Taking a voyage into the Jarvis Estate Wine Cave

William and Leticia Jarvis are unlikely Napa Valley wine owners. He was raised in a “dry” state, Oklahoma, and she was raised in Pueblo, Mexico. After mutual successes in business, they met, married and adopted France for a part time residence.

Leticia and William Jarvis welcome visitors to their magnificent Jarvis Estate Wine Cave in the Napa Valley. Photo by Frank Mangio

The Jarvis’s developed a passion for Bordeaux Reds and gravitated to the Napa Valley where in the 1980’s they purchased 37 acres of vineyards. In 1995 they developed the stunning underground 45,000 square foot cave-inspired Jarvis Estate Winery, located East of Napa and tunneled into the Vaca Mountains. It has an underground stream and magnificent waterfall. The “Crystal Chamber” is lit with large amethyst crystals and a large ballroom holds memorable galas, including the American Wine Classic Auction Napa Valley Barrel Tasting and Auction, planned this year for June 1.

The deepest chamber of the cave is bigger than two basketball courts allowing all fermentation tanks and other processing equipment to be underground. The stream and underground water system maintain a humidity level at an ideal level for barrel aging.

Since 2008, Ted Henry has been the winemaker, closest to the daily care needed for high quality, crafted bottles. He is fortunate to have Dimitri Tchelistcheff, considered the wisest scholar of Napa winemaking, as his consultant winemaker. He is a member of the Vintner’s Hall of Fame.

Tchelistcheff began his winemaking career some 68 years ago. He has done it all!

Jarvis varietals include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot, Chardonnay and Tempranillo. The winery produces 9,000 cases a year. TASTE OF WINE recommends the 2007 Lake William Blend, with 93 points from Wine Enthusiast. The 2005 Reserve Cabernet has a 94-point award from Wine Enthusiast and 92 points from Robert Parker.

For more information on Jarvis Estate Winery, visit jarviswines.com, or call (800) 255-5280.

Fresh Casual is the Way to Go for Restaurants

The front-runners in the competition for the restaurant dollar are clearly fresh, farm to table cuisine, simply done and served. The food is locally sourced and nutritionally natural. Meat, fish, produce, all with a seasonal flair, have caught the wave of diner favor.

The wineries have connected with savvy chefs who respect what wines can do for food. They spend valuable time tasting wines and presenting menu items that match up with a Pinot Noir, Cabernet or Merlot.

American food and wine palates are more adventurous than ever, thanks to TV Food channels, chefs and wait-help in restaurants that can spin the nutritional, natural flavors of food and wine in these fresh-casual formats.

Light Italian such as Rosotto, Gnocchi and Caprese seem to top many casual

menu lists, as well as wood oven-baked pizzas Margherita style, with light cheese, tomato, sweet basil and a dash of “funghi” ( mushrooms.)

The hotels and resorts have sat up and taken notice of these trends. The new still-being-built Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa with Carlsbad beach views from its Chandler’s Restaurant site, has brought in Executive Chef Pascal Vignau, who brought Savory to Encinitas 8 years ago. He is widely known for his simple, brilliant style of comfort food, brought together with seasonal menus and world-class wines.

Pascal Vignau, who ran the popular casual comfort food restaurant Savory in Encinitas, will now be Executive Chef of Chandler’s in the new Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa. Photo by Frank Mangio

The trend to fresh casual menus is going uptown.

Wine Bytes

Meritage Wine Market in Encinitas is going with Spicy Reds: Grenache, Syrah and Zin at its event March 24 at 6 p.m. Six reds offered. Get your spice for $20. More info at (760) 479-2500.

North County Wine Company in San Marcos has a couple of fun tastings March 28 at 5 p.m. and then an Italian Wine Party March 30 at 4 p.m. for $10. This one has special pizzas and calzones. Call (760) 744-2119 for details.

Europa Village in Temecula Wine Country presents a Sommelier Workshop with wine & food basics March 20 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Learn new trends on how to make wine and food dance. $49. RSVP at (951) 216-3380.

Cal State San Marcos presents Managing Wine Style from Grape Production to Bottle March 31 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This seminar includes six Pinot Noir tastings, lunch & refreshments. $75. Call Jill at (760) 750-8705.

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