Friday, July 27, 2018

Maratona: The Napa Cab That Five Generations Wrought

Maratona means "marathon" in Italian and is the fitting name of a somewhat secret wine. How did it come to be?

Napa Wine Co., owned by the descendants of the Pelissa Family, is one of the oldest families in Napa Valley and by far the largest owner of organic vineyards. (It has 550 acres of organic grapes in Yountville and Oakville). They also operate a custom crush operation in Oakville and have a tasting room there for their clients' wines (an excellent place to stop - and you can also visit the historic Oakville Grocery across the street). Today Andy Hoxsey, one of the Pelissa's, is the president.

The company was the 9th winery to be bonded in California.

As growers, the family's grapes are mostly sold - about 88% of them - to other wineries. But Napa Wine Co. has three of its own brands you can sample (and buy):

Elizabeth Rose, $20 wines from organic vines (best deal in Napa)
Oakville Winery, which makes a moderately priced ($25-50) Zin and Cab (also a very good deal)
Ghost Block, its premium wines from Oakville (superb quality, $70-100 for the Cabs)

(You can also find a single vineyard designate from Nickel and Nickel from Rock Cairn Vineyard, another of the Pelissa's organically farmed vineyard.)

So where does the Maratona come in?

The 5 stars stand for five generations

In 2012, a great vintage, the family decided to celebrate its more than 100 years in Napa Valley with a special wine to celebrate five generations of Pelissa family farming and grape growing. (They came to Napa in 1903).

This wine was the result.

It's a blend of 50% Cabernet, 25% Merlot and 25% Petit Verdot. Production: 148 cases ($100).

So, if you visit the Tasting Room at Napa Wine Co., ask for the Maratona. They keep it behind the counter.

No comments:

Post a Comment