Sequoia Grove, founded in 1979, is family-owned winery majestically framed beneath a grove of Sequoia trees right in the heart of Napa Valley in Rutherford. Rutherford ranks among the very finest AVAs in Napa Valley and produces some of the world’s best Cabernet Sauvignon. The Rutherford AVA, known for a temperate climate of warm afternoons, cooler evenings and marine fog, combined with the magic of its Rutherford Dust (the Cabernet-loving combination of soils according to Andre Tchelistcheff), provides ideal growing conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon and its blending varietals.
We love Sequoia Grove for their great varietals, most notably the great Cabernet Sauvignons, however, we make them a “priority visit” each time in Napa Valley to experience one of their unique “Tasting and Wine & Food Pairing Experiences”!
Two of the very best educational experiences in the valley are the “Cabernet Culinary Challenge” and “A Taste or Cabernet”. These are led by the aptly named Sr. Wine Educator, Dean Busquaert, who we consider the “Dean” of wine education experiences in the valley! Dean provides an insight to pairing food with Cabernet in a fun and entertaining manner, that is easy to follow and comprehend.
A TASTE FOR CABERNET- is a seated tasting experience that takes place in a small-group that utilizes Sequoia Grove Winery’s vineyard-designated Cabernet program to illustrate how what’s in the vineyard gets into the glass and how to maximize your enjoyment of Cabernet with a meal. During our visit, Dean expertly guided us through the elements of taste which can bring out the best and worst in Cabernet Sauvignon. Each time we leave this experience we feel empowered to make confident decisions about what food should be paired with Cabernet and what to avoid. This seated tasting is relaxing and extremely informative.
The CABERNET CULINARY CHALLENGE is a creative, competitive, fun—and very educational—group activity that examines the philosophy of pairing Cabernet Sauvignon with food and then challenges participants to test and apply what they’ve learned through a team-based competition.
Dean enthusiastically demonstrated the principles of wine and food pairing by having our group try Cabernet with ingredients that represent elements of taste that affect wine flavor. Groups were divided into teams of 4 guests and received a basket of crostini with 12 different toppings to choose from. The goal: create the most appetizing, creative, Cabernet-complementing crostini possible! It’s challenging because while many of the items pair well with Cabernet, Dean threw in a few ringers to test our new knowledge of what complements a wine or detracts from it.
The winning team was selected based on creativity, flavor and most importantly if the combination maintains or improves the taste of the Cabernet. This is a fabulous, entertaining group experience!
The newest Sequoia Grove offering, the TERROIR TASTING is a delectable Five-course adventure – paired with their Single Vineyard varietals. We enjoyed vineyard-designate wines expertly paired with seasonal dishes prepared by in-house wine and food expert, Chef Britny Maureze.
Dungeness Crab Cake with Whole Grain Dijon Crème Fraiche, Herb Salad and Marinated Cucumber, expertly paired with the 2015 Haire Vineyard Chardonnay, was a refreshing first offering.
Our 2nd course was Alaskan Black Cod with Garam Masala, Beluga Lentils Pickled Plum Sauce, Caramelized Fennel, and Parsnip Puree, paired with 2014 Tonella Vineyard Cabernet Franc.
Next up was a splendid Ricotta Gnocchi with Vegetable Bolognese, Roasted Heirloom Tomato Marinara, Roasted Mushrooms and Shaved Pecorino paired with the outstanding 2014 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.
For our 4th course, we were served a delicious Duck Three Ways which consisted of Roasted Duck Breast, Duck Confit, Duck Chicharron, Toasted Farro, Currant and Hazelnut Gremolata paired with the fabulous 2013 Henry Brothers Cabernet Sauvignon.
Our 5th and final course was a mouth-watering Braised Short Rib with Kohlrabi Soubise, Brown Butter Summer Squash and Cabernet Demi paired with Sequoia Groves “Flagship Bordeaux Blend” the impeccable 2103 Cambium.
It was a special treat to chat with Chef Britny Maureze who explained why she selected each course and wine to pair with her incredible meal! The Terroir Tasting was awarded the OpenTable Diner’s Choice Awards in both 2018 & 2019!
These experiences and the outstanding Sequoia Grove wines make this an absolute “must visit” while in Napa Valley!
For information, pricing and reservations go to www.sequoiagrove.com; or call 707-944-2945.