meet: anna monticelli {esca, pina napa valley}

i had heard about anna monticelli through friends many years ago...her name was brought up from time to time, as with pretty much everyone who lives here in the napa valley....you quite often you get the sense of knowing people without actually meeting (awe the joys of living in a small town). but despite having countless friends in common, and many of the same interests we never were actually introduced. that was until harvest 2006...i needed a roommate + anna needed housing for her international intern for bryant family vineyard ...so through jake bacchus, a young surf.rat/winemaker from new zealand, we were finally introduced.

anna monticelli embodies the true characteristics of the next generation of up + coming winemakers in the napa valley. she is passionate, committed, kind, hard-working, understated, knowledgeable, talented + a lover of all things delicious. anna earned her degree in viticulture and enology from uc davis before spending her first harvest at cheval blanc in bordeaux, france. she has since been the assistant winemaker to philippe melka at both seavey vineyard {two years} + bryant family vineyard {four + a half years}. she is now making yummy wines as the winemaker at pina napa valley as well as successfully heading up her own label, esca napa valley {with her equally talented husband, mario monticelli}.

what do you love most about living in the napa valley?

i love how everything in the napa valley revolves around food + wine. you are never far away from a great meal. food + wine are very important to the people here, it's just part if the culture.

what do you love most about being a winemaker?

i love how wine making is a blend of science + art. i think it's really important to understand the scientific principles behind wine making but it's more important how you interpret them. it’s easy to create when you are really passionate about something.

what is your favorite wine you produce + why?

my favorite wine that i produce is the ilaria syrah. this is my new label that i'm really excited about. the syrah grapes come from the coombsville area of napa, from a small 1.3 acre hillside parcel. the vineyard is planted with alban clones 1 + 2, + it’s farmed by mike wolf. the syrah is inky, beautiful + elegant. i'm looking forward to creating the new label for it. i really love the vineyard + i’m able to make the wine at pina napa valley, where i am the winemaker.

what is your favorite restaurant + why?

this is a very difficult question because there are so many amazing restaurants in napa! i would have to say bouchon because they have the best oysters in the valley + i feel like i'm in paris when i’m there…+ don giovanni because they have such delicious italian food, a creative + always changing menu + their floral arrangements are so beautiful. honestly, i have good things to say about all of our restaurants in the napa valley.

what do you indulge in? guilty pleasures?

everything! but here's the top of my list... good champagne, east coast oysters, great cabernet, filet mignon, burrata, fois gras, french soap from vintage home, massages at ashley danielle (thank you for introducing me to her!)…

what or who inspires you?

who – my mom is my greatest inspiration. she really loves life, traveling, learning + experiencing things. she also showed me that i can do anything i put my mind to…

what – an exceptional meal with family + friends. it’s the best motivation to keep doing what i’m doing.

what is your favorite way to spend a saturday in the napa valley?

my day would have to include a long + relaxing lunch with my husband mario. then i would spend some time outdoors, maybe in the garden + then i would cook. i’m very busy during the week, so i like to cook large quantities of food + freeze them. i just made 17 pounds of sausage last weekend.

what is your favorite season in the valley?

fall because it’s when we harvest our grapes. we work 7 days a week for about 2 months straight + although it’s tiring, you’re able to keep going because of the adrenaline. it’s such an amazing feeling to sort your grapes + then just a few weeks later, you’re putting the wine into barrels…+ the smell of fermenting wine is heavenly!

thank you anna! can't wait to try your new syrah.

1 comment:

  1. Super Anna je suis très contente pour toi tu as l'air très épanouie je suis ton évolution et cel ede Mario via les differents articles vous concernant sur le net!
    j espere vous voir bientot