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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Judd's Hill Winery: Your Chance To Be A Winemaker For The Day

In an effort to dine at all 3000 San Francisco restaurants(800 and counting) and to visit all 600 wineries (350 and counting),my wife Linda and I recently traveled to Judd's Hill winery in Napa to be a "winemaker for the day."  Our foodie and wine friends Ron and Josiane Hable joined the fun.

Judd's Hill winery is a small winery owned by Art and Bunnie Finkeistein original owners of Whitehall Lane. That winery was sold in favor of a smaller and more manageable one. Judd's Hill produces 3000 cases and their son Judd and wife Holly are highly involved in managing the operation.

 In 1992, they pioneered "microcrush" giving grape growers an all inclusive opportunity to make their own small lots of high quality wine.

 In addition, you can be a "Winemaker for the Day" and schedule a blending experience.

Our experience was conducted by our knowledgeable host CJ who has forgotten more than most will ever know about wine. We began with an explanation of how to drink wine with the important swirl, smell and tasting process of the 4 wines we would blend, bottle and name. When completed, we each took one bottle of our carefully crafted creation home with us.

We experimented with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot. After careful analysis and tasting various percentages of the wine, we agreed on a blend of 70 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 percent Merlot, 5 percent Cabernet Franc and 5 per cent Petite Verdot.  We named our wine "Le Reve"  which is French for The Dream.  We then bottled the wine, corked it and finished it with a black foil using their high tech equipment.

The final touch was placing the Le Reve label on the bottle proving "Dreams do come true."

The entire process takes around 2.5 hours and it is a unique and fun experience that is highly recommended for people who love wine. In addition, CJ also has a session on pairing wine and food that we plan on scheduling at a future date.

 For more information and to make an appointment