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Duckhorn Portfolio Wine Blog

Posts written by Neil Bernardi, Vice President of Winemaking  and many special guest bloggers. This collection of insights on winemaking, farming, entertaining and more is a great way to learn about the excitement of winery life and tips for enjoying the wines we produce.

Cardiff Scott-Robinson
 
March 3, 2021 | Cardiff Scott-Robinson

What is a Red Blend

Blending a red wine

1. What is a Red Blend wine?
A red blend is a wine that consists of multiple varieties of grapes blended together in specific proportions to craft a wine with a desired style in mind.

2. Why do you select multiple varietals?
Different varietals provided different flavor profiles, tannin structures, acidity levels and color intensity.

3. Can you blend red and white wines?
Yes, some white wine can be added to increase the floral aromatics on the final blend. You can also add white grapes to a red ferment to help stabilize the color and bring more of the white aromatics into the wine.

4. What makes Napa Valley Blends special?
The vast micro-climates of the Napa Valley allow for diverse varieties with diverse ripening times which allows us many options to play with and make the ideal blend.

5. What is fun or unique about crafting Red Blends versus single varietal wines?
The opportunity to fill in the gaps that a single varietal may have in any given year. The freedom to craft an ideal balanced wine. No restrictions!

Time Posted: Mar 3, 2021 at 12:47 PM
Anna Gsell - Marketing Intern
 
February 17, 2021 | Anna Gsell - Marketing Intern

What is Rosé?

Duckhorn Portfolio Rose's

Introduction:

Many of us know of it as summer water! But Rosé isn’t just for summer; it is perfect all year long! The drink pink movement is here to stay and here at Duckhorn Portfolio we craft an array of Rosé Wines using different varieties which results in a range of delicious wines. Let’s dive into the concept of what is Rosé Wine and why we should all be drinking it!

Winemaking Methods:

  • Maceration method:
    This is when the red wine fruit in sitting in contact with the skins, seeds and stems to extract color and flavor in the juice. This is highly popular in locations like Provence, France. Provence is a highly regarded wine region that produces a benchmark style and in fact 88% of Provence wine production is dedicated to Rosé.
  • Saignee or “bled” method :
    This method is when only some of the juice is “bled off” and placed into a new vat during the first couple hours of making red wine. The purpose of this is to concentrate the red wines’ intensity. This is common in the Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley because of the specialization of producing fine red wines there.
  • Blending method:
    This method requires simply blending red and white wines together to create pink Rosé. This is incredibly uncommon in still Rosé wines production.

Flavor Profiles:

Rosé is fun in that it ranges in style and flavor profiles depending on the grapes used and the winemaking method. Our Rosé Wines are crafted in either the maceration method or the Saignee Method aiming for a bright, crisp and refreshing expression of Rosé.

Check out each of our Rosé wines tasting notes to get an idea of their flavor profiles:

  1. Goldeneye Anderson Valley Vin Gris of Pinot Noir:
    This Vin Gris is crafted with 100% Pinot Noir. It is fun and ebullient with its candied strawberry, pink grapefruit zest, guava, and bubble gum flavors. A light salmon hue also joins this array of fruit.
  2. Calera Central Coast Vin Gris of Pinot Noir:
    Cranberry and wild strawberry mingle with grapefruit and kumquat as the juice sits on 100% Pinot Noir to extract these gorgeous flavors. A juicy finish of smooth mango and marmalade round out the palate.
  3. Migration Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir:
    This wine captures the Sonoma Coast in a glass! Hints of jasmine, candied orange peel, white peach, and strawberry create the perfect sipper for a hot summer afternoon. This wine is also 100% Pinot Noir.
  4. Decoy California Rosé:
    This wine presents bright fruity flavors like pink grapefruit and strawberries. Tropical fruits like honeydew melon and guava liven up this Rosé. And subtle notes of minerals and spice bring this to a crisp finish. Our Decoy Rosé is a blend of Syrah, Vermentino, Carignan and Grenache.
  5. Paraduxx Napa Valley Rosé:
    Our Paraduxx Napa Valley Rosé is inspired by Provance, France and is a blend of Syrah and Grenache. This wine opens with enticing citrus notes of orange and lemon zest along with strawberry and apples flavors. Dynamic and dry, there is a lovely acidity making this a refreshingly crisp and elegant wine.
  6. Canvasback Walla Walla Valley Rosé:
    This Rosé is 100% Syrah from the high-elevation site of Resurgent Vineyard, along south fork of the Walla Walla River. On the nose, hints of peach, honeydew melon, cantaloupe and elderflower burst from the glass. And on the palate, a silky acidity reveals red fruit flavors as well as grapefruit, apricot and wet stones. This wine will awaken your palate and it perfect for a peaceful weekend in the backyard!

