The meet was planned to start at 3pm and I was first to reach. So the discssuion with Nicole started about her recent travel to Taj Mahal and she was shocked about the number of visitors visit Taj Mahal every day. During the discussion she mentioned that 100 thousand visitors come to Napa Valley every year and then laughed by saying that 'I should not share this number with Indias, especially when I have witnessed Taj Mahal full of thousands of people at any point of time'. We were waiting for others to join and in the mean time we had a chance to talk to team from Aspri Spirits.
Anyone could figure out the passion in the eyes of Nicole Carter, who is VP (Global PR) as she spoke about the oldest continuously operating Napa winery, the 'Beringer'. This link shares some of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley - http://napavalley.com/wineries/featured.html . This meeting happened at Golf Lounge of Hyatt Regency which was hosted by India’s leading wine importers Aspri spirits to showcase Beringer and Stags Leap wines both coming from the house of Treasury wines. Nicole shared some details about both the wines & I personally loved Zinfandel.
Beringer founded in 1876 which is one of around 400 wineries in famous Napa valley and has been continually operating ever since. Napa Valley is spread over 50kmx10km and is very famous for one of the best Wineries across the world. During the prohibition in America it continued to supply to the church for sacramental reasons and soon after in 1934 were also the first ones to open their cellar doors to public... Nicole shared all these details with us during the Wine tasting session. ‘Wine tourism’ in Napa has really picked up in recent times and it's growing very fast. 'Ed Sbragia the winemaker for over three decades has been working relentlessly to come up with memorable wines from the Napa valley Beringer Zinfandel vineyards' said Nicole. We tasted Zinfandel which has fruit & jammy albeit with much toned town tannins and Zin’gy acidity! Zinfandel is easily available in some of the good retail stores in Delhi, Banglore, Mumbai 7 Chennai. While it's more popular in clubs, restaurants & hotels. And it seems that Banglore has huge demand for Zinfandel which matches with the passion in US. In United States, there are some clubs in United States which organize huge events and only Zinfandel is served throughout the time of the event.
During these conversations, Nicole carter talked about Wine Consumption in India and she put an example of domestic flights in India and how it's different from other parts of the world. Nicole talked about her vision and said that her dream would get fulfilled when domestic flights start serving wine. Although I couldn't relate to it because more that the consumption trends, it's also related to economic state of the nation and the social priorities. Wine is about experience, Nicole added. Zinfadel is foundation level offering having great fan following in United States. During the conversation we talked about movie Sideways which changed some trends in wine industry across the world.
Stag’s leap winery which started in 1893 is now popularly known as a resort in the picturesque Stag’s Leap district and saw three families own it till the revitalization of the winery in 1971. 'Christophe Paubert the winemaker for the last 5 years now is trying to bring in some European sensibility to the wine' said Nicole Carter. Probably this goes back to his French origin and more so his experience in the Bordeaux.
Quality of grapes is critical for one of the best Wine in the world and right processing it another key thing. To know more about some of the famous grapes qualities can be checked at - http://www.mywinetutor.com/grapetypes.html .
Beringer is official sponsor of PGA and there is lot of fan following of winery. Nicole also talked about food pairing and she personally prefers to choose wine first & then something to snack.