The Patland Blog
We're trying something a little different this month. So far you've heard from several members of the Patland family and team, and in all of these videos we've focused on a specific wine and vintage. This month, we're excited to bring you a special interview with our Founder, Henry Patland.
We thought it might be fun for you to hear a little bit more about his story, and the journey he took to starting Patland Estate Vineyards. His discovery of Napa Valley occurred in his early days as a Banana Slug at UC Santa Cruz.
His roommate at the time, and now best friend and business partner, was originally from Napa, California. Henry asked his roommate, "What is there to do in Napa?" Since the now renowned wine country was a more humble, agricultural area at the time, his friend responded, "Mostly we go cow tipping."
As the years went by, their activities matured and wine caught their attention. Henry would go on to visit the Napa Valley every year with friends and family, for birthdays and holidays. The more he came, the more he fell in love with the culture.
It wasn't long before Henry discovered his fascination with Cabernet Sauvignon. A wine variety that he'd experienced many times, but only truly been impressed with a handful of times. In 2006, his hard work had finally paid off and afforded him the wherewithal to begin his own winery, and more importantly, his own Cabernet Sauvignon!
In truth, Henry didn't plan to create what is now Patland Estate Vineyards. He had a more modest endeavor in mind, one where he could make a little wine that he loved. He wanted to share it with friends and family, and have his own little piece of wine country.
It wasn't until his children grew older and expressed their own love for Napa Valley and the wine industry, that this seed grew into the family winery that it is today. Now, the family works together to create some of the finest wine in Napa.
We all know wine is meant to go with food, and there's no better time of year to celebrate that than around the holidays! Thanksgiving is rolling around the corner and soon our homes will be full with the smell of pies baking and turkeys cooking. Better yet, the dining table will be surrounded by beloved family and friends. Such a joyous time of year!
So with all these festivities coming up, we wanted to share a few of our favorite Patland food and wine pairings. We decided to break it down by course, so here goes!
Course 1 - 2016 Chardonnay
The weather may be chilly, but inside we've got crackling wood fires and, in some cases, gas furnaces. Either way, we're staying warm and cozy inside, so there's no problem enjoying a chilled white at the start of the meal. We're recommending our 2016 Chardonnay. Balanced in every way, and perfect with those holiday classics! We're looking at you mashed sweet potatoes. 👀
Course 2 - 2018 Rosé
Ok, now let's kick that color up a notch! Mother always said a colorful dish is a healthy dish. (Although let's not read too far into that around the holidays 😉) A classic pairing--in our humble opinion--is our 2018 Rosé with cranberry sauce. Just trust us on this one. Between the colors and flavors, it just works.
Course 3 - 2017 Pinot Noir
So here's the wine we're highlighting this month--the 2017 Pinot Noir. Sort of an anomaly of our wine portfolio... No one ever expected us to make a Pinot Noir. Our founder, Henry Patland, is a die-hard Cab-lover, and Pinot is really on the other end of the spectrum. Still, our winemaker, Jay Buoncristiani, was able to make a bold-style, complex Pinot Noir that Henry actually really enjoyed! Ever since, this has been a wine a somewhat regular guest in our portfolio.
Here's the great news for you, though. While our Cabernet can frequently benefit from a few years in the cellar, our Pinot is so approachable right out the gate! This makes it the perfect red for your Thanksgiving dinner. Use it to lift up those entrees. (We all know turkey needs a little help!) It's actually surprisingly good with stuffing, or even savory bread pudding!
Course 4 - 2015 Port
No holiday meal is complete without the dessert course! Luckily, we have a beautiful dessert wine to offer, and that is our Port-style "D'Oro". It's an ideal pairing for any chocolate or fruit inspired dessert, but don't right off a nice pumpkin or pecan pie either. It just might surprise you!
Credit to Compine Wine for supplying food.
Credit to Eyeconik Media for photography.
When Henry and Olga Patland purchased Terra Del Cuore in 2007, they quickly decided they wanted to make wine from the grapes on the estate. Keep in mind, this was before they realized they were going to start Patland Estate Vineyards. This was in the very early days, when they simply wanted to have a little bit of their own wine to share with family and friends.
