It is a crisp, wintery day here in Yountville.


Those readers who are living in upstate New York, Montana, Minnesota, and so forth can quit giggling at us now. But 55 degrees with full sunshine is what we call a crisp, wintery day.  The outlines of the Vaca and Mayacamas Mountains sharply contrast with crystalline blue skies. The first of the blooming trees are bursting out in splendor. The wild mustard is bringing its vibrant golden light to the Napa Valley floor. The abundant rains we had last month have allowed the grasses to paint the hillsides in emerald hues.

Inside our tasting room in Yountville we are similarly beaming with sunshine, brightness, and joy. And it all has to do with aromas of flowers, stone fruit, and citrus. No, we are not engaging in collective delusions of impending summer time, rather we are savoring the 2021 Cuvée Charlotte, the latest release from Hill Family Estate. Named for Ryan and Nicole Hill’s charming daughter, the Cuvée Charlotte is a blend of our most aromatic grapes, with 46% Viognier, 37% Sauvignon Blanc, and 17% Semillon, mostly from the Windy Flats Vineyard.

Cuvée Charlotte sports a charming label that features an original watercolor painting by Ivy Zellmer, displaying the flowers whose aromas are suggested by the wine. Hidden amongst the petals is the image of a horse, a nod to Charlotte’s equestrian interest.

On the nose, nectarine and tangerine notes mingle with lilac and honeysuckle aromas. On the palette, these aromas are supported by a refreshing minerality, giving exquisite balance and a strong finish. While we foresee warm summer afternoons by the pool, drinking this wine and nibbling on pieces of Pecorino Toscano, this wine is available right now to bring a ray of sunshine to your table.

And, if you are in one of those places experiencing real winter and are in need of some solar and gustatory relief, please feel free to visit us in our Yountville Tasting Room to taste Cuvée Charlotte and our other amazing wines and to pick up a bottle or three to spread the joy back home!