group of ‘somms’ was picked from many applicants through the Guild of Sommeliers. I was a little nervous showcasing a personal favorite in front of the firing squad of professional tasters and critics but our Syrah showed beautifully and earned some great praise!

Friday of PNV Week is traditionally known for being able to share Premiere wines with the bidders in a more intimate setting. As in years past we participated in the annual Stags Leap District “House of Cab” tasting hosted by Pine Ridge in their caves. The barrel tasting features wines exclusively found in the Stags Leap District and once again showed that this pocket of the Valley (celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year as an American Viticultural Area) is producing the best wines in Napa.  

Saturday I awoke with great energy and started blasting “Eye of the Tiger:” it’s Game Day! Out of 225 lots I have to stand out and share my excitement about our lot with hundreds of bidders, media professionals and other vintners to make Baldacci Family Vineyards memorable! Our winemaker Rolando created a 5 case lot that was one of the top tasting wines in the room. 9 o’clock sharp the gates opened at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in St. Helena and were soon filled with eager palettes and empty glasses. Myself, our general manager Debi Cali, and my father Thomas Baldacci took turns pouring and sharing our wines as well as tasting some of the other lots that were in the room. Personal highlights for me included trying Rolando’s wine from his winery Mi Sueno and a newer production called Saunter Wines from our very own vineyard manager Josh Clark and acclaimed winemaker Thomas Brown.

The barrel tasting portion lasted until 12:30 and we enjoyed lunch that had been prepared by the students at the CIA. The Greystone restaurant at the CIA is a hidden gem that can be overlooked amongst the amazing restaurants in this valley but I believe offers a unique experience to try foods be prepared by the next generation of great chefs.

At 1:00pm the first lot kicked off the auction and it was a race to the finish from there with 225 lots taking just over three hours to bid through. The bidding was fast and the generosity from the bidders was amazing.  By the time the gavel struck on the last lot the auction had raised an astounding $5.9 million dollars… a new record for PNV!

Yet at the end of all the PNV events, this week serves a great and important purpose in the Napa Valley.  All of the proceeds from the PNV Auction go into our collective vision as vintners to grow and showcase the reputation of the Napa Valley as the world’s premiere wine growing region.  Amongst all of us Napa Valley vintners we enjoy a truly collaborative and cooperative environment aimed at making Napa Valley wines the best in the world, and every year we get to prove that.

Time Posted: Feb 24, 2014 at 4:05 PM
Michael Baldacci
 
January 22, 2014 | Michael Baldacci

Baldacci Family Vineyards: Winner of Overall White Wines in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition!

San Francisco Chronicle Winners

The results are in!

The 2014 SFCWC judging is over with a record number of 5,825 entries from over 1,500 wineries from over 25 states across the country - the largest competition of wines in America! Of the thousands of entries, seven were chosen amongst the best of class, including our very own 2012 Sorelle Chardonnay, taking home the grand prize of Best Overall White Wine!

This is a monumental time for Baldacci Family Vineyards with nothing but a brighter future ahead. If you wish to be the first to hear about our Spring 2014 Release, sign up for our email list in the box at the top.

Check out some of the other medalists from our winery below:

2012 Sorelle Chardonnay - BEST OVERALL WHITE WINE 

“The Achievement of Balance”

It is rare to experience a chardonnay that so delicately blends Old vs. New. Respecting the old world origins of the grape to the new world palette. 2014 SF Chronicle sweepstakes winner, earning best Chardonnay in class and best overall white wine, we believe this is a true expression of the pursuit of balance.

Reserve a shipment of this wine - Join our Reunion Wine Club!

2010 Black Label - GOLD MEDAL

“The Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove”

The 11th release of our Cabernet showcases our vineyard and production practices being single estate married to the distinctiveness of the Stags Leap District.

Reserve a shipment of this wine - Join our Reunion Wine Club!

2011 Elizabeth Pinot Noir - SILVER MEDAL

“Sophisticated and graceful… yet willful”

A grape born in the tradition of full body napa valley wines but attended finishing school in Burgundy, this wine is a Cab lovers Pinot, and will stand its ground against even the wildest of game.

Purchase this wine now!

2010 Fraternity - SILVER MEDAL

“Multiple personalities blended into one”

South, central and north meet in this one bottle. Carneros Merlot and Syrah, Stags Leap Cab, meet Malbec from Pope Valley and create a complex red wine.

Reserve a shipment of this wine - Join our Reunion Wine Club!

2012 Gewürztraminer - BRONZE MEDAL

“Rediscover Germany in Napa”

Versatile and food friendly, a bouquet of lemon rind and green apple this wine is a tremendous experience of what a true dry Gewürztraminer should be. Experience a uniquely German varietal here in the Napa Valley, right from our estate in Carneros.

Reserve a shipment of this wine - Join our Reunion Wine Club!

Visit winejudging.com to buy tickets and visit our table or check out the rest of the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition winners!

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6236 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558
707-944-9261
Info@BaldacciVineyards.com
Open daily from 10AM to 4PM
by prior appointment

 

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