Del Dotto Vineyards
As a rule, we believe in our own taste, not what we have been told is "the best" or "must have". We went to a few vineyards like that and decided they were not what they were touted as being.
This morning we went to Del Dotto Vineyards. Wow. We have been spoiled by drinking very old vines the past few years, mostly Italian and now find the California wines are young in comparison. Yet, Del Dotto was impressive for a variety of reasons and steered us back to the California wines.
We took the "cave" tour. There is a large underground, hand made, cave where they keep their wines. I believe there are only 2 others like that in Napa, one being Schramsberg, which is where they make sparkling wine ( I highly recommend going there if you are in the area). The tour takes about 1 and 1/2 hours. You get to taste the wines from a variety of different years, different oak barrels (French, Missouri, Virginia and Pennsylvania oaks – and some that are mixed). We learned all about the process, the grapes, the aging etc. It was quite impressive. The most impressive was that this vineyard only puts out 7000 cases a year and the owner does it more as a passion than a money making venture.
Luck was with us today. David Del Dotto, the owner, was down in the caves with the barrel maker. He joined our group, 4 couples, and started talking about his wines and how much he loves them. He tapped into the ’04 Cabernets that our guide wasn’t supposed to touch. David is passionate and full of life. He just loves the wine and what he does. The wines were consistently delicious no matter what year or which barrel. That is what was amazing.
For us, it was a treat. We have always enjoyed getting to know the face behind the product. The majority of our art that we have collected, we know the artists. When we were in South Africa, we got to know one of the vintners who now emails with us. We ordered enough wine at Del Dotto that we could actually stay on the property next time we are there. I would bet that having a dinner and drink with David Del Dotto would be one of the all time "food and wine" experiences.
The wines we bought are coming in September. I’m looking forward to having a bunch of friends over and cracking open those delicious bottles.