Join us in uncorking a splash of summer water all year long! And let us know which your favorite Rosé Wine is.

Time Posted: Feb 17, 2021 at 3:19 PM
Anna Gsell - Marketing Intern
 

Our Favorite Soup and Wine Pairings

Winter Soups paired with The Duckhorn Portfolio Wines

Soup and Wine is a perfect combo for cold winter days! The hearty ingredients in a soup, even down to the herbs and spices, can make for a delicious winter wine pairing. For us food and wine pairings are really an exploration of your personal palate and preferences. In this post below, we are highlighting our favorites soup and wine pairings featuring wines from across our portfolio.

When we think of winter soup, the ever-classic Minestrone Soup is the first to come to mind. And our go-to pairing is Duckhorn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Both are instantly warming and comforting which is why they work so well together. Black pepper and licorice flavors from the wine bring a sense of spice to this bean and pasta-filled soup. Open a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and enjoy a classic winter pairing.

Clam Chowder is always one of our favorites for the winter season! This soup really captures a taste of the coast. The salinity of the clams and the richness from the butter and cream is balanced perfectly with a glass of the bright acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc. For Clam Chowder, we are reaching for our Decoy Sauvignon Blanc which features crisp acidity and notes of citrus, guava and stonefruit which cut right through the creaminess of Clam Chowder.

Earthy, funky and oh so delicious, Cream of Mushroom Soup is a comforting choice. In terms of pairing, Pinot Noir brings a great acidity and lovely fruit aroma to the table. Our personal choice for pairing Mushroom Soup and Pinot Noir is our Goldeneye Anderson Valley Ten Degrees Pinot Noir. Blended from our estate vineyards with the depth and diversity of Anderson Valley, Ten Degrees has layers of blueberry and blackberry, as well as notes of redwood forest, earth, and spice.

Potato Leek Soup is a smooth and velvety bowl of goodness. Our go-to pairing is our Migration Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, hints of apple, stonefruit and citrus mingle with subtle notes of sweet vanilla which bring a refreshing element to this savory-filled meal. A little sweet and savory can never go wrong!

We hope you are enjoying soup and wine season just as much as we are. Tag us on Instagram to share your favorite pairings with us!

Time Posted: Jan 28, 2021 at 10:56 AM
Alex Gerberick - Sr. Marketing Coordinator
 

Dried Citrus for the Holidays

Make dried citrus slices for Holiday decorations

Drying citrus for decorating or eating, is an easy and wonderful way to add beautiful color to your holiday decor. You can add citrus slices to greenery like wreaths and garlands, or serve with your cheese and charcuterie board. You can even have a fun family craft night in front of the fireplace while making a string of citrus for your holiday tree! A few simple steps and you are ready to go, however you choose to use them.

1 - Start the Heat

Set the oven at 170 -200 degrees or use a dehydrator. The dehydrator requires a bit more time, but less watching and moving. If you’re in a pinch for time, the oven is a better choice - plus it makes the house smell so good!

2 - Gather your Citrus:

It’s fun to do a mixture with different types of citrus - Navel oranges, blood oranges, Cara Cara (they have a beautiful pink color inside), tangelos, Meyer lemons - or any other citrus you’d like to use. The variety of sizes will look great.

