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Whirl With Merle

  • Broadcast in Travel



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We are going to Grass Valley in California, the location of Naggiar Vineyards and Winery to talk with owner Mike Naggiar, who after many years with Hewlett Packard, was looking for a second challenge. He took his passion for the family’s one acre hobby vineyard in Saratoga, California, and along with wife Diane Naggiar, embarked upon an extensive search throughout Northern California for a suitable location to start a commercial vineyard.

With the help of winemaker Derek Irwin, they crafted their first wines in 2003. Naggiar wines tell the tale of family members far and wide; from a robust red blend named “Don Giovanni” after an adventurous Milanese cousin, to an elegant white blend dubbed “La Contessa Sylvana” for the radiance it shares with its namesake. Naggiar wines are a culmination of family discussion, debate and deliberation – over a Sangiovese too traditional in style (or possibly not traditional enough?), or a Viognier that needs a touch more of “je ne sais quoi” to appeal to its French Canadian enthusiast. They built their own home in the vineyards in 2008 and both Shawn, on the business front, and Mary, as Tasting Room Manager, are important members of the Naggiar team. In fact, each family member has a place in the family business.

Wines include: Rhone: Viognier • Marsanne • Roussanne • Grenache • Syrah • Mourvedre • Petite Sirah • Cinsault • Counoise Italian: Muscat Canelli • Sangiovese • Barbera • Primativio Bordeaux: Malbec • Cabernet Sauvignon • Cabernet Franc • Petit Verdot Spanish:Tempranillo Blends: several fine blends and Reserve wines crafted from the varietals listed.