The magnificent Meritage Resort and Spa held its 3rd annual Masters and Makers three day event this past weekend. Billed as the ‘ultimate food and wine experience’ the resort proved this billing is accurate. Each of the three days provided a variety of wine and food tasting opportunities and educational classes for those serious about wine and food.
Friday’s kickoff offered a delightful master sommelier, winemaker and vigneron guided tasting, An ‘Amuse Bouche’, with Napa Valley wines from iconic Hall Wines and Trinitas Cellars. This was followed by a multi-course reserve winemakers dinner prepared by Meritage Executive Chef, Ryan Rupp and hosted by Hall Wines in the Meritage estate caves. Tantalizing pairing of these gorgeous wines with scrumptious gourmet preparations.
Saturday, was jam packed with educational presentations about wine (George Lucas’ Skywalker Vineyards), terroir and stemware (Riedel of course), and a prepare your own lunch cooking class featuring Trinitas Cellars. Sunday morning featured a ‘Valentine’s Day Sparkling Brunch’ highlighting sparkling wines from Napa Valley. All enjoyed while dining on the fabulous brunch offerings in the warm and welcoming Siena Restaurant. Sunday’s activities concluded with Meritage Blends (minimum of two Bordeaux varietals) from Napa and Sonoma, and a ‘Vino and Cioccolato Experience’ with fabulous local chocolates from all over Northern California. An amazing schedule of wine and food experiences, for sure.
The capstone of the event, as always, is the ‘Gala and Grand Tasting’ gloriously presented in the Meritage Grand Ballroom. The Ball Room was lined with tables with representatives and wine offerings from mostly Napa and Sonoma wineries. A separately priced VIP section was also available with about 10 elite wineries represented. All-Stars like Charles Krug, Sequoia Grove, Chimney Rock Winery, Round Pond Estate, The Prisoner Wine Company, Sequoia Grove, VML Winery and sparkling wines from Roederer Estate were very well represented. Not to be orphaned in this celebration were the breweries represented by Napa Smith Brewing Company and Carneros Brewing Company.
The wines were truly exceptional and reflective of these stellar Northern California growing regions. The real stars of this 3 day extravaganza were the Resort itself and their amazing staff front-lined by Executive Chef Ryan Rupp’s kitchen team. Chef Rupp and his staff created a dazzling array of small bites including oysters, breads, charcuterie, cheeses, beef sirloin sandwiches (out of this world), shrimp and grits and desserts to, literally, set the heart aflutter.
At every event of this type there is always a surprise to be found. This year it was Domaine Della a fairly young estate producing ultra premium Russian River and Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Co-proprietor and winemaker David Hejl was present and poured his 2013 Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir, 2013 Russian River Pinot Noir and the 2013 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. They were deliciously exquisite. Established in 2010, Domaine Della produces about 1,000 cases in total. For additional information you can contact Domaine Della via email Info@DellaWines.com or by calling 707-570-0827.
As for the resort, it had something for everyone. Families can enjoy the pool or the 6 lane bowling alley in the Crush Ultra Lounge, adults can get in a good workout in the fitness studio or get a massage or other treatment at Spa Terra in the caves, while 21 year olds and older can learn about wine at the Trinitas Cellars Tasting Room and Estate Caves, or play golf at two nearby courses. The grounds are spectacular and surrounded by vineyards. If all of this were not enough, the rooms at the Meritage are exquisite and inviting with wonderful views of vineyards. Real wine country chic. There is indeed something for everyone at the destination resort in the heart of wine country.
The Meritage Resort and Spa is only ~1 1/4 hrs from San Francisco located at
875 Bordeaux Way, Napa, CA 94558. Call for information and reservations at