3 - Chop Away:

Using a sharp knife - thinly slice the citrus - 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Try to keep them consistent in thickness so they dry evenly. Gently lay them between two towel layers and press to absorb some of the juice released when slicing. This will allow for more even drying when you pop them in the oven. It's a good idea to remove the seeds as well before heating.

4 - Bake or Dry:

Bake: If you’re using the oven, line your sheet pans with parchment paper and layer the citrus down, trying not to overlap and leaving a bit of space between each slice. Place in oven. When citrus slices look about halfway through baking, move them onto a drying rack. Then place back on top of the cookie sheet & parchment before putting back in the oven, to catch any drippings. When they are dried to your liking, remove from oven and let cool completely.

Dry: In you’re using the dehydrator - layer the citrus on the trays, leaving a bit of space between each slice. Close dehydrator and set to the desired temperature. 145 is recommended but you can turn to the highest temperature on your dehydrator (usually 165) if you’d like. They will be done in 3-5 hours depending on thickness and temperature. Let cool.

5 - Decorate:

Making these together with family is a fun and simple idea that is easy to make into an annual holiday tradition. Add them to a centerpiece for the table, create a unique ornament, or embellish your gift wrapping with a natural touch. The possibilities are endless and you can enjoy your handiwork with a glass of any of our Duckhorn, Paraduxx, Goldeneye, Migration, Decoy, Canvasback or Calera wines when you are done! Shop our online wine store to find your favorite.

Time Posted: Dec 5, 2020 at 5:38 PM
Mitzi Rodriguez - Web Coordinator
 

How to Wrap a Wine Bottle

Wrap a Wine Bottle

Add a special touch to your wine gift this year, consider wrapping the bottle! Whether you are gifting to the wine lovers on your list or a dinner host, taking the time to wrap the wine bottle is guaranteed to put a smile on their face.

Materials

  • Favorite Duckhorn Portfolio wine bottle
  • Wrapping paper or 12’ by 12’ craft paper for the occasion 
  • Pair of scissors 
  • Double sided tape 
  • An assortment of ribbon/bows and festive accessories 

Instructions

  1. Lay your Duckhorn Portfolio wine bottle on the center of your wrapping paper with about 1 ½  inches below the bottom of the wine bottle.
  2. Roll the wrapping paper around the bottle and secure with a piece of double sided tape. Fold the remaining paper under the bottom of the bottle and secure with tape.
    Pro Tip: Make sure to tape on the glass so you don't ruin the label!
  3. Tie the bottle at the neck with your favorite ribbon.
  4. Add a special touch by placing an accessory over the ribbon, like a festive flower or ornament.

In a rush with no time to wrap? We've got you covered - check out our full selection of holiday wine gifts below.

Shop All Wine Gifts

This post was updated on 11/25/20 to reflect new gift offerings.

Time Posted: Nov 25, 2020 at 2:07 PM
Anna Gsell - Marketing Intern
 
September 17, 2020 | Anna Gsell - Marketing Intern

Meet our Team: Their Journey in the World of Wine

Neil Bernardi

Neil Bernardi
GM of Kosta Brown & Canvasback

“There are so many wines in our portfolio that are pushing boundaries and exploring new concepts or regions, it is really hard to say which wine in our portfolio is most compelling intellectually. Kosta Browne Sparkling, Calera Chenin, and new Washington AVAs that Canvasback is exploring come to mind.”

Neil grew up in San Rafael but moved to Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma when he started working in the wine industry. He went to Davis to follow in his sister’s footsteps, but quickly realized his interest in viticulture and enology. He did his first vintage at Gundlach-Bundschu at the age of 19 and his favorite part of his job is seeing success in whatever form it may come in, whether that’s a new project or the evolution of a new wine. “The toughest part is watching all the interns have fun during harvest while I’m at a computer!”

If he had to choose, Neil’s favorite wines in the portfolio are the Howell Mountain Red Wines and Cabernet Sauvignons from Duckhorn. “The texture, the intensity, the power – that wine is insane.” One of the most interesting parts of the world of wine is “the fact that something is created and enjoyed; it’s something so tangible to be able to point to and say, “we made that’.”

