Solano Cellars: Argentine Magic – Catena Zapata!
Mar
21
5:30 PM17:30

Solano Cellars: Argentine Magic – Catena Zapata!

Bodega Catena Zapata is a family-owned winery located in Mendoza, in the sub appellation of Agrelo, Argentina. The winery was founded in 1902 by Italian immigrant Nicola Catena, grandfather to the current winery owner, Nicolás Catena Zapata,

"Nicolás Catena Zapata is justly credited with putting Argentinean wines on the world map—by the best expedient of focusing entirely on quality. It's great to know he has started a wine dynasty, too." – Jancis Robinson, Financial Times wine journalist

So come by and taste the ‘original’ great wine of Argentina.

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Elmwood: Winemaker Erin Mitchell of Unturned Stone!
Mar
19
6:00 PM18:00

Elmwood: Winemaker Erin Mitchell of Unturned Stone!

Tuesday 3/19 at Elmwood! 
Come try the wines of Erin Mitchell's Unturned Stone! 


Having worked with winemakers as illustrious (and as known-to-VB!) as Steve Edmunds, Elisabetta Foradori, Jean-Paul Brun, and Kenny Likitprakong? Erin Mitchell and her husband Randy decided they were ready to strike their own path. 

With no winemaking facility to call home, they went guerrilla style, and set up shop in a jerryrigged barn up in Duncan's Mill. The results? Natural Californian wines that stun, made in micro-production sorts of quantities. (400 cases, maybe?)

Come meet the winemaker herself! She'll be pouring her “Spider Chase,”  a Bordeaux blend from the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA, positively loaded with herbal, olive-laced, earthy notes; her "Stowaway,” a vibrant mix of old-vine Zin and Carignan from outside Ukiah, bursting with a spicy sense of place; and her"Hatchling,” made from Sauvignon Musquè (a clone being brought back from the brink of extinction) made with a bit of skin contact. (And if you're nice? She may even pour some library vintages!)


The Wines of Unturned Stone!

Erin Mitchell in the House!
3/19 - 6 PM

Only $5. Only at Elmwood!

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Solano Cellars: Ancient Wine Guys – The Labors of Heracles!
Mar
16
6:00 PM18:00

Solano Cellars: Ancient Wine Guys – The Labors of Heracles!

This Saturday at Solano*! Please join Dr. Dana DePietro, Dr. Jeff Pearson, and Ti Ngo - archaeologists, educators, and mad lovers of the vine - on an epic journey through the world and wines of the Labors of Heracles.

That's right: the Big Guy himself! Because no ancient figure fascinated Greeks and Romans alike as much as Heracles (or Hercules, if you're Roman). While Heracles cameo'ed in myths innumerable, his most famous legend was undoubtedly that of the series of extraordinary Labors he was forced to complete in servitude to his rival, King Eurystheus.

We use the myth cycle as a leaping-off point, and will taste eight wines from the places Heracles visited during his Labors... along with small-food plate pairings as well! For only $60!

This Saturday*, from 6 - 8:30 PM at Solano! Come join us for a seminar that will be fascinating, delicious, and anything but laborious!

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Vine Street: Wine Vacation in Spain
Mar
15
5:30 PM17:30

Vine Street: Wine Vacation in Spain

A Vacation in Spain – Relax and Taste the Sun.
This is a great opportunity to taste and learn about Spanish wines. We will have a wonderful selection of wines from Sunny Spain. We will be joined by friend of the shop, and someone who knows how to set The Spanish Table, Margot McGrath.
Five Wines for, $5.00  Club Members are FREE

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Elmwood: Saturday MASINI!
Mar
9
3:00 PM15:00

Elmwood: Saturday MASINI!

It's here. It's finally here. The day we welcome Francesco de Filippis, the winemaker behind the biodynamic Tuscan wonder that is Cosimo Maria Masini.

Because there's a piece of Tuscany that exists below the radar. Way away from all the Frances Mayes tourists, and way smaller than the winemaking behemoths (Antinori, Frescobaldi, et al.) that make wine in million-bottle quantities, treat the grape-sourcing as a logistics exercise, and sell dubious Chianti-like things at duty-free shops across the globe.

Francesco is going to take you there. Based in San Minato, he farms 35 acres of vineyards... and 11 of olive trees. They practice biodynamic farming, and gentle, non-interventionist winemaking (he'll talk about what that means to him)... and the results are quite unlike any Tuscan wines you've ever had.

