Tucked into the forested hillside of Diamond Mountain, Schramsberg Vineyards embodies the spirit of French Champagne by hand-riddling each bottle in the traditional bottle-fermentation method. The story of Schramsberg is also the story of a German immigrant and pioneer, Jacob Schram, who dug the first hillside cave in Napa in 1870. But it was not until 1976 that Schramsberg gained international recognition. Nixon famously served the 1969 Blanc de Blancs for the “Toast to Peace” with Mao Zhou, the beginning of U.S. rapprochement with China (I know, my inner foreign policy geek is in love too). A visit to Schramberg’s caves in Calistoga is a magical experience.
ONE STRING, best enjoyed with the hubby. For me, the 2010 Schamsberg Brut Rosé is an approachable yet complex bouquet of bright red and citrus fruits (strawberry, pink grapefruit) layered with toasted notes of fresh baked bread and rose petal. And don’t forget to admire the insanely gorgeous cooper-coral color. 75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay. Aged on the yeast for two years in bottle. The Rosé is an elevated pairing with creamy and sweet oysters. Local Choptanks and Blue Points (only $1 from Whole Foods) served with a brut Rosé mignonette sauce rounds out my perfect meal.