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.


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

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

Comments are closed.