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Walnut Creek Magazine

Amici Cellars Pulls Back the Winemaking Curtain with Their Heritage Blend Experience

Oct 01, 2018 01:09PM ● By Fran Miller

Photo by Sara Sanger Photography

Tucked into a hillside with spectacular views overlooking the Palisades, Calistoga’s Amici Cellars focuses on small batch winemaking in the crafting of its flagship Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and other select varietals – something the winery has been doing for the past 25 years. The winery got its start in the 1990's when a group of friends with a passion for good wine and fun times together crushed a few tons of grapes in the Napa Valley for their own personal cellars. The resulting wine was so well-received that the crew started producing wine the next year to share with the public. They named their winery Amici - Italian for ‘friends.’

And now, Amici Cellars’ proprietors John Harris and Bob and Celia Shepard invite new friends to share in their bounty. From November 1, 2018 through April 1, 2019, visitors are invited for a sneak peek into a day-in-the-life of a winemaker. With their Heritage Blend Experience, guests are invited to join the estate’s winemaking team in a fully immersive, half-day, behind-the-scenes look as the winemaker’s work to craft Amici’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon blend, made with grapes from Napa Valley’s legendary Beckstoffer Heritage Vineyard. 

Under the tutelage of Amici’s acclaimed winemaker Toni Biagi, guests begin with barrel tastings to help define flavor profiles that are most pleasing to the palate. After selecting preferred samples from barrel to beaker, the engaging Biagi shares his techniques and tips towards achieving a perfect, elegant balance, and the crafting begins. The hard work is rewarded afterward with a visit to the winery’s private tasting room and a sampling of Amici Cellars’ reserve and single-vineyard wines, each expertly paired with seasonal bites. 

Photo by Sara Sanger Photography

Heritage Blend visitors are then offered the ultimate souvenir of their half-day of winemaking: early acquisition to the 2017 Amici Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, which, after aging in oak barrels for 18 months, is bottled and ready for delivery or pick-up. 

The half-day experience is $125 per person and is offered by appointment only for groups of four to ten. Advanced reservations are required. Pricing for 12 bottles of the Amici Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is $1,080 or $90/per 750 ml bottle.

To make a reservation, or for more information, visit or call 707.967.9560. 

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