We're tasting a veritable rainbow coalition today! His Annick (a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Vermentino)! His Matilde (a rosé made from Sangiovese and Sanforte!)! His Daphne (an 'orange' wine made from Trebbiano Toscana and Malvasia)!

Reddening up, we'll pour his Sincero (which the label calls "Happy Tuscan Wine")! His Nicole (Sangiovese)... and his freakishly good and, well, kinda serious Cosimo (a blend of Sangiovese, Sanforte and Bonamico, two rare native varieties).

If you're lucky? We may even pour his Fedardo... perhaps the first biodynamically made Vin Santo in existence! Grapes are air-dried, hung on hooks for 4 months, foot-stomped in vats ("gentle" winemaking is a relative term!), aged for 7 years... and then inexplicably released for the delight of ordinary mortals like ourselves.

These are special wines: prepare to leave with your mind blown... and your wallet intact!

The estate. (Note the surrounding forest, the life between the rows...)

Tuscany... Naturalmente!

3- 5 PM at Elmwood.

Francesco in the House!

Get Dusted.

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Elmwood: Focus on Women in Wine
Mar
8
6:00 PM18:00

Elmwood: Focus on Women in Wine

We're hosting winemaker Claire Jarreau from Oregon's biodynamic winemaker, Brooks. A globetrotting wunderkind (she worked in Austria's Wachau region, South Africa, and New Zealand (among others), before settling five years back at the iconic estate of Brooks, in Oregon's Eola-Amity Hilla AVA. We'll be pouring at least 5 wines, discussing biodynamic farming, and celebrating International Women's Day all at once!

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Vine Street: Focus on Women in Wine
Mar
8
5:30 PM17:30

Vine Street: Focus on Women in Wine

International Women’s Day 2019 just gives us an excuse but there are a lot of great wines that just happen to be made by women. How great? We will let you be the judge – but you won’t want to miss this event as we are pulling out the stoppers to show and share some of our favorite wines. An incredible line-up for only $5.00!
Five wines for $5.00. Club Members and Guests are FREE!

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Elmwood: Kivelstadt!
Mar
7
6:00 PM18:00

Elmwood: Kivelstadt!

Nope, that wasn't a sneeze -- that's just us, exclaiming loudly and proudly that we're hosting winemaker Sam Baron, the driving force behind Kivelstadt Cellars: some of the most delicious and well-made values we know in Californian wine right now.

Previously part of the Populis/Les Lunes project (the same one our beloved Martha Stoumen was a part of!), Sam took over the winemaking at Kivelstadt a few years ago, and the wines (already great) took a huge upward leap. He'll be bringing all sorts of new goodies, including the California debut of his 2018 rosé, his brand new "carbonic" Zinfandel, some old-vine Charbono.. along with four others!

Come Get Your Kivelstadtvergnügen!

7 Wines, $7!

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Solano Cellars: Niche Natural (not natty!) French with MC Squared
Mar
7
5:30 PM17:30

Solano Cellars: Niche Natural (not natty!) French with MC Squared

Last week we featured some killer French staples, and this week we are diving into a completely different kind of French wine: Niche and Natural (never natty!) French! The yin to last week's yang if you will. Hosted by MC Squared, an importer focused on responsibly farmed, minimal intervention "natural" wines that are as clean as the day is long. No mouse in this house! We'll visit some slightly more 'niche' French than your standard Burdundy-Bordeaux 1-2 punch: Sparking Pinot Blanc from Alsace, Vermentino-Roussanne (!) from Provence, Picpoul and Tempranillo (!!!) from Languedoc, San Soufre Beaujolais that smells like Red Hots, and a classic Jura Trousseau. Far from ordinary and nothing short of extraordinary, these wines will make your re-think France... and re-think natural!

Fee: $10/person 

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Elmwood: The Anti-Mafia Wine of Centopassi.
Mar
2
4:00 PM16:00

Elmwood: The Anti-Mafia Wine of Centopassi.

If you've been with us for a while, you know: we tend to foam at the mouth a bit when it comes to the wines of Sicily. But as many great wines as there are coming from this ancient wine-growing island? The wines of Centopassi are different.

