Vinh & I ready for some vino!
We arrived about 30 minutes early so we got to just enjoy the semi-quietness before the weekend rush started. I wanted to get there real early so that I would be one of the first 20 people to get the new Yelp Elite beach towel. Yup, I'm a dork :P
V. Sattui sign
Yelp swag, yee!
We promptly started our event with Claudette coming out to welcome us & then divide us into two groups for the tour. Vinh & I ended up following John, who also happens to be a biochemist. He is quite the knowledgeable fellow sharing everything from V. Sattui's history to how the wine is made to how the wine is bottled up & everything in between!
Claudette welcoming the elites
John & the grape crusher/maker
Gorgeous V. Sattui winery
Wine storage to be fermented & kept cool
V. Sattui invested in a $1 million dollar bottling machine that also makes sure the least amount of oxygen is in the wine as well as putting on the labels. Quite the fancy machine I must say!
See that big barrel in the back? That's only over a century old & was kept a secret during the Prohibition era. Sneaky Vittorio (the original owner & the V) hid these barrels behind a fake wall during the Prohibition & they all contained wine still.
Prohibition barrel survivor in the back
V. Sattui in the lower plaza looking up
The barrel room had quite the few barrels as well. The big ovals to the left in the photo below all contain different amounts of wine at its capacity. Why? Because back in the day, if the "cooper" made it to the exact size the winemaker wanted. If the size was too big or too small, the winemaker would deduct the portion away & the "cooper" would lose money.
Also, when the winery first started out, it needed some wine from other wineries. One of the first batches of wine contained some from Mondavi, shhh... :P
Random fact, but wineries are limited in how many weddings/events it can take each year. They have a license for agriculture & another for commercial. Most wineries do not hold a commercial license so they can only hold about 8 weddings per year. V. Sattui, on the other hand, has a commercial license & can do 80 weddings/events per year. Way back when, V. Sattui was holding events & doing partial business so when the state finally passed out these licenses/law, they got both the agriculture & commercial licenses. Neat, right?!
Our tour finished with heading out into the vineyard portion of the winery where we got a private tasting along with samples of their cheeses & charcuterie. The vineyard portion is not open to the public (& neither was the grape crusher & bottling machine) so we were a very fortunate group to be able to enjoy this exclusive experience!
Entrance into Vittorio's garden
Fountain in Vittorio's garden
Tasting under the canopy
Claudette opening a bottle of wine
John pouring out our first tasting
In house cheeses & grapes
Charcuterie & olives
We probably had around 5-7 tastings along with our yummy nibbles. Vinh & I had fun hanging out with Alyssa & her hubs while doing our tasting. It was nice to meet new people. The North Bay manager Kevin joined us for a bit as well & we toasted to the lovely afternoon!
Fountain in the garden again
More of the garden
Leaving Vittorio's garden
After our exclusive tour & tasting, Vinh & I enjoyed talking to Elaine & Markus in line for the BBQ. Then we headed to get the homemade gelato & bought some cheese to take home, yum! We saved the yummy tiramisu for last before jetting off home :)
Goodbye V. Sattui
Behold my elite towel!
Look how big this is!
Here are a few photos below from our freelance photographer for the event, yay! :)
Excited for our adventure in wine country!
Listening to Claudette's intro
John our guide with one of his amusing stories
North Bay community manager Kevin
Cheers to a wonderful Sunday!
Ladies of North Bay
Sobriety test, I swear!
Men of North Bay
Thanks Kevin, our lovely guides John & Claudette, & V. Sattui for a Sunday fun day! I thoroughly enjoyed my first Flight Club & hope for many more in the future! For more photos, check out the photos taken by our freelance professional photographer here :)
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