Clos Pegase, Napa Memories

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From the Digital Journal, August 21, 2013, “Vintage Wine Estates Purchases Clos Pegase Winery.”  And in the Wine Spectator, “Napa’s Clos Pegase Sold.”

I have a fondness for this winery.  In my early wine sojourns and education, this was an true find.  The fine architecture of the facility, and fine art throughout, made it a special experience.

And the wines were wonderful in my price range, an early entrant into the market for oaky-buttery Chardonnays, especially “Mitsuke’s”, named for the wife of the founder and owner, Jan Schrem.

But the most phenomenal experience came one New Year’s in the early 2000s, when I attended a party inside the caves of the facility.  What a sight!  A long aisle with tables for 8, each with candelabras and lighted candles, totaling probably 15-20 tables.  On both sides of the aisles were aging barrels of wine.  The food was fantastic, everyone was dressed beautifully, and as the evening went on, the noise level elevated with laughter–wine tends to do that to people.

To cap the evening, in a far corner of the caves was a small amphitheater, where a band began to play, encouraging the early dancers.  As the countdown to the New Year took place, the dance floor was in high gear, with hats and duck callers.  Easily one of the most memorable New Year’s Eve celebrations of my life.

I had the opportunity to attend again a few years later.  The candelabras with lighted candles were replaced by ice sculptures on each table.  Turned out the burning candles raised the temperature in the cellar beyond what was acceptable.

The second time was memorable as well, but as is often the case in life, it didn’t capture the same magic of the first time experience in those caves.

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