Wines: Red, White, and Sparkling and the wines of the Vangone Estate The Vangone Estate is one of the most important Italian wine estates founded in 1849 in the hills above Piedmont in Northern Italy. It is a large estate with a long history of viticulture, and now is a large holding of 55 hectares of vineyards and 450 hectares of land planted with olive trees. At the moment the winery and vineyard are still owned by the same family. The estate’s best known wine is the Vangone Rosso which has won many awards in Italy and abroad. The red wine is aged in wooden barrels, whereas the white wines are aged in stainless steel tanks. The Vangone Estate gives rose

Vangone Estate is one of the oldest wineries in the country. It has been in the Vangone family since 1798. They make a variety of wine and also do a line of single barrel aged wines. The estate is located in the heart of Rutherford, California, a town with a rich history in wine and agriculture.

I visited the Vangone Estate Winery in the heart of the Barossa Valley, South Australia, this past week. This is a beautiful winery, located just minutes from the historic town of Tanunda, and nestled among the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. It’s nestled in the midst of vibrant vineyards, gracious landscaping, and a scenic setting. The clear skies and bright sunshine lent an air of tranquility, and I felt like I was amidst the rolling hills of “The Lord of the Rings”, as I strolled down the vineyard path.

Vangone Estate. Perhaps one of the most fascinating wineries in all of Napa Valley; we first saw this special place from the top of the hill on the trail above Rector Reservoir, looking east. The vineyard sits on two very rocky plateaus (one lower and one higher) at the foot of Haystack Mountain (1,672 feet above sea level). Haystack is not the highest spot in this part of the Waka Mountains, but it is certainly one of the most visually intriguing. The property is characterized by expansive cliffs, steep slopes and breathtaking views of the Napa Valley and surrounding hills.

This land was purchased in 1993 by Ron Davidowski and his wife Karen after years of searching for properties in the Napa Valley with the intention of building a home and vineyard. At the time, only one other vineyard had been planted in this part of the Napa Valley, and the main vineyard in the immediate area, Stagecoach, may not have even been planted yet. Today, the landscape looks very different; there are several wineries in the nearby hills, including Haystack Vineyard, as well as Soda Canyon Ranch, owned by Silver Oak.

The Vangone Estate is not quite in Oakville, although it is east above Oakville, not quite in Pritchard Hill, and it is outside the geographical boundaries of the Atlas Peak subappellation, a little further east. The Vangone Mansion is a unique and certainly impressive place because it sits directly above Rector Reservoir (Ontville’s main water supply). Although physically close to Napa Valley and the Silverado Trail, access is much more cumbersome, via Soda Canyon and entirely through the fenced-in Soda Ranch.

At the time of purchase, the road was unpaved; with his construction experience, Ron worked with other landowners in the area to pave the road together – and he even added fencing the entire length of the road at Vangone Vineyards.

Ron and Karen’s son Mark, who is a partner in the winery with his wife Patty, is the full owner of the Vangone Estate wine brand. Mark was born at Travis Air Force Base and raised in Northern California. He recalls traveling with his father to Napa Valley in the early 1980s, where he met winemakers like Justin Meyer and Andre Chelischeff. He recalls that these winemakers were attracted by his father’s passion and interest in learning the trade.

During his career, Mark has been involved in a number of ventures, including selling hard drives for IBM and later selling software for a Toronto-based dot-com company. Today he works with winemaker Steve Reynolds and several other partners on the high-end tequila brand Penta.

But wine has long been an important part of his life. In 2001, he and a partner founded Meritage Wine Market in Encintas, San Diego County, which is just five minutes from Interstate 5. A former toy store. The giant giraffe that used to be on the property was eventually sent to the San Diego Zoo. Meritage Wine Market is one of the best wine shops in San Diego County.

Mark got into this business to learn more about on and off site wine sales, to better understand the retail wine market, and to build relationships and expand his network in the wine world. And be part of the community – with events that benefit children’s education and medical needs. One of these events, Roll out the Barrel, became so popular that in one year over 1,500 people attended the event. Winemakers from the Napa Valley and beyond presented their wines. It was at one of these events that Mark met his future winemaker, Sam Kaplan (Arkenstone Vineyards).

And it became a destination – Marcus often went to Bordeaux to buy wine from the merchants. Mark hired current owners Dave Wiegel and Dustin Cano; he later sold his stake in the company in 2011.

