Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley
$110 (Wine Club Reorder: $95)
For winemaker John Giannini, delicious wine and good food are the essential components of a life well lived. Hailing from San Francisco, two things were pivotal for John growing up; coming from a large Italian family and having parents who liked to go out to dinner. John’s family was no different than other typical Italian families for whom good food was paramount, wine was always on the table, and one or more members of the family dabbled in winemaking (John’s Grandfather).
Like so many people who end up working in the wine industry, one can look back on a chance encounter or conversation that set the wheels of fate in motion. John met Thomas Rivers Brown through mutual friends while playing volleyball and it was Thomas who gave John his first job during harvest in the Napa Valley in 2003. He worked that harvest, and every harvest since 2005, making a promise to not miss another harvest again. And he hasn’t.
In 2006, John became the Cellar Master at Outpost Winery in Angwin, and in 2007 he took over as the Assistant Winemaker under Thomas. Since then, John has helped craft many of the 100 point wines that have come out of Outpost winemaking facility. And while he continues to be the Assistant Winemaker at Outpost, the next logical step was to become a winemaker in his own right; and so Cresta Velia was born.
Inky purple and highly aromatic with notes of fresh blueberries, black olives, baker’s chocolate, and spearmint running the length of the wine. The wine’s true beauty reveals itself hours after being open which gives us a glimpse of what this wine will become in the years ahead and might be the most exciting part of the process. The drinking part is still the most fun.
Amy Ryan – December 2021