Regina Sanz

Regina Sanz
Senior Estate Director of Kosta Browne

“The moment when I really knew I wanted to be in the wine industry was toward the tail end of my career as a competitive snowboarder - I was traveling in South America in Argentina in a wine region called Mendoza. It was such a beautiful place and the genuine people and culture they shared around Food and Wine was super captivating.”

Regina was born in Texas but moved to Northern California at a young age. “My Dad’s family is from Spain so wine was always part of the culture in our household growing up.” As a restaurant industry veteran, Sommelier and former competitive snowboarder, Regina has been able to live and travel in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, and England! Towards the end of her snowboarding career, she quickly realized that her next profession would be in the world of wine. “The beauty of wine is that there is always something new to learn and a new story to tell. Our industry is full of incredibly creative and passionate people, with various backgrounds and usually really cool backstories. It can take an entire lifetime to get to know all of the various nuances of wines from around the world, and I find that journey inspiring.”

She started in the wine business in 2008 in Lake Tahoe where she worked for a wholesaler, selling to high-end restaurants. From there, she went to Sonoma State to get the Wine Business MBA program and has been working for suppliers ever since. Although she loves all of Duckhorn Portfolio’s wines, her favorite is the 2016 Kosta Browne Cerise Vineyard Chardonnay. “It’s not what most people think of when they think of a typical California Chardonnay… It’s a wine that makes you think outside of the box and pushes the envelope on the great things that we can accomplish. I guess in many ways I can relate to that sentiment.”

Stephanie DiStefano

Stephanie DiStefano
Director of Events

“Working with Master Sommelier Greg Tresner at the Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona was inspiring and led me to take my first Somm course to learn more about wine.” Fast forward to 2015, and “a six-month road trip through the Pacific Northwest and Canada (including Napa and Sonoma Counties) reinvigorated my love of wine. The Paraduxx Atlas Peak Blend is my absolute favorite! It blends Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon - it is perfect wine to pair with food.”

Stephanie was born in San Diego but has spent half of her life in Arizona. She became interested in wine first when she worked at a high-end restaurant in Arizona. She finally decided to enter the wine industry after she traveled the Pacific North West and Canada and made stops in Napa and Sonoma Counties. In the world of events we really want to focus on the enhancing and elevating the experience: luxury wine, exclusive access, and an unparalleled atmosphere. Stephanie truly loves the complexity of the wine industry, there is always more to learn, more to taste and that pursuit of wine knowledge is incredibly intriguing and gratifying.

Kay Malaske

Kay Malaske
Trade Relations & Education Manager

“I am a liberal arts nerd! The wine industry is a comfortable home for dreamy somewhat impractical folks like me that love art, food, music, literature, history, geography, science. Wine touches on all these areas and it engages all my senses.”

Kay is originally from a small town in northeastern Oklahoma, Pawhuska, which has a population of 3,500. Her love for the world of wine was ignited when she had the experiences of working in wine-centered restaurants in Arizona, Colorado, and Oklahoma. She was once a waiter at the Metro Wine Bar and Bistro in Oklahoma and one night, there was a dinner that hosted Nancy Andrus (future wife of Dan Duckhorn). About 20 years later, she returned to that same restaurant and was a vintner herself just like Nancy! Her favorite parts of the job are the guests she meets and living in wine country. If Kay could teach us all one thing, she would choose to share that knowledge is power. Be confident in what you know and be hungry for more information!

Cory Johnston

Cory Johnston
Membership Advisor Manager

“Practice blind tasting at home. It is amazing how taking the label out of the equation forces you to focus in on all of your senses. It helps you develop a more refined palate, sense of smell, and also highlights the artistry in winemaking.”

Cory is originally from a small town in Southern California, located in the high dessert. He moved to San Luis Obispo for schooling which is where he was first introduced to the world of wine. After a decade on the coast Cory moved to the Napa Valley where he took a role as a catering Chef, “ I learned about the components of wine and how to find balance in creating dishes that enhance both the wine and the foods flavors.”