In 2011, part of the Vangone site was excavated and prepared for planting; given the amount of rock on these slopes, a considerable effort was required. The larger stones were isolated, broken into smaller pieces, and some were crushed and used as the base for a road through the site. The first vines were planted in 2012, overseen by vineyard manager Mario Bazan, who Mark says is fantastic, meaning he’s always on top of every detail of the vineyard, no matter the season. The winery is run by three full-time employees. The fruit of the vineyard is sold to selected top producers in the valley.

The property is at an elevation of 800 to 1,000 feet; it has 108 acres, of which about 22 acres are planted with vines, primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, but with a variety of clones and rootstocks. A small plot is also planted with Cabernet Franc. The vineyards are organically grown and the winery is Napa Green-certified, a certification program of the Napa County Department of Public Works and the California Green Business Program that oversees water conservation, energy conservation and waste reduction at wineries in Napa County.

Influenced by trips to the Rhone Valley in France and the fact that their plot was not suitable for Chardonnay, as well as the desire to produce something different from the often ubiquitous Sauvignon Blanc, Mark planted two small blocks of Marsanne (0.14 and 0.22 acres). Instead of trellises, they are guided by the glass principle, with each vine growing around a single metal pole. Mark and Sam visited several vineyards in the Rhone Valley, including M. Chapoutier, where they learned how this vineyard processes Marsanne, including the special yeast used for fermentation. The Marsanne from the Vangone estate is fermented in wooden tuns and matures for about 14 months. Obviously, there isn’t much of this sought-after wine.

While the wines smell of Napa Valley sunshine, they also reflect the characteristics of this particular location and its cooler properties. In the summer, the grounds warm up, but a constant is the cool breeze that blows across the grounds, over the water of Rector Reservoir and lowers the temperature. On a clear day, you can see San Francisco from parts of the property, and you can also take a bird’s eye view of San Pablo Bay.

Select Wines
The 2016 Vangone Estate Cabernet Sauvignon was produced with fruit from Blocks B and D and the full clone 412. Only 250 copies were produced. The medium-dark ruby-colored scent features black fruits, including blackberries and spicy plums, as well as notes of cedar, dark spices and sweaty leather. A little spicy. The wine is very good in the mouth. The type of tannins and the texture they create are the hallmark of Vangone wines. The wine has dense tannins with a broad structure, chalky, dry, earthy and very persistent. They are not rough to the touch, however, but have a rounded texture. Rounded notes of tobacco leaf and black pepper (but not pepper) are also evident. The acidity gives the taste liveliness. It still shows youth and power, tasting almost 5 years after the vintage. Extremely age appropriate.

The 2014 Vangone Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Reserve is produced from the estate’s A block and is made exclusively from clone 338. This plot is just over an acre; at harvest time, sons Mark and Patty, ages 8 and 11, helped pick the grapes. The nose shows sweetness and ripeness of fruit (without being overripe); ripe blackberries are complemented by dessert spices, and as the wine opens up more, notes of graham crackers, mocha and chocolate appear. In the mouth, the wine is round with a remarkable softness and round, supple and ripe tannins (no sharp edges here). The aroma has a hint of dried tobacco leaves. A delicious aftertaste. Very cheap. Only 50 cases of this wine were produced, as well as a few large format bottles.

The components of their red wines are blended between one and one and a half years. Each wine spends 30 to 36 months in French oak barrels, then about a year in bottle before release. As a result, the wines of the current version are available about 4 years after harvest.

DPR Construction
Mark’s father was one of the founders of DPR Construction, a construction management and general contracting company, in 1990. The company was named after the first letters of the names of its three founders: Doug, Peter and Ron. Their story is one of remarkable success: in just 30 years, they have grown from 10 employees to nearly 6,000 today. The company has been responsible for the construction of high-profile projects including medical centers, high-tech companies, university buildings and even a Napa Valley company, Clif Bar’s headquarters in Emeryville, California.

As their business grows, their employees grow. They draw in part on the ideas of James Collins, a Stanford University alumnus, professor and author, who has written several books, including How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give Up and Built to Last, of which he is a co-author. From the beginning, employees owned the company on condition that their shares were sold back to the company at age 60 (the same condition was imposed on the founders), names were not on business cards, and an element of fun was part of the work ethic.

The wines are sold directly to consumers, with limited national distribution through Kimberly Jones and selected international markets such as London, Tokyo and Zurich. Over the years, production has increased to about 1,000 cases per year. For more information about this specialty manufacturer and to sign up for the mailing list, please visit Estate is a small family winery, located in the heart of Piedmont’s most beautiful wine country.  It is a place where the vines, stone walls and fountains create the perfect environment for producing quality wines for you to enjoy.. Read more about honig cabernet sauvignon 2016 and let us know what you think.

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