Will Wander for Wine

Interview with Christine Wilson from Wilson Foreigner Wines

When people hear Napa winemaker, they think "oh, they must make Cabernet or Sauvignon Blanc." But a few trailblazers are changing hearts and minds with unusual varietals like Valdiguié and Albariño. Christine Wilson and her husband Dave are making the next generation of wines from the Napa Valley called Wilson Foreigner. Approachable, food friendly and a expression of the land that they come from (what we like to call terroir around these parts.) 

Wine Enthusiast Magazine gave them kudos for being "one of six producers redefining Napa Valley red wine." 

We caught up with Christine last week to ask her a few questions as she heads into harvest....

Q:  What’s your favorite wine to sip on a hot summer day, and why? 
A:  Our Albariño is always a favorite since it's light and fresh, but dry and crisp rosés like the Jolie Laide rosé of Valdiguié and the Azur rosé are also favorites. 

Q:  We have wanderlust looking at everyone’s summer photos. Where do you want to travel right now and why? 
A:  Croatia.  I’ve always loved Bay Area artist Mitchell Johnson’s piece entitled Croatia. Exploring the islands there and sipping on white wines paired with fresh seafood is the type of trip we dream about.

Q:  As you gear up for harvest, what are you most excited about with the 2018 vintage?
A:  Each harvest is exciting, it's the culmination of a year's work in the vineyards and it's another year of learning and evolving in our business. 

Q:  Top three insider tips for visiting Napa Valley….go! 
A:  Get off the beaten path and don’t overbook yourself. 
1.  Grab a bottle of wine or do a tasting at ACME Fine Wines in St. Helena or Back Room Wines in Napa.  Both have knowledgeable staff and something for everyone.   
2.  Compline in downtown Napa is a one-stop shop – wine bar, restaurant, and wine retail. 
3.  Foodshed in North Napa has a deli, take-out kitchen and wine shop. The perfect stop for picnic provisions.  

Q:  What makes Napa a special place to live and raise a family?
A:  The quality of life. We're very fortunate to be raising a family in such a beautiful place and with a strong connection to the land.  

Shall we weekend in the Hamptons?

Shall we weekend in the Hamptons?

Summer in the Hamptons!

The weekdays in NY are long and hot, but when summer Fridays roll around…it’s time to take off for the Hamptons. Long Island Wine Country has become the new hot place to sip. So, if you are looking to escape the heat for a rosé getaway on the East Coast, here are a few of our picks!

The Wine Stand at Wölffer Estate
Located in the heart of the Hamptons, this nostalgic wine stand is the perfect place to start your weekend on your way out to East Hampton or Montauk. With live music on Friday and Saturday nights during the summer, you can sip some of our favorite ‘Summer in a Bottle’ Rosé, while watching the sun setting or pick up a case of their new Dry Rosé Cider in cans...great for the beach or the boat! Also try Wölffer Kitchen in Sag Harbor or Amagansett for a delicious bite to eat!

Sunset Beach Hotel
Considered by many as ‘the’ place to stay on Shelter Island, this laid back, French-inspired, beachy hotel is known for letting the rosé flow like water. Epic people watching, and an even more epic sunset to sit back and enjoy!

Raphael Winery
One of our favorite places to taste, also happens to be a great spot to find a piece from Olive and Poppy! Their rosé is crisp and tastes of watermelon and raspberries. Perfect for the long days at the beach and warm evening barbecues!

Sparkling Pointe Winery
This elegant winery located on the North Fork of Long Island allows the unique terroir to shine in their Méthode Champenoise sparkling wines. The winery slogan, “If It’s Not Sparkling….What’s the Pointe?” is appropriate because who doesn’t want a glass of bubbles while in this beautiful locale?? If you happen to be out there on July 21st, join them for their annual Carnival event where Rio De Janeiro comes to the North Fork!



Everything you need to know to get you ready for BottleRock!

We can NOT WAIT for BottleRock this week! The music, the food, the total takeover of Napa with fun people...bring it!

Last year, we created a pop-up souvenir shop on Third Street and brought our flower-crown-making skills and O&P collection to the streets! It was so much fun that we're doing it all again this year. We have a bigger, and even better pop-up this year, complete with a flower wall and rosé garden with special pink sips for all of you needing a little “refreshment” on your way into the concert. We will be open for all your festival and flower crown needs at 702 3rd Street from 11am-6pm Friday-Sunday.  

So, if you have tickets--and even if you don’t--come hang out with us in our Rosé Garden. It’s the best people watching in town and we have all the things you need and may have forgotten: totes, cute throws to wear on your shoulders or the cutest bandanas we made specifically for BottleRock. Maybe throw on a Cheers Necklace or a Honeycomb Ring to get outfitted. All adorable and waiting for you!

What to Bring:

  • Sunscreen! Don’t be that girl with the red shoulders on day two! If you plan to stay all day, dress in layers for ALL temperatures. It’s often cold and foggy in the mornings, warm in the afternoons, and then cold and windy in the afternoon.
  • Closed-toe, comfortable shoes. At the risk of sounding like my mother, do yourself a favor and wear a cute sneaker. It’s a big festival and by the end of the day, you will have walked a LOT. The stages are spread out and there aren’t a lot of places to sit, so you end up on your feet in a combo of dirt and grass for most of the day.
  • Don’t forget a hat! We love a wide-brimmed Panama hat, and you will most likely see Anne wearing one at our pop-up shop. A baseball hat is also light and easy to throw in your tote.
  • All the adorable, flowy festival gear is great for daytime, but the evenings get cold and windy, so bring a cute tote (if you forgot one, we got you covered!). Stuff your tote with an empty water bottle, a picnic throw (we can also help you with that), a light jacket and your hat.
  • Your bike! There is complimentary bike parking just a couple blocks away at 585 1st Street. It might be the handiest way to get to and from the festival without the hassles of “Are you my Uber?” Don’t forget to BYOL (Bring Your Own Lock)!

Where to Eat and Drink:
*All the spots below are walking distance from BottleRock

  • Hog Island: "Off the Island" is a new to-go service they are offering at Hog Island Oyster, so go ahead and grab a bottle of bubbles in the (somewhat hidden cold case) at the Wine Merchant, and a dozen oysters and sit on the lovely patio overlooking the river.
  • Angéle: Our very fav place for french fries and rosé, sits on the edge of the Napa River. The outdoor patio is the place to sit and enjoy a bottle of wine with friends. We tend to be there more often for lunch, but on a warm night, there is nothing more romantic than an evening at Angéle. 
  • Stone Brewery: This primo spot on the Napa River, not only has a cult brew following, but it’s only two blocks away from the fairgrounds, which makes it an easy stop on your way in or out. Their beer list changes daily and the view of the river cannot be beat.
  • Gran Electrica: If you happen to be looking for a spot to grab a delicious margarita after a long day of beer, come see us at Gran Electrica on Friday night. We will be sharing tacos and mounds of their guacamole and homemade chips over our favorite cocktail--a spicy cucumber marg.
  • Inside the festival there is an awesome selection of local food vendors. Hit up our friends at Il Posto for their sausage stuffed fried olives. They will blow your mind!

Weather: The weather looks like it will be sunny and in the high-70’s in the daytime and in the low 50’s at night.  Perfect festival weather…just don’t forget a jacket!

The Bottlerock Schedule and all other details can be found here: http://www.bottlerocknapavalley.com/