I’m very fortunate in that I get the opportunity to go to a large number of high quality wine events. The vast majority of the time, I know what to expect for each event, not that it affects my ability to completely enjoy myself, mind you! But every once in a while, a wine event sneaks onto my calendar that provides a whole lot more than expected, upon arrival. The inaugural Napa Valley Tweetup (Twitter), organized by Gabriel Carrejo (Twitter) and Bonfire Interactive…was one of these events.
I arrived via the ride roundup technology that only VinTank (Twitter) and Cruvee (Twitter) can provide: I met up with James Jory of Cruvee and Clay Wallin (Twitter) from VinTank through Twitter DM’s with the Kung Fu Master himself, Paul Mabray (Twitter). We made our way upvalley and after entering the gates of Robert Mondavi Winery (Twitter, Blog) at nightfall, we had a candlelit walk to their new barrel room that I had yet to see, the To Kalon Fermentation Cellar. We were greeted by a surprisingly calm Gabriel and directed to the further spotlit and candlelit barrel room and handed a glass of the 2008 Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Fumé Blanc.
I was completely taken aback by the production quality of the event. Multiple, social media-driven wine stations featuring reserve and limited production Mondavi wines, two sensory stations, a live art installation, lounge areas all around and live, stand-up bass led quartet. It was clear that a ton of thought and heart went into this almost “re-introduction” of Mondavi to the new wine-drinking public…and they just totally nailed it! Proceeds from the ticket sales for the event went to the Napa Valley Education Foundation, which hit home for me, proud as I am of my sister who teaches 5th grade at Philips Charter School in south Napa as a highly decorated veteran teacher. Almost every single digital mover and shaker attended that night, many were some that I had never had the pleasure of meeting IRL and by the end, it felt like a very elegant reunion of vinopanions that I’ve admired and worked with over the last few years.
The list of wines that I tasted from the layout that night is given below. The level of quality in these wines was extremely high across the board and I was very thankful to have a chance to taste these limited release wines. A huge thank you to Gabriel et al, Jocelyn at Mondavi and everyone else that had a hand in this tremendous and historic night.