Learning About Champagne Riddling at Field Trip to Domaine Carneros

Old wooden riddling racks were set-up around the second floor room of Domaine Carneros, overlooking the winery below.  CEO, Eileen Crane, handed everyone a glowing flute of Domaine Carneros Ultra Brut to enjoy as she explained how the riddling process works.

“The traditional method was to turn each bottle in the riddling rack by a set amount each day until all of the yeast from the second fermentation in bottle fell to the top lip of the bottle.  In this way, it could be frozen and then easily ejected.”

There were oohhs and aahhs from the thirty SSU wine business students attending the field trip, both over the delicious sparkling wine in their glass as well as the large riddling racks set up before them.

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Eileen Crane Explaining How Riddling Racks are Used

Eileen continued, “Today, however, we use gyropallets to gently rotate the wine.” She pointed  to the large picture windows with their clear view into the vast winery with its array of gyropallets – huge robotic machines that looked like large metal baskets filled with sparkling wine bottles.

About Domaine Carneros

 Established in 1987, the estate includes with their 225 acres of pinot noir and 125 acres of chardonnay in the Carneros AVA.  It is owned by the House of Tattinger in Champagne, and the beautiful chateau is modeled after the Tattinger chateau in France.

The winery is known for its environmentally friendly practices, and has one of the largest arrays of solar panels installed in a winery in the USA.  They also have multiple certifications, including the California Sustainable Wine Growing Certification and Fish Friendly Farming.

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Members of Our Class in Front of the Beautiful Domaine Carneros Chateau


A Taste of Sparkling Magic

In addition to the delectable 2012 Ultra Brut tasted during the winery tour, two additional wines were served in a private salon, along with generous bowls of mixed nuts. A fruity 2013 Brut Rose with bright strawberry and cherry notes, as well as the 2013 Domaine Carneros Estate Pinot Noir with notes of spice, dried cheery and subtle oak.

By the end of the tour, Domaine Carneros had made many new fans, and it was a great introduction to one of Napa Valley’s famous sparkling houses.

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Our SSU Wine Business Class at Domaine Carneros




Wines for the Lawyer and Sicilian in Your Life – Emmitt-Scorsone Winery

(Contributed by Jane Hofmeister) This week, Palmer Emmitt, CEO of Emmitt-Scorsone Winery, visited SSU to share his beautiful artisan wines with us.  Palmer and his partner produce two brands: Judge Palmer and Domenica Amato.


Emmitt-Scorsone Wines

The Judge Palmer Wine Brand

This wine was name for Palmer’s grandfather James Palmer. He served as a judge in El Dorado County, California in the 1960s and 1970s.  Palmer said this wine is a favorite of lawyers, and also is a great gift for anyone working in a legal environment. However, the velvety and rich taste of this wine will satisfy people from all walks of life.

Domenica Amato Wine Brand

Domenica Amato is made in remembrance of Michael Scorsone’s grandmother who was born in Sicily and moved to America. Her story represents the essence of these wines as Domenica Amato wines are inspired by old world style wines, but have a new world flare that’s fun, funky and fruity.

Wines We Tasted This Week

Domenica Amato  2015 Grenache Blanc  (2% Viognier) – Medium bodied blend with notes of honeydew melon, lemon, stone fruit, and oak. Wine is unfiltered and unfined, grapes grown in volcanic Sonoma soil and stored in both neutral and French oak. Pair with scallops, sea bass, cod, lobster.

Domenica Amato  2015 Chardonnay – Full bodied, Burgundian style Chard with notes of apricot, toasted marshmallow, and lemon custard. Also unfiltered an unfined. Russian River Valley AVA, Sonoma County. Pair with smoked chicken, seafood linguini, bouillabaisse.

Domenica Amato  2007 Pinot Noir – Medium-bodied, modestly tannic Pinot with notes of mushroom, cherry, pomegranate, cedar, and oak. Grapes are stomped by foot and aged in French oak. Pair with filet minion, mushrooms, duck, rabbit, coq au vin.

Domenica Amato  2015 Syrah – Rich, bold, gamey wine with notes of licorice, wet wood, chocolate and coffee with a fruity finish. Also foot stomped and aged in new and used barrels. Dry Creek Valley. Pair with BBQ: brisket, pulled pork.


WineSense Board with Palmer Emmitt

Favorite Wine of Millennials

At the conclusion of the tasting, participants were asked to vote on their favorite wine, and the Domenica Amato 2015 Grenache Blanc was the clear winner.

If you would like to experience these incredible unique wines, please make an appointment to visit Emmitt-Scorsone’s tasting room in Healdsburg. There you can experience both labels: Judge Palmer with innovative Bordeaux style blends, and Domenica Amato, old world style wines with a new world twist. All wines are limited production. Cheers!