Tuesday, September 8, 2009

State of the Art

We were introduced to the Cade wines at the Plumpjack hospitality party at the beginning of the summer. As we walked onto the idyllic and lush Plumpjack property, the staff greeted us with a casual hello and a glass of perfectly chilled 2007 Cade Sauvignon Blanc wine. It was a very hot afternoon, and the wine, brimming with citrus fruit and bright acidity, tasted so very refreshing. We also sampled the Plumpjack current releases: the smoky 2006 Syrah and the full-bodied 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Cade label reminded me of the article I had just read in Wine Spectator. The write-up described the Cade creator's "green" mission and mentioned the LEED certification they are striving for. As a conservationist, I was intrigued. As the citrusy Sauvignon Blanc in my glass quickly disappeared, I made a mental note to visit the winery soon.

Last week, we finally found ourselves on Howell Mountain, climbing the steep driveway to Cade. The views from the winery were breathtaking; I kicked myself for not bringing a camera. One of these days, I will have an iPhone and remembering to pack a camera will not be an issue.

DJ, the Hospitality Manager, a knowledgeable and highly passionate blonde who used to run a cooking school with her husband, Ken, poured us the 2008 Cade Sauvignon Blanc and pointed out Mount Diablo in the far distance (yes, you could see all the way to the East Bay).

As we sipped and swirled the grassy new vintage, DJ listed off the various sustainable aspects of the building--I was amazed to hear about the inverted roof, which collects rain water; the roof is also painted with environmentally friendly paint that reflects the sunlight so the A/C doesn't have to work as hard; the gravel in the foyer is recycled; the blending table was previously a submarine; and, perhaps most incredible, the architect used shredded blue jeans for insulation (I hope they weren't Rock n' Republics!).

We sat in awe in ultra modern chairs as DJ poured us the 2006 Cade Cuvee and then the 2006 Cade Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. The last was a wine I wanted to buy and put away in my imaginary cellar for 5-10 years.

The tour is followed by a sit-down tasting with food pairings prepared by Ken, the in-house Chef. Go to cadewinery.com for more info!

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