Cory joined the Duckhorn Portfolio team in 2017 as our Membership Wine Advisor and loves sharing a taste of wine country to wine lovers everywhere. “Personally, I love connecting with people and hearing about their experiences with wine; what they like and don’t like as well as who they are sharing it with.” Wine really has a unique way of brining people together. “I have met people from all over the world and made some lifelong friends because of wine.” His favorite wine from the Duckhorn Portfolio is the Goldeneye Anderson Valley Pinot Noir from the Confluence Vineyard, calling it “exciting and versatile with a heartwarming soul.”

Kate Mayhorn

Kate Mayhorn
Wine Specialist at Calera

“For many years and trips, I would go up to the wine country in Napa and Mendocino, tasting many different varietals along the way. On one trip I remember, overlooking Napa Valley from a hot air balloon I knew someday it would be part of my life.”

Kate is originally from New Jersey but has lived in California most of her life. Her love for the wine industry was ignited during one of her first dates with her husband of 40 years while tasting in wine country. For years, Kate owned and managed her own deli and catering business, and “I decided to merge my passion for food with wine and took a part time job at Calera. It was absolutely the best decision for me. I was able to integrate the two things I loved and was never happier.”

“I always knew wine would be a part of my life.” Kate is fascinated by different wines from all over the world and loves brainstorming unique wine and food pairings to try. As a Wine Specialist, one of “my favorite parts would be the reaction of guests, seeing their amazement and even surprise tasting the Calera Wines. I love talking about the nuance of wines, their expressions, and the connection wine has to enhance the enjoyment of food and almost any experience."

She cannot pick just one favorite wine, but she can narrow it down to two! Kate loves the Calera Mt. Harlan Reed Pinot Noir for its “elegance and terroir-driven style” and the Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.

Time Posted: Sep 17, 2020 at 9:34 AM
Alex Gerberick - Sr. Marketing Coordinator
 

Date Night at Home

Canvasback bottle on a picnic table

Looking to elevate your occasion at home? Us too. Check out these four tips for creating the perfect date night in at home.

  1. All about the Ambiance
    We know diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and with that, I’d say flowers are a close second. Grab a small bouquet from your local market, cut some stems from your yard, or gather your own bouquet while on a walk. Don’t have a favorite vase? I find myself using all kinds of different glassware to display fresh blooms throughout my house. For an added touch *chef’s kiss*, print a custom menu for the evening.

    How to make your own bouquet

  2. “Without Music, Life Would be a Mistake” – Friedrich Nietzsche
    Set the mood with a custom playlist! Spotify has a lot of great, already curated lists, such as Italian Cooking Music & one of my favorites, French Café Music. I also am a huge fan of making my own playlist, time permitting!
  3. What’s for Dinner?
    One of the hardest parts about date night, is figuring out where to eat! Write down your 6 favorite local restaurants, numbering them 1 through 6, & roll a die to select which place! Or, if you’d rather stay in, try this delicious recipe for dumplings, which are a lot of fun to make with a partner! Someone can roll the dough and place the filling, while the other seals them up and mans the stove!

    three images for date night at home dinner

  4. Cheers!
    We’d be remiss in not mentioning the wine! Arguably the best part of any good dinner, other than the company of course, is the wine selection. Wine Folly is a great resource for basic pairing tips, & our customer service team is always available to help you make a selection from our portfolio of wines as well!
Time Posted: Aug 14, 2020 at 4:54 PM
Alex Gerberick - Sr. Marketing Coordinator
 

Stay at Home Essentials

Bottle of Goldeneye in the living room

5 things that have made my time at home much better!

