Wine wisdom from Matt Crafton of luxury Chateau Montelena wines

Chateau Montelena comes to Chicago at Maple & Ash
Chateau Montelena comes to Chicago at Maple & Ash

Some wineries bring their wines to market via huge gatherings of trade and media reps, complete with educational seminars, panel presentations, slide shows, and so on. With luxury producers like Chateau Montelena, it’s more usual to showcase their wares by serving them in the conditions for which they’re designed – small groups that encourage conversation and allow the wines to reveal their true beauty over a shared meal of delicious food.

Winemaker Matt Crafton talks about Chateau Montelena
Winemaker Matt Crafton talks about Chateau Montelena

That’s the approach Matt Crafton, chief winemaker at Chateau Montelena in Napa Valley, takes when he brings a curated selection of his wines to a city. He works with local executive chefs to pair their creations and his with a deft and definitive touch. In Chicago recently, he worked with chefs at Maple & Ash, 8 W. Maple, to construct a menu ideally suited to the wines – perfect pairings for the luxury whites and reds he brought to represent the best of the Chateau’s small-production vineyard.

Crafton, who says he enjoys having his 7-, 5- and 1-year-old kids follow him around the vineyard, often checks his smartphone, even when he’s out of town, to see how the vines are faring. The winery has sensors all over the vineyard that constantly send stats about water levels to his phone. Those numbers tell him when the vines are being stressed – even before the leaves begin to show physical signs such as curling or turning – so that he can order countermeasures if needed.

Over a meal of meticulously paired and perfectly prepared dishes created by the chefs at avec Restaurant, 615 W. Randolph, Crafton generously shared a few of his thoughts and insights about wine in general and Chateau Montelena in particular.

Special points of his wine wisdom:

  • Be on the watch. The Bordeaux wine region in France has recently been spraying its vines with copper sulfate in order to control a mildew infestation. This is not good for the soil long term – and thus for the wines.
  • Food for thought: Seven percent of the entire human population is left-handed. In the wine making business, the share is forty percent.
  • Labeling a wine – or anything – “organic” is nearly meaningless in our current state of affairs. There are simply too few controls. Sustainable growing is, instead, the ideal for which we all should be striving.
  • Wine is a delicate custom expression of each terroir – and naturally varies according to the year’s weather and soil conditions. If you’re looking for the same experience every year in your beverage, drink beer.
  • When you want to age a wine, you’ll get a better result with 1.5-liter bottles than the usual 750 ml size. Why? Because with the same cork, you get twice the volume, which slows down the process.
  • Using an aerator is good, but it cannot remotely compare to actually aging a wine. Oak and grape skins contribute tannins. Cement and clay hold oxygen while keeping the fruit fresh. Aerators just add ambient air.
  • American oak is looser-grained and can contribute flavors like coconut, dill and vanilla. French oak is more subtle. Spanish wines, for example, use a lot of American oak and tend to have a vanilla aroma.
  • If you the big Italian red wines like Barolo but find yourself not enjoying somewhat lesser Italian reds, it may be you are not consuming them along with food – the experience for which they are specifically made.
Beautiful - Montelena Estate Cab 2005
Beautiful – Montelena Estate Cab 2005

Special points about Chateau Montelena:

  • Chateau Montelena was one of the California wineries that came crashing onto the world stage with the famous “Judgment of Paris” back in the 70s when Napa Valley wines, red and white, received top honors over France’s finest – as decided by French judges doing blind tastings.
  • Chateau Montelena sets aside 5 to 10% of every vintage of Chardonnay and Cabernet each year and cellars it so that customers who cannot or choose not to age a bottle on their own will be able five years hence to purchase one that shows off how well that vintage has aged in the bottle.
  • Their Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP ~$65), typically blended with Merlot or sometimes Cabernet Franc – is made to be approachable when young.
  • Their Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet (SRP ~$175) is never blended with Merlot – because they don’t grow those grapes on the estate –  but sometimes with Petit Verdot. This gem takes time to reach its peak and will open up much more after a longer time in the bottle.
  • The estate consists of 100 acres behind the Chateau and is partly situated on two mountain ranges that each contribute a different kind of soil – one of volcanic ash and the other mineral-rich from having been under the sea.

Crafton said he likes to bring Chateau Montelena to others around the country in order to demonstrate what their values are. “We take our wines very seriously,” Crafton said. “But we try not to take ourselves too seriously. After all, it [making wine] is about making people happy.”

Some of the luxury wines he brought to Chicago included:

Happily, when you’re looking for that special wine you want to save for the future or that special wine you want to drink to celebrate a momentous or even just a festive occasion, you can frequently find Chateau Montelena wines at Binny’s, Mariano’s, and many small wine shops and restaurants in and around Chicago.


345 thoughts on “Wine wisdom from Matt Crafton of luxury Chateau Montelena wines”

