Tuesday, April 24, 2018



 Miner Napa Valley Chardonnay 2016

Miner Family Winery Founder David Miner in the hillside aging caves

by Dwight Casimere

Spring is finally here. It's time to welcome a wine that ushers in the season with style. Miner Napa Valley Chardonnay 2016  ($32) is a perfect example of everything you'd expect in a Napa Valley Chardonnay and more. It has all of the classic earmarks; buttery and elegant, it is bursting with crisp Delicious Apple, ripe melon and citrus flavors of pineapple, mandarin orange and a splash of Meyer lemon. There's a light hint of Tahitian cinnamon from French Oak aging, but its so beautifully incorporated that you hardly notice it. This is the wine that put Miner on the map, and rightly so. Miner Family Winery is a relative newcomer as things go in the valley, but its genesis is steeped in valley history and pedigree. Founder David Miner got his start as President of Oakville Ranch Vineyards, which was owned by his late uncle Robert Miner. Miner Family Winery was born in 1996, when David decided to become a custom crush client of the winery and start his own label. Emily Miner, a graduate of Santa Clara University, becomes tasting room manager at Oakville where she and David met and fell in love. In 1997, Joseph Phelps alum Gary Brookman comes on board as winemaker and the rest is history. The winery's aging caves are carved out of the hills above the Silverado Trail in the heart of the Napa Valley, and after a 15 month process and a year of celebrations, Dave and Emily marry and the winery issues its first wines under its own label. Hallelujah! 

Miner Family Winery winemaker Gary Brookman (l) with Founder David Miner

If I'm not grilling, I love to make one pot meals in my slow cooker. One of my favorites is pan seared boneless  chicken thighs with fresh herbs from my garden. Almost any variety will do, its your choice, I prefer oregano and thyme. Add a mix of multi colored carrots,  chuncks of red and yellow onions and shallots, a couple of cloves of garlic and a half cup of the Miner Chardonnay and let cook for an hour or two while you enjoy a leisurely glass of Miner Chardonnay. A side salad of mixed Organic Spring Greens with added Arugula,slices of avocado, a handful of  crumbled goat cheese and a dressing of lemon juice and garlic infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil and you've got an al fresco lunch that will have your neighbors attempting to climb the fence to join in the party. 

 The aging caves dug into the hillside above Napa Valley's historic Silverado Trail

Miner Family Winery Owners Emily and David Miner

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