Drinking Adventurously – Napa Edition

Week 34 in The Year of Drinking Adventurously. Pisco. And you guessed it… FAIL.

Pisco is a South American spirit derived from grapes and although it has a four hundred year tradition in places like Peru, suburban Philadelphia has not caught on… Nevertheless, Lula may have had better luck. So what shall we talk about instead? Something else grape related, perhaps?

I looked ahead to make sure I won’t tread on ground to be covered in the future and discovered that the road ahead does not include wine. That gives me an opportunity to tell you a cool story about a small wine maker in Napa, California. In 2014, friends in the Bay Area invited a few of us East Coasters to come out for a visit. We did a lot in the ten days we were there, including spending the day in California wine country.

I will never, ever, not for one minute try to pretend I know much about wine. My default setting is to let the sommelier recommend something for me when I go out or to let my more knowledgable friends help me choose. I have my favorites that I return to again and again at the wine and spirits shop and so this trip to Napa was to be an education. Our California friends had a connection to a small vineyard called One Acre Winery and Dave Becker, the owner and wine maker.

Dave’s parents moved to the location of the vineyard back in the early 1970’s but at the time the land was being used for fruit orchards. In time Dave married and moved away. But more recently, as his father’s health began to fail, Dave and his wife moved back to the area to look after both his parents. They built a little house on the property for themselves and settled into life on the farm. The old fruit trees had grown tired, though and a friend suggested that Dave plant a vineyard instead. So with the help of a vineyard crew from a nearby winery the land was cleared and Dave planted his first vines. On one acre. Thus the name.

Dave’s first acre was planted with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in 2002. By 2008, his wine bested 500 entries to win a prestigious international competition. The vineyard has always been cultivated organically and has now expanded to many more acres, though the first acre is still being cultivated. Pretty cool, huh? The winery is now called Acre Winery and if you follow the link, you can read more of their story and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.




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