  1. Coravin
    As a wine lover who lives alone, my Coravin has been nearly ESSENTIAL while sheltering in place. This tool allows me to pour just a glass (or two) at a time, without the pressure of having to uncork a whole bottle. It is on the expensive side, but if you find you are like me, and don’t always polish off a bottle in a few days, it is definitely worth the up front investment. Coravins are also great for the afficionado who wants to see how a particular wine is aging but doesn’t want to uncork the whole thing. Browse through our selection of wines  to find the perfect one for you to try your new Coravin with. 
  2. Anxiety Blanket
    You’re never fully dressed without your…weighted blanket? I accessorize my WFH outfit daily with my 10-pound, light blue fuzzy blanket, which helps keep me calm, cool and collected no matter what the day throws at me! I am by no means a health professional, so please do your research to determine if this would work well for you before purchasing, but mine has worked wonders!
  3. Positivity Notes!
    Staying positive has been the name of the game for me! I picked a cute font, typed up a little note to “Drink more Water”, printed and hung within my line of sight from my work area. Pinterest is a great place to find motivating quotes, positive affirmations or other great little typography posters that are ready to download, print and inspire!
  4. Digital Photo Frame
    Not being able to see my family has been challenging! My grandma lives alone, and in order to help stay connected, we set her up with a digital photo frame. It connects to her Wi-Fi and the whole family can send photos through an app on your phone and have them directly uploaded to her frame – from over 2,000 miles away. It has been so nice to share photos from my socially distant walks, and has been especially great since she isn’t texting savvy.
  5. Restaurant Group on Facebook
    I like cooking at home, but there’s nothing like great takeout! As businesses begin to reopen, communities are creating Facebook groups and pages to highlight the many restaurant offerings. Many of your favorite sit-down spots have transitioned to curbside and delivery, and there’s no better way to figure out what’s for dinner than being inspired by photos from your neighbors!
Time Posted: Aug 5, 2020 at 1:41 PM
Anna Gsell - Marketing Intern
 

Our Favorite Summer Snacks & Wine Pairings

Watermelon Salad

Rosé with Watermelon and Feta Salad

Watermelon is the quintessential summer food! It is crisp, refreshing, and delicious on a hot summer day. We are elevating this summer favorite with fresh mint and feta for a summer salad to pair with a chilled Rosé wine all day long. The watermelon brings out the sweet candy notes from the Rosé. Get the Recipe!
 
Try these pairings:
- Goldeneye Anderson Valley Vin Gris of Pinot Noir
- Paraduxx Napa Valley Rosé
- Decoy California Rosé

 

Sauvignon Blanc with goat cheese

Sauvignon Blanc and Goat Cheese and Artichoke Dip

Sauvignon Blanc white wine pairs nicely with goat cheese and artichokes so why not splurge on both dishes. Goat cheese and Sauvignon Blanc are two peas in a pod. The acidity of this white wine cuts through the creaminess of the cheese. And there is nothing better than Artichoke Dip on a hot summer evening. The creamy, nutty, subtle sweetness from artichokes pairs beautifully with the crisp, refreshing citrus notes of Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Check out the pairing video to see how we pair Sauvignon Blanc for Date night with Decoy!
 
Try these pairings:
- Decoy Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc
- Duckhorn Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

 

Smoked Bacon Mac n' Cheese

Chardonnay with Mac & Cheese

It is cheesy, creamy, ooey gooey goodness! In our opinion Mac & Cheese is perfect food for any time of year. Here at Duckhorn Portfolio our Chardonnay is sourced from cool-climate regions across California to retain nice acidity and a cool refreshing crispness which will pair perfectly with the creaminess and silkiness of Mac & Cheese. Get the Recipe!
 
Try these pairings:
- Calera Mt. Harlan Chardonnay
- Decoy Sonoma County Chardonnay
- Migration Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay

 

smoked salmon truffled pizza

Pinot Noir with Salmon-Truffled Pizza

One can never go wrong with a Pizza & Pinot pairing! Pinot Noir is a fun wine in that it really captures the essence of where it is grown. Stylistically it can range from fruity to earthy or spicy and it is great to pair with salmon and truffled cheese as it’s light-bodied and subtle so the food can take center stage! This is a great brunch recipe to share with family and friends or to enjoy on your own. Get the Recipe!
 