  1. Pingback: d2r
  2. Pingback: legaldirm8732
  3. Pingback: bet88top
  4. Pingback: langtufx scam
  5. Pingback: dang nhap fb88
  6. Pingback: sportfun88
  7. Pingback: jbb512
  8. Pingback: bk8c
  9. Pingback: sàn forex
  10. Pingback: getlink fshare
  11. Pingback: sbobet 365
  12. Pingback:
  13. Pingback: jbo app
  14. Pingback: 188sport
  15. Pingback: 파워볼
  16. Pingback: 카지노사이트
  17. Pingback: bk8c
  18. Pingback:
  19. Pingback: fun120
  20. Pingback: vn88pro
  21. Pingback: vn88top
  22. Pingback: letou8889
  23. Pingback: ROME
  24. Pingback: gratis pornofilms
  25. Pingback: maireandwinny
  26. Pingback: Flash Disk
  27. Pingback: Online Ordering
  28. Pingback: Pool Supply
  29. Pingback: resume
  30. Pingback: Real love spells
  31. Pingback: Family Practice
  32. Pingback: Christianity
  33. Pingback: moon rocks
  34. Pingback: Raag Consultants
  35. Pingback: 188bet
  36. Pingback: Situs judi online
  37. Pingback: Dr Shaun Segal
  38. Pingback: Alex Kime
  39. Pingback: dyson
  40. Pingback: stream TV
  41. Pingback: ribeye
  42. Pingback: Alex Kime
  43. Pingback: cleaning services
  44. Pingback: Juneau Empire
  45. Pingback: Herald Net
  46. Pingback: buy weed
  47. Pingback: buy weed online
  48. Pingback: links
  49. Pingback: roms
  50. Pingback: best cbd gummies
  51. Pingback: buy delta 8 THC
  52. Pingback: best THC gummies
  53. Pingback: slot online
  54. Pingback: buy weed
  55. Pingback: lam dep
  56. Pingback: bong88link
  57. Pingback: w88clubvip
  58. Pingback: led lights....
  59. Pingback: slot online
  60. Pingback: casino malaysia
  61. Pingback: LLP Registration
  62. Pingback: laptop recycling
  63. Pingback: fb88vn
  64. Pingback: phim sex
  65. Pingback: Fitness
  66. Pingback: Viagra
  67. Pingback: coinbase price
  68. Pingback: onlyfans hack
  69. Pingback: slot online
  70. Pingback: melhor hospedagem
  71. Pingback: Visit This Link
  72. Pingback: crypto arbitrage
  73. Pingback: matka jodi fix
  74. Pingback: computer recycling
  75. Pingback: it recycling
  76. Pingback: computer disposal
  77. Pingback: sàn forex
  78. Pingback: W88
  79. Pingback: W88
  80. Pingback:
  81. Pingback: W88
  82. Pingback: this hyperlink
  83. Pingback: recettes faciles
  84. Pingback: Cialis
  85. Pingback: Nurse Influencer
  86. Pingback: takipçi satın al
  87. Pingback: pgslot77
  88. Pingback: Viagra cena
  89. Pingback: click
  90. Pingback: damony
  91. Pingback: read here
  92. Pingback: check it
  93. Pingback: read more
  94. Pingback: leki na potencję
  95. Pingback: click
  96. Pingback: read more
  97. Pingback: click
  98. Pingback: click
  99. Pingback: check it
  100. Pingback: more
  101. Pingback: more
  102. Pingback: more
  103. Pingback: ยิงปลา
  104. Pingback: Like This
  105. Pingback: Click Here
  106. Pingback: click
  107. Pingback: read more
  108. Pingback: Click Here
  109. Pingback: click
  110. Pingback: link
  111. Pingback: para kazanma
  112. Pingback: Kamagra opinie
  113. Pingback: Viagra opinie
  114. Pingback: training in dubai
  115. Pingback: delta 8 near me
  116. Pingback: Werden Bank
  117. Pingback: prepping
  118. Pingback: 원샷홀덤
  119. Pingback: breakdown recovery
  120. Pingback: pussy
  121. Pingback: premium cigars
  122. Pingback: ac repair livonia
  123. Pingback: menuiserie paris
  124. Pingback: pussy888 kiosk
  125. Pingback: crm skills
  126. Pingback: 강남안마
  127. Pingback: Work from Home
  128. Pingback: 강남 안마
  129. Pingback: 강남 안마
  130. Pingback: Geruson
  131. Pingback: cbd gummies
  132. Pingback: buy cbd
  133. Pingback: best cbd
  134. Pingback: cbd dog treats
  135. Pingback: cbd for dogs
  136. Pingback: cbd oil for pain
  137. Pingback: handmade
  138. Pingback: cat play glove
  139. Pingback: GeneVihodsef
  140. Pingback: best cbd gummies
  141. Pingback: cbd oil
  142. Pingback: cbd for dogs
  143. Pingback: t-shirts women
  144. Pingback: fonts
  145. Pingback: slot indonesia
  146. Pingback: baja sportfishing
  147. Pingback: 인싸포커
  148. Pingback: 5 dollar games
  149. Pingback: mega888 id test
  150. Pingback: social media logos
  151. Pingback: c34r54wxw4r34c3
  152. Pingback: RC Scale Trial
  153. Pingback: Dank Vapes
  154. Pingback: find out this here
  155. Pingback: Doll House 168
  156. Pingback: lace front wigs
  157. Pingback: Dakota Lynch
  158. Pingback: my mega888 test id
  159. Pingback: Aaron Lal
  160. Pingback: Aaron Lal
  161. Pingback: top casino
  162. Pingback: visit here
  163. Pingback: hd film izle
  164. Pingback: film izle
  165. Pingback: Home Appliances
  166. Pingback: sisteme de copiat
  167. Pingback: Rumah bsd
  168. Pingback: podcast transcript
  169. Pingback: brokerreview scam
  170. Pingback: xe88 hack
  171. Pingback: silencil reviews
  172. Pingback: Loozap Jobs Zambia
  173. Pingback: värdera klocka
  174. Pingback: knife block
  175. Pingback: free porn video
  176. Pingback: mn
  177. Pingback: xe88 live casino
  178. Pingback: mitrade lua dao
  179. Pingback: cbd oil for sale
  180. Pingback: cbd gummies
  181. Pingback: royal cbd
  182. Pingback: cxqw234xracrwcr4
  183. Pingback: Animal Face Mask
  184. Pingback:
  185. Pingback: AIRPORT TAXI
  186. Pingback: c3q4r43rq3r4qr34e

Comments are closed.