The vineyard manager that had been tending the estate vines, and continues to do so today, Javier Renteria, introduced Henry and Olga to a winemaker named Jay Buoncristiani. Jay arrived with about a case of his own wine for Henry and Olga to try.
Right away, the Patlands fell in love with Jay's wines and he was hired on the spot! We've now reached our 10th Vintage and are proud to say that Jay is still our winemaker. More than that, Jay is a member of the family.
If you watch the video above, you'll hear Jay talk about risk. A lot of people would see Jay as a risky winemaker, but as he explains, these are all calculated risks. Jay's been making wine for over twenty years, and all those harvests have left him with a wealth of experience and knowledge. Jay is able to push the boundaries and the result is consistently stellar wine.
Perhaps the crown jewel of the Patland portfolio, is the Select Barrel Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Jay actually picks the very best barrels from the very best vineyard blocks to go under this label. The goal of this wine is always balance, finesse and elegance. While there's enough extraction and tannin structure to satisfy fans of behemoth-style Cabernets, the velvety texture and balanced acidity will impress even the most erudite critics.
If you are presented with the opportunity to taste this wine, do not pass it up. If you have a few bottles in your own collection, simply know that this is a wine that will go the distance. Twenty, thirty, even forty years. The longer you wait, the more this wine will pay in dividends.
By all accounts, we showed up late in the Napa Valley. Our beautiful wine country had already reached great acclaim across the globe, and many industry giants had already established themselves. As you can imagine, it was a bit intimidating for our small family to step into the fold.
The competition didn't scare us off though. Actually, its unique nature pulled us in! The wonderful thing about the wine industry is the community behind it. Robert Mondavi said it, and we all abide by it, "a rising tide lifts all boats." As we began our endeavor to start a family winery, vintners from all over the valley came out of the woodwork to lend a helping hand and give their sage advice.
The community, culture and lifestyle were so inviting; they were actually irresistible! So together as a family we began to make wine. Our first vintage to go into the bottle was 2007, and it was met with wild success! Reputable magazines awarded it high ratings right out of the gate, including 95 Points from Wine Enthusiast. Not a bad way to begin...
Still, the road ahead of us was going to be a challenging one. Little did we know what was in store. Things were rosy for a long time, until the 2017 Atlas Fires occurred. Suddenly our foundation was shook, and it took all of us working together to find our footing again. It's hard to imagine another industry that could have come together and rebuilt as quickly, and we fully accredit that to our community.
Years came and went. We celebrated great milestones and endured difficult hardships. As we told those stories to guests from around the world, more and more told us how we were becoming the winery of hope. They told us that people were looking to us for inspiration, and taking queues on how to push on.
We took that message to heart, and truly hope that it will be our legacy.
With that in mind, you can imagine why we are so ecstatic to soon be releasing the Ten Year Anniversary vintage of our flagship wine, our 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon. Henry and Olga Patland founded Patland Estate Vineyards almost exclusively to produce this wine, and they've been doing just that for ten years now.
We hope you'll join us in celebrating this special milestone!
2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Coming Soon!
Last month, you had a chance to meet our Assistant Winemaker, Felix Patland. This month, we're pleased to share with you this conversational interview between Felix and his fiancé, Nina Maller. You'll also notice a special guest star, their new puppy, Ava!
For those wondering, Ava is an Alaskan Malamute. And while "Ava" is short for Avalanche, let's not skip over the alternative spelling: AVA, for American Viticultural Appellation. She now joins Rascal and Brix as our third winery dog. We hope you can meet her on your next visit.
In this video, Felix and Nina talk about one of their favorite summer wines, our Chardonnay! A delightfully refreshing and well-balanced white wine, it is sure to make an impression on your summer.
As they say, it's the perfect compliment for a hot day by the pool, but their favorite way to enjoy it is with food!
The creamy and intense nature of the wine go great with lobster. We've enjoyed it with both lobster ravioli, or simple baked lobster basted in butter. Interestingly enough, we've also really enjoyed it with a chilled, mango soup. It's really a diverse and food friendly wine. We suggest playing around with it and trying it with some of your favorite summer dishes. You may just be surprised!
