Anyone who’s been to Napa Valley can undoubtedly recount the region’s magnificent landscape, remarkable cuisine, and unparalleled wines. I can still remember driving through Rutherford and Oakville, with renowned estates I’d only read about on either side of me. Winding roads revealed forests full of redwoods and pine trees, with nothing but rolling hills of vineyards on the horizon.
If you have yet to explore this stunning and world-renowned wine region, now is your chance, because I’m giving away a luxurious trip! This unforgettable Napa Valley experience includes travel vouchers from Alaska Airlines, luxury lodging at River Terrace Inn, an exotic Ferrari driving experience, hot air ballooning, Bentley limo ground transports, a Napa chef cooking experience and an exclusive dinner with French winemaker Philippe Langner.
Philippe Langner is the owner and winemaker at Napa’s Hesperian Winery. He is a master viticulturist and applies a lifetime of knowledge to the curation of his eminent wines. His world travels and varied experience from Bordeaux to South Africa has clearly contributed to his profound aptitude. Philippe’s passion and meticulous nature was enhanced at UC Davis, where he completed double Masters degrees in Agronomy and Agricultural Economics. Philippe explains he “learned the importance of small but critical enhancements in the vineyard.” Today, his brilliance and precision are widely recognized as he consults on some of Napa’s most esteemed wineries. Philippe believes that working hard in the vineyard is the best method for achieving optimal fruit. If you follow his advice, the winemaking should be simple, and in-turn the wines will speak to their place, exhibiting ideal, terroir-driven characteristics.
Hesperian Winery is located within the notorious Atlas Peak AVA, where Philippe’s steep and rocky Kitoko Vineyard is situated. Philippe planted Cabernet Sauvignon here back in 2000 and 2003, and today these vines are entering their prime. Due to the rocky soil and steep situation, the vines are quite low yielding. This results in an elevated level of complexity in the finished wine. Notes of huckleberry, leather, blackberry, peppercorn and tarragon came across my palate in the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, the estate’s staple wine. All of Hesperian’s wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered, and new oak is incorporated cautiously. Upon tasting, it was clear that the Cabernet Sauvignon was built to age, however it was easy to relish now. The wine paired beautifully with a grilled leg of lamb and portobello mushrooms. I incorporated pungent, piney herbs like rosemary and thyme in the dish, which brought out the wine’s herbal characteristics and earth-driven features. Hesperian Winery strives for finesse and purity in their wine but modestly believe that each year is an opportunity to improve.
Experience Napa Valley’s exquisite food and wine with this seasoned professional before witnessing the tapestry of vineyards from above, in a hot air balloon. To enter the giveaway, simply head over to www.hesperianwines.com/contest and add your information to their mailing list. The giveaway closes at midnight 12/20 and the winner will be announced on 12/21. Must be 21 or over to enter and located in the United States. Happy holidays and best of luck!