Hailing from the high-elevation vineyards (1800+ feet!) of the Belice Corleonese, a plateau near the town of Corleone, just south of Palermo. Organic farming, native varietals, hand-harvesting, and specific, stunning terroir all combine to make these among some of our favorite Sicilian wines.

But that’s just the vinous story! Take a look at the name of that town again... because there's another side to this estate. Centopassi wines are grown in vineyards confiscated from convicted Mafiosi, some of them notorious (such as Salvatore ’Toto’ Riina). The mere existence of this estate is a renunciation of the Mafia. We're proud to support Centopassi and Libera Terra, the organization behind it.

We're homored and thrilled to report that the winemakers are in the house! Devoted as they are to making world-beating wines first, and defeating the Mafia second, this is a winemaker event not to miss. Taste wines ranging from their excellent everyday Giato Rosso and Bianco, to some of the best Sicilian single-vineyard wines we’ve had outside of Etna.

The Wines of Centopassi.

Winemakers in the House!

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Solano Cellars: Pierreclos Imports aka Affordable French!
Feb
28
5:30 PM17:30

Solano Cellars: Pierreclos Imports aka Affordable French!

It doesn’t get more mom ‘n pop (‘n grandma ‘n grandpa) than this! Paul is from a multigenerational family winery in Burgundy: Côteaux de Margots. Due to the inconvenience of falling in love with an American woman (*le sigh*) Paul has started an import business to bring his beautiful family’s wines (and the wines of a few talented friends!) to the States for the first time. These are delightful, affordable French goodness, the likes of which you can literally only find at a few locations in the Bay... or by traveling to Burgundy (do we HAVE to?!)
Here’s the lineup:
• Coteaux de Margots Cremant Brut
• Coteaux de Margots Macon-Villages Blanc
• Coteaux de Margots Bourgogne Rouge
• Domaine de la Taurelle ‘Truffiere’ Old Vine Grenache, Burgundy
• Petit Perout ‘Desir’ Syrah, Beaujolais (?!)

Date/time: Thursday 2/28 from 5:30-7:30pm
Location:Solano Cellars!
Fee: $10/person

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Elmwood: Minimus to the Maximus
Feb
26
6:00 PM18:00

Elmwood: Minimus to the Maximus

Minimus: the genre-defying, delight-delivering wine project of Chad Stock, one of the most restlessly inventive winemakers in America.

The so-called (well, okay: us-called) "Rad Scientist of Oregon" is back in town tomorrow... and he has a brand-new a box of goodies to share! It's hard to articulate both how much we love these beasts, and how a guy as experimental as Chad is achieves such necessitous wines. You have the feeling not of someone experimenting for experimentation's sake, but of an explorer discovering a thing that needed to exist.

Each Minimus wine is an individually numbered, non-repeating experiment. (Experiment #1, e.g., was devoted to aging in acacia barrels; Experiment #2 was focused on co-fermenting Tempranillo with Viognier skins; Experiment #3....) It's a project just as insane as it is insanely delicious.

Tomorrow will include old faves, like Amphorae-aged Sauvignon Blanc (!)... but it will also mark the Berkeley debut of many of his newest wines... including a Pinot from the oldest known vines in Oregon (1968!), an astonishment he calls "The Mother" (named thus for the way he uses a "starter" culture of Chardonnay lees, just like a sourdough guru might), and the (now-prohibited!) Vinous Beast Formerly Known As: Expletive Deleted.

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Solano Cellars: Uncharted Australia with Justin Dolezal, Grandes Places Selections
Feb
21
5:30 PM17:30

Solano Cellars: Uncharted Australia with Justin Dolezal, Grandes Places Selections

Not a Shiraz in sight! This Thursday we are uncovering the NEW Australia - these wines are a far cry from your Grandma's Yellow Tail. Organically farmed, minimal intervention, fresh fruit... this is the new Aussie, mate!

The wine-up:
• 2018 Delinquente Tuff Nut Bianco Pet Nat, Riverland
• 2017 MWC Pinot Gris, Victoria
• 2018 Grosset 'Alea' Riesling, Clare Valley
• 2016 Mac Forbes Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley
• 2017 Brash Higgins Cabernet Franc, McLarenVale
• 2012 Voyager 'Girt By Sea' Bordeaux Blend

Only $10 at Solano Cellars!