Try these pairings:
- Decoy California Pinot Noir
- Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir
- Goldeneye Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

 

Blue Cheese, Fig and Parma Ham Flat Bread

Merlot with Fig & Ham Flatbread

Nothing screams summer more than fruit! Summer is fig season in California. Merlot has gorgeous fruit-forward notes so not surprisingly, Merlot pairs fantastically with the savory ham and subtle fig sweetness on this flatbread. Elevate your pizza night with this delicious summer flatbread and Merlot wine pairing. Get the Recipe!
 
Try these pairings:
- Decoy Sonoma County Merlot
- Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot
- Duckhorn Vineyards Stout Vineyard Napa Valley Merlot

 

Beef Burgers with Cabernet

Cabernet Sauvignon with Beef Sliders

Grilling season is here and there is no pairing more classic than Cabernet with burgers. The beauty of sliders is that they can be served as an appetizer or even as a light meal during a hot summer day. Cabernet Sauvignon is big and bold with savory tannins which makes it the perfect wine pairing to stand up to red meat. Get the Recipe!
 
Try these pairings:
- Canvasback Red Mountain Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon
- Decoy California Cabernet Sauvignon
- Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Time Posted: Jul 29, 2020 at 10:05 AM
Kay Malaske - Trade Relations and Education Manager
 

Three Ways to Close a Bottle of Wine

Duckhorn Portfolio corks and closures

With more time at home we have had more opportunity to be more contemplative. In that vein, we turn our attention to something not often considered; how do wine closures differ?

As you eagerly open a bottle of wine, you rarely pause to consider the humble bottle closure. If you did examine this packaging detail you would see that at the Duckhorn Portfolio we utilize a variety of closures intentionally chosen to best suit the specific wine. Think about the wine closure choice like this: You don’t need snow tires in the desert, meaning different wines enjoyed in different ways are benefited from different closures.

Across the Duckhorn Portfolio our bottles are closed with three options: full punch corks, Stelvin twist closures and Diam technological cork closures. Here are some details on why we use the closure we use.

Since the 1600s cork has been the closure material of choice. Cork stoppers are elastic, moisture-resistant, slow to deteriorate and they provide a waterproof seal. Natural cork is time-tested and proven to effectively protect wine from oxidation while allowing the optimum oxygen transfer needed for wine to mature gracefully in the bottle.

Like other cork products, natural wine corks are derived from the bark of cork oak trees (Quercus suber). The bark is carefully peeled away and cut into sheets before processing. Harvesting bark does not require the tree to be cut down. Portugal is the world’s largest producer of corks followed by Spain, Italy, and Algeria. A Cork Oak is planted at Duckhorn Vineyards near the guest parking lot. Look closely at the tree next time you visit Duckhorn Vineyards. It’s easy to imagine wine corks being punched from the spongy bark. We cork finish wines that our customers are most likely to cellar.

In the last 10 years we researched the effectiveness and benefits of Stelvin Twist Closures. We liked what we learned and began incrementally closing some of our wines under Stelvin. Duckhorn Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc was moved from a cork to a Stelvin in the 2015 vintage. These high quality, plastic lined twist caps make a near perfect seal with the bottle, essentially eliminating bottle variation. Additionally, Stelvin closures are easy to open and easily resealable. You will find a Stelvin twist closures on Canvasback Riesling, all 375ml bottles (AKA “Little Ducklings), Decoy white wines and on all our Rosé wines. A Stelvin is the best closure option for wines meant to be consumed within a year or two of bottling.

The third closure used on Duckhorn Portfolio wines is the Diam technological cork. Made using traditional cork, Diam seeks to eliminate the issue of wine being spoiled by tainted corks. Diam provides winemakers with a high level of consistency in aging from year to year, all while maintaining all the traditions of a natural cork.

Diam purchases raw cork straight from the producers, breaks it down into tiny particles, and runs it through their patented cleaning process eliminating the pesky TCA compound that can cling to cork and spoil a bottle of wine. After cleaning, the TCA-free cork particles are bound together using another patented technology. Diam corks carry their logo on them and can be found in Decoy Red Wines. We continue to investigate the use of Diam corks and other improvements to packaging in our mission to provide you with world class wine and excellent customer experiences.

Time Posted: Jul 20, 2020 at 1:19 PM

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