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A Magical Visit to Opus One

Opus One has earned a sterling reputation for being one of the best wines in the world, and it certainly is one of my favorites. I’ve tasted and served the wine to delighted guests at The Bernards Inn for several years now, but it was my visit to the winery itself in the Napa Valley that revealed how a wine of such superb quality is produced—with passion, knowledge and utmost care.

It was a bright and crystal clear afternoon on the day of our visit to Opus One. The setting was so spectacular as we approached the winery and  it took my breath away. When you arrive, you immediately get the feeling of being in a very special place. Opus One is an incredible property.

But as every wine aficionado knows, it is the people behind the winery, the vineyards and the grapes who cultivate the best wines. In the case of Opus One, it is winemaker Michael Silacci, who was kind enough to spend a lot of quality time with me on my visit. Michael is responsible for the viticulture and all winemaking on the premises.

After receiving a personal tour of the property, Michael explained a few things to me that many are probably not aware of. We meandered through the vineyard on a golf cart and Michael explained that they take the extra expense of planting rows of grass between the vines to keep the dirt dust down and protect the grapes from the potential harm of menacing mites.  Michael was careful to proceed at minimal pace while traveling through the vineyard so as not to disturb anything on the ground. Also, how about the triple hand sorting of the grapes?  This is an extremely labor intensive practice, but one that results in selecting the best fruit, among other benefits. These are just a couple of the details behind the scenes at Opus that contribute to making first class world wines.

Michael personally walks the vineyard daily to check the ripeness of the grapes by checking the color, bitterness and ripeness of the grape seeds. Along with testing in the lab, nothing takes the place of the one on one grape with winemaker.

We are so excited to be hosting winemaker Michael Silacci for our March 30th Opus One Wine Dinner. It is always a supreme treat to meet the winemaker
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Guest Monday, November 24 2014