We all know the great wineries that help founded Napa and put it on the map, such as Charles Krug and Robert Mondavi, but we often overlook the fourth winery Inglenook on its hand in what made Napa great. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that it went through numerous name changes, or perhaps that we tend to think of The Godfather more often the excellent wines produced here. Regardless of how we remember it, at the end of the day, Inglenook has deep roots in the history of Napa, and their wine is definitely world class.

Rutherford in full mustard bloom
Beautiful stained glass with the former name of Inglenook

Inglenook’s history is a rich tale of multiple ownerships that involve some pretty incredible people, but trust us it is long so try and keep up (seriously this is going to be a load of information!).

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Piazza Del Dotto

If you’ve gone to Napa over the last few years, it’s been pretty hard to miss the construction going on at Piazza Del Dotto right at the beginning of Oakville. Already known for their exceptional wines and super fun cave tours, it seems like they were ready to expand even further in the realm of their top of the line experiences.The installment of Piazza Del Dotto came from their family philosophy that wine tasting should be a complete sensory experience. Dave and Yolanda Del Dotto, already avid wine collectors, managed to snag a property in Rutherford in 1988 after falling in love with the views there. Shortly after moving the family up from Hawaii, they began what everyone else in Napa with a property does, winemaking. Their success with winemaking (a couple of 100 pt wines) would not only cement their legacy, but allow them to expand even further, giving way to Piazza Del Dotto. Piazza Del Dotto, boats an Italian-inspired barn, surrounded by acres of Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon, tasting cabanas, vegetable gardens, 17th century fountains, and an outdoor barn.

With food and wine being the heart and soul of a Del Dotto experience, they have their own Chef Joshua Schwartz running their program, boasting a career from The French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon and Bouley. The story is the Del Dotto family loved to dine in Yountville, and after many wonderful experiences at Bouchon, they favored dishes that came from Josh, and decided to poach him for their own. Offering him a double pay, freedom of direction, and less grueling hours, the switch was made, and Schwartz has been with them for the last 10 years. With great wines and a rockstar for a food program, it’s pretty easy to see why the opening of Piazza Del Dotto was a highly anticipated event.Piazza Del Dotto opened late last year, and we were invited to the grand opening, but unfortunately didn’t get to make it out. Luckily enough we were able to secure a time early this year and made the trip up. — WARNING:  PICTURE HEAVY POST INBOUND.–

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