Let’s visit Quixote Winery situated in Stags Leap District of Napa valley. From Silverado Trail, enter a small road which ends up in a very pretty valley surrounded by hills, and just from there you’ll start to feel the difference of this place. Soon after you’ll start to live in a fairytale, somewhere in between the Wonderland of Alice and Magic lamp of Aladdin. The unique architecture and landscape bring together wine and art in a very eccentric way.
The architecture is the design of Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an Austrian artist. He dedicates his designs to be bold, free and creates a harmony with the environment. His bold landscaping design at Quixote winery allows visitors to take an adventurous walk in nature.
For the visit, Francis Clancey, Wine Sales & Marketing Specialist, welcomed us with wine glasses and a bottle of their Rosé of Petite Sirah from 2015. This variety is originally known as Durif where it originated in France, however it arrived in California where it adopted the name Petite Sirah. Its deep color and full body make a good blending item for wines to be aged, while it also finds its place as single varietal wines. In this case, it’s used for a deep colored rosé wine. It dazzles with its pretty dark pink color which shines in the glass. In the nose, it’s full of fresh red fruits and fruit candies, then the fruitiness continues on the palate while it slightly tickles your tongue with its acidity. This rosé wine complemented the surrounding art with its sophistication.
We started to walk around the winery and ended up on a terrace with an amazing view of the vineyard. Quixote Winery currently has 27 acres (around 11 hectares). This allows them to give special attention to each plant, vine per vine, by using the advantage of having a small vineyard. Moreover, different types of soil and special microclimate thanks to the surrounding hills give specialty to this vineyard. There are only 5 varieties planted: Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc. The vineyard panorama in front of us, we got to taste Quixote Cabernet Sauvignon 2012. High-quality healthy grapes that were picked at the exact maturity point ended up as a great wine. It’s an expressive wine with fresh red fruit aromas and smooth tannins.
After the vineyard, we continued our visit in the cellar and barrel room. Damon Bailey, the winemaker joined us and answered our questions about winemaking activities. He explained all the details we were curious about and offered us barrel samples. I really appreciated his transparency and hospitality.
Finally, we ended up in the tasting room and tasted their famous Petite Sirah wines, from 2010 and 2012. 2010 was full of red fruits such as blackberry and cherry together with olives and hints of spices, in the mouth it was completely balanced with good strength and persistency. 2012 was even more fruity and very complex with violet, licorice and earthy aromas in the end.
Highlights of the visit to Quixote Winery are nice atmosphere, unique architecture and landscaping, painstaking vineyard management, well-made wines and friendly hospitality. End of the visit, it was almost hard to leave the fairy tale and go back to reality.
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