If you're wondering about the style of the wine, it really is a middle-of-the-road Chardonnay. Henry and Olga Patland were inspired by a trip to the Chablis part of Burgundy a few years back, and have since insisted on a cleaner style of Chardonnay. So while you'll find that trademark Napa Chardonnay richness, it is anything but a butter-bomb. As always, our Head Winemaker, Jay Buoncristiani, excels at creating balanced wines. This Chardonnay is no exception.
Here at Patland Estate Vineyards, we've always prided ourselves on making unique and balanced wines. Yes, of course we want our wines to be a true representation of Napa Valley, but we also want them to be special!
Whenever we can, we add our own twist. With our Sauvignon Blanc, the twist is often in the aging. This wine goes into four different aging vessels, including Stainless Steel, Neutral Oak, New French Oak, and Concrete Eggs!
Every one of these vessels contributes something different to the wine. The stainless steel allows the wine to maintain bright, fresh aromatics. The concrete egg adds minerality and a fuller mid-palate. Lastly, the oak adds color, as well as a subtle butterscotch creaminess on the finish.
The real beauty of this wine, though, is in its balance. Too many of any of those characteristics could easily be a bad thing in a Sauvignon Blanc, but under the tempered hands of our Winemaker (Jay Buoncristiani) and Assistant Winemaker (Felix Patland), this wine hits the mark every time.
It's refreshing and crisp, full of lemon zest and kiwi flavors. It's the perfect thing to sip on by the pool, and food friendly too! Favorite salad or seafood dish? Try it with this. You won't regret it.
Our first vintage of Rosé was 2012. Every year since then we played around with our winemaking method for this wine, until 2015 when we finally hit the nail on the head!
We felt the 2015 vintage was the epitome of complexity and expressive flavor in a Rosé. Since then, it's been the benchmark for every subsequent vintage we've released.
Just like its predecessor, the 2018 release is chock-full of strawberry, raspberry and ripe watermelon flavor. It is just as rich and substantial as the 2015.
The 2018 does have a few differences though. For one, it was made from Syrah and Tempranillo, whereas we've traditionally made our rosé wines from a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Malbec.
The other key difference is that we made this wine using the saignée method, in which a portion of the juice meant for the Syrah and Proprietary Red Wine was bled off early and separated for fermentation into a Rosé.
As a result of working with dark-skinned grapes like Syrah, we've been able to maintain a deep, rich color in our Rosés year after year. And don't let that color fool you! Some people see it and think that means a sweet wine, but we assure you, this is anything but!
Last big difference--for the first time--we've bottled this beautiful wine in magnums! Perfect for that summer pool party. ⛱
The 2018 "Lillá in Fiore" Rosé is a wonderful example of a balanced and elegant, expressive and bold Rosé. We invite you to give it a taste. It's perfect with lighter fare, or just to sip on its own. Cheers!
Now is the time to band together to help small businesses. It is also the time to support those healthcare professionals and essential business operators that are on the frontline of this pandemic.
We put on our thinking caps and figured out a creative way to do all of those things, and it certainly doesn't hurt that you end up with a little wine, as well.
Through a friend of the Patland family, we were recently introduced to a company called impctcoffee. This company is a global social enterprise dedicated to doing good. Traditionally, 25% of their margin would be invested into transforming low income and urban slum communities through education.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, impctcoffee pivoted to aid in the fight against this virus. Now, 25% of their margin is being redirected to the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Response Fund.
We got together with impctcoffee's CEO, Taylor Scobbie, to take it a step further. Here's what we're doing:
Since you're certainly wondering what kind of coffee we're talking about here, we'll take a minute to explain.
This is a medium roast, fruity coffee. It has a creamy texture with pronounced berry notes. Put another way, this is about the closest a coffee can come to pairing with wine. (If any of you are bold enough to try that, let us know!)
The coffee is grown on the Nebbi Zombo Farm in Uganda, where focus on specialty coffee is on the rise. This growing region is just west of Lake Albert's northern tip, one of Africa's Great Lakes.
