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Orange and Blue Wine

November 11, 2010

Filed under: observations,Uncategorized,Wine — Tags: , — admin @ 4:02 pm

Spent part of last weekend touring two wineries in Napa Valley with a bunch of other Bucknell University Alums.

Ed Farmer, a BU grad from 1969 showed us around the Kendall Jackson Oakville winery where they process grapes for a number of KJ’s  brands. This is the Napa headquarters for the brand and Ed oversees 5 different vineyards and as well as the press/processing

Tasting from the barrel at Kendall Jackson

operations. Well-known brands such as Freemark Abbey and Alisos Hills get their start here.

Ed, who holds a degree in civil engineering, keeps a watchful eye on all 30,000 barrels. It was great fun to taste barrel samples of a number of wines, although it was more like sampling lemonade in some cases.

It was also the last day of crush and they were hand-sorting some of the fruit that goes into their 0/bottle Cardinale brand. We didn’t get any samples of that, but there was some excellent cabernet, viognier, and merlot.

On the other end of the wine making scale was Reverie Winery on Diamond Mountain in Calistoga – owned and operated by Norm Kiken and his new bride.

Norm Kiken of Reverie Winery

Complete with wine cave and Redwood picnic area, Reverie makes about 3000 cases of highly respected wine, including a Roussanne which is not seen that often in California.

Norm is a 1968 graduate of Bucknell, but admits that he learned by the seat of his pants – moving from investment banking when he accidentally discovered he had a palate.

Norm’s wines have drawn high praise from critics and consumers alike and if you ever seen any if your local wine shop by a bottle or two and have a toast to one of Bucknell’s finest. And by all means try his special blend named for his son, Andrew Scott Kikken – that would be the A.S. Kiken brand.

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