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Sunday, October 24, 2010

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By Emma Krasov, photography by Yuri KrasovWell-attended Harvest Moon Party at Michael Mondavi Family Winery (formerly Folio Winemaker’s Studio) happened to fall on the first, and what could be the worst, rainy stormy night in Northern California yesterday. Unfazed, the party-goers came to celebrate not only the winemaker’s harvest, but the winery’s newest release of Spellbound (boo, I guess?) and the new name of the popular and well-loved enterprise. Its founder and winemaking couch (and a family man, of course) Michael Mondavi was present at the festivities, along with his family members – among them his son Rob – the winemaker.Besides the newly released 2007 Spellbound Reserve Petit Syrah, the guests enjoyed richly-colored I’M Rose – 2008 Isabel Mondavi Deep Rose Cab Sauv; delightfully tannic 2006 Emblem Oso Single Vineyard Cab; melting-in-your-mouth 2006 Medusa Lover’s Lane Zin (exceedingly more mellow than the mythical heroine who gave it her name) and this wine-lover’s favorite – 2005 Oberon Cabernet-Magnum – really magnificent and deeply satisfying. The long list of presented varietals also included Oberon Sauv Blanc, Hangtime Char, I’M Char, Oberon Merlot, Spellbound Cab, a barrel tasting of a strong 2008 Cab from Animo Vineyard, Atlas Peak, and a sweet finale of 2007 Medusa Old Vine Zin Port.Wonderful Mondavi wines were complemented by fit-for-a-rainy-night food prepared by Smoke Grilling Company (Chef Morgan Robinson, Rachel Baronian-Powell, and Grant Wood). There were two kinds of Italian sausage on the menu – sweet and hot, grilled by the courageous chef on an outdoor grill, under a gazebo, despite the pouring rain; white Corona beans in a simple yet delicious soup/sauce of water, garlic, and olive oil; Ceasar salad, focaccia bread and house-made green pesto.For dessert, the guests indulged in decadent chocolate espresso pot de crème. Live band was playing in the candle-lit wine barrel cellar, and for the adventurous there was a great opportunity to participate in a traditional grape stomping – just to get a real taste of winemaker’s life.Michael Mondavi Family Winery is located at 1285 Dealy Lane in Napa, California. For more information, or to order wines, call 707-256-2759 or visit


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