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Elmwood: The Wines of François-Xavier Barc – Complices de Loire
Feb
15
6:00 PM18:00

Elmwood: The Wines of François-Xavier Barc – Complices de Loire

This section of the email is meant to be accompanied by this song. (We'll wait patiently while you click and come back.) Oh hey there, back already? Bum stiggedy bum stiggedy bum... FX Barc's wines are in the house this Friday night at Elmwood!

Having been the winemaking wizard behind one of Chinon's premiere estates (our own Kermit Lynch's famed Charles Joguet), François-Xavier Barc decided to leave in 2010 to create his own project, Complices de Loire. He decided he'd rather work with his network of badass farmer 'complices' (accomplices) -  and make amazing wine at reasonable prices - than spend all his money on his own estate.

And that's just what he and his merry band of complices have achieved! Join us this Friday night as we host FX Barc representative and friend of the store Nick Roche. He's pouring four of our most beloved (and delicious) values in the shop: FX Barc's Sauvignon Blanc, his Chenin Blanc, his "Jus de Gamay,"and a value-priced Pinot that makes most Sancerre rouges blush in shame.
Only at Elmwood. Only $5!

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Solano Cellars: Bubbles & Meringues with Floraison, VALENTINES DAY
Feb
14
5:30 PM17:30

Solano Cellars: Bubbles & Meringues with Floraison, VALENTINES DAY

Back by popular demand! Whether you're celebrating Valentine's or Galentine's or none of the above, everyday is a good day for a mouth-watering bubbly pairing. 
Taste the meringues of Svetlana Royzen (Unlike anything you've ever tried, these are less like cookies, and more like cherub-biscuits. Think: Sage. Coriander. Beets. Rose with pistachios. All hand-dipped in a variety of chocolates!) next to small lot bubbles (and cider!)... aaaand die and go to heaven.
• Domaine Serol 'Turbullent' Natural Sparkling Rosé
• Domaine Sulauze 'Super Modeste' Natural Sparkling Vin de France
• Sylvain Dittière 'La Porte St. Jean, Six Roses' Dry Sparkling Rosé (macerated
with 6 varieties of estate-grown roses!)
• Julien Thurel Cidre Sec 'Champetre'

Only $15 at Solano Cellars!

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Elmwood: Winemaker Sisto Tessari of La Cappuccina, Veneto, Italy
Feb
8
6:00 PM18:00

Elmwood: Winemaker Sisto Tessari of La Cappuccina, Veneto, Italy

We head to the Veneto, as we host one of the region's greatest producers of Soave (pronounce it 'swah-vay,' just like you wanna) visits us: La Cappuccina. Winemaker Sisto Tessari and good friend Angelino Sandri will both be on hand, pouring two different versions of Soave (arguably Italy's most popular white wine, and secretly one of its most serious), a Sauvignon Blanc grown on intensely volcanic soils, two reds (one priced for a weeknight, and one to show off with) and their sweetly stunning Recioto, made from dried Garganega grapes.

Only $5!

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Solano Cellars: Craft Austrian Tasting with Craft & Estate
Feb
7
5:30 PM17:30

Solano Cellars: Craft Austrian Tasting with Craft & Estate

Friend of the Cellars, – Emily Kaplan, will be on hand to help uncover some of the best kept secrets in wine! Austria produces some of the cleanest, most vibrant, and tantalizing whites and reds the world over. You've probably (whether knowingly or not!) tasted Austrian Grüner Veltliner and Austrian Riesling. But have you tasted sparkling Grüner made in the Champagne method? Some of the most minerally Pinot Noir that rivals Burgundy's finest Premier Cru vineyards? Zwei-what? Didn't think so! Come on in and be charmed by these 5 gems:

• NV Szigeti Brut Gruner Veltliner
• 2017 Lorimer Kamptal Riesling Trocken
• 2015 Weininger Pinot Noir
• 2017 Lust & Leben Zweigelt/St Laurent
• 2017 Paul Achs Blaufrankisch

Tasting fee: $10


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Elmwood: Wonders of the Ligurian Coast
Feb
5
6:00 PM18:00

Elmwood: Wonders of the Ligurian Coast

Wonders of the Ligurian Coast

Tomorrow at Elmwood: we're excited to welcome the greatest grandchildren winemakers of the Ligurian coast: Il Torchio!