All of the coffee is produced through natural processing, in which the coffee cherries are passively dried on raised beds for 15 to 20 days. This allows the seeds, or coffee beans, to separate from the pulp of the cherry. One coffee expert, Timothy Hill, had this to say about the Natural way of processing:
"I always—and maybe it’s an unfair comparison to wine or other beverages—but in my head, I really do look at natural processing as akin to red wine, where you’re taking in more of the skin and whole product itself into the beverage. With white wine, you’re leaving the skin and the tannins out, and I think that’s a good way to think about natural coffees. With the natural processing, you’re letting the fruit and the nutrients from the skin and the sugars go into the seed through the drying process. With the washed process, you’re washing it clean so you don’t get those flavors in there."
We invite you to buy some wine, and enjoy some coffee too.
Afterall, Every Good Day Starts with Coffee and Ends with Wine!
In 2007, Henry and Olga purchased a vineyard property called Terra Del Cuore. A few of you may have been lucky enough to see it, but most have not. It was a sublime 40-acre property that featured three main buildings. Those buildings were complimented by rows of vines that sprawled across the property. All together, those vineyards made up less than three acres, but due to the retaining walls used in building the terraced vineyard, it may easily be one of the most expensive vineyards in Napa Valley.
Originally the vineyard was planted to three grape varieties: Syrah, Merlot and Sangiovese. The man who originally built the property had a taste for old world wine, having done much of his business in France and Italy. However, when Henry Patland tried the wine, he realized it was markedly different from the classic Napa Valley style that he had so come to love.
With time the enemy at his back, Henry was forced to use the fruit from the property in his first vintage. So the 2007 Proprietary Red was comprised of Syrah, Merlot and Sangiovese.
When the Patland Winemaker, Jay Buoncristiani, was asked what to do with that vineyard, Jay said, "Graft everything to Malbec."
So we did. Every year since, the Proprietary Red wine has been a blend of Malbec from the estate, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from Stagecoach Vineyard.
Every year some detail of this changes, but this is the basic framework to which this wine must always adhere.
In the Ten Year Anniversary vintage, 2017, a little bit of Petite Verdot was added into the blend. A few new vineyards were used in the sourcing of fruit as well. The most important factor though--we would argue--stayed the same. Jay is still the winemaker, and as in years past, has brought his singularly incredible skill of wine blending to the table with this wine.
It is ripe, intense and concentrated. It is balanced and structured. It strikes the perfect balance of a wine that can impress now, and one that will reward patient aging.
If you've had our wines before, then simply take our word for it--this is some of the best juice we've ever put out. If you have NOT tried our wines before, then we heavily suggest you allow this wine to be your first forray.
If you were to ask us what our flagship wine is, our official answer would be Cabernet Sauvignon. Those in the know, however, might think Malbec...
When we began producing wine in 2007, we were laser focused on Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. We were lucky enough to be getting phenomenal fruit from the highly acclaimed Stagecoach Vineyard. And yet, we also had our own little vineyard. Sitting high atop the mountains, adorning our family's estate, was the Terra Del Cuore vineyard. When we asked our winemaker what we should plant there, he said Malbec...?
Yes, Malbec. Jay spoke about it almost like it would be his secret weapon. Ten vintages later, it's safe to say it was!
At first, he was only using it as a blending component in our Cabernet Sauvignon and Proprietary Red Wine. One day, he asked the family to come together to taste a few blends he'd been working on. He explained to us what the first couple were, but refused to explain the third blend. We tried it and immediately fell in love. Nearly begging to know what it was, Jay finally had pity on us and told us it was 100% Malbec from our estate.
Until then, we had not encountered that caliber of Malbec in the Napa Valley. After tasting the wine though, it was clear to us that we needed to start producing a Malbec.
Now and then a little something would sneak into the blend, maybe a little Cabernet Sauvignon or a little Stagecoach Malbec. However, the 2017 vintage is uniquely its own beast because it is almost entirely Stagecoach fruit! This bold, structured wine is the perfect symbol of what great mountain fruit can become in the Napa Valley.