Having taken over the reins from Giorgio Tendola, the legendary Ligurian winemaker and the champion of Liguria's Colli di Luni appellation, grandkids Gilda and Edoardo have quickly become known as the winemakers to watch in Italy's amazing coastal wine region.

At 12 hectares (with only 9 planted to vine), Il Torchio may be small... but they're one of the only contiguous estates in Liguria, and one of the only natural winemakers there, too! These are exciting wines, and dynamic winemakers, and we're thrilled to play host.

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Elmwood: Catalonian Superstar Francesc Escala
Feb
4
6:00 PM18:00

Elmwood: Catalonian Superstar Francesc Escala

Catalonian Superstar Francesc Escala

Okay, so as boxing nicknames go, we'll admit: it may leave something to be desired. (He calls himself a "romantic butcher and gastro-wine passionate," but that lacks a bit for brevity.) The thing is, though? Francesc Escala is on the very, very, very short list of winemakers who have made Catalonia (and Penedès, within it) of the most exciting spots in the vinous world these days.

Tonight? [Insert breathless panting here.] He's in the house! Yes, one of the men behind Raventós i Blanc (one of the oldest continuous winemakers in the entire world, and the bubbles many consider to be the greatest in all of Spain)... and the man behind Can Sumoi (his high-altitude project for still and wild natural wines) is at Elmwood, ready to pour an octet of Catalan wonders!

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Elmwood: Ian Brand is in the House!
Feb
1
6:00 PM18:00

Elmwood: Ian Brand is in the House!

Way, way before the San Francisco Chronicle recently enlaureled him as their Winemaker of the Year? Vintage Berkeley customers knew: Ian Brand was one of the winemakers defining our state.

Elmwood is beyond thrilled to host him this Friday evening as he pours through a wide lineup of his wines: wines from P'Tit Paysan, La Marea, and I.Brand & Co. And if it's not enough to meet a rising superstar in the flesh? For one night only there will be special, best-in-California, best-in-history pricing on some Ian's wines as well!  

Only $1 per wine!

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Vine Street: California Love!
Feb
1
5:30 PM17:30

Vine Street: California Love!

Vine Street welcomes everybody to the wild, wild west. 
Wine that’s untouchable like Elliot Ness. 

We are rollin' up on the new year February 1st and putting the focus on our home state pleasure. So park your ride, stroll in and say hello. We are going to enjoy some easy-to-enjoy wines and a couple of delicious surprises.  California love! 

Five wines for $5, Club Members Free.

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Solano Cellars: Roman Wine History & Tasting  with Vito Fabrizio
Jan
31
6:00 PM18:00

Solano Cellars: Roman Wine History & Tasting with Vito Fabrizio

Italian Wine History Class & Tasting with Vito Fabrizio,
Owner of Aemilia Imports, Thursday January 31
The session will repeat with the program starting
at 6pm and then again at 7pm

Please email mail@solanocellars.com to rsvp for either the 6PM or the 7PM seminar

Description: Learn the rich history of Roman wine production, commerce, and its evolution into your glass, while tasting 6 unique wines spanning Italy:

  • Pedrotti 'Bouquet' Brut, Metodo Classico, Trentodoc

  • La Tosa 'Sorriso di Cielo' Malvasia, Colli Piacentini

  • Marengoni "Casa Bianca" Barbera/Bonarda, Gutturnio Riserva 

  • Piacentini 'Rigel' Barbera, Colli Piacentini

  • Moganazzi 'Don Michele' Rosso Etna, Sicily

  • Solenghi "Danza del Sole" Malvasia Passito, Emilia Romagna

We will host two sessions, so both early arrivals and latecomers can partake! Please be on time.

Tasting / Class Fee: $15

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Elmwood: Greek Out!
Jan
25
6:00 PM18:00

Elmwood: Greek Out!

We head to Greece, both to once more dedicate ourselves to the proposition that there is more to the vinous world than Chardonnay (Liatiko! Moschofilero! Xinomavro! Unite!)... and to explore one of the oldest continuous - and most presently exciting - winemaking traditions in the world! (Ed.: We reserve the right to recycle that sentence when we go to Georgia, btw, in a few weeks!)

Come join us and resident GreekGeek™ Szymon Sipowski as we pour through a septet of mythic wonders, all made from Greek varietals saved from extinction by modern demigods!

Greek Out! $7 for 7 Wines!

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