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Foodie Chap Visits Materra | Cunat Family Vineyards


SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - Born into an Italian family, Bruce Regalia spent many afternoons growing up smelling the aromas coming from the family kitchen and anticipating the delicious blended flavors of another authentic Sunday dinner. With grandparents from Genoa and Calabria, the family was brought up in the Italian tradition that everyone was underfed. The food was always fresh and plentiful, and there was always wine on the table.

From the bountiful table of his youth, Bruce knew the benefit from well-farmed and managed gardens was fresh, flavorful produce and deep structured wines. He pursued this interest and curiosity in his academic studies, earning a degree in botany and plant and soil science from Chico State in California. He graduated and worked for two large farming entities before taking a job as a vineyard manager in Mendocino County in the mid-80's. Bruce's talent and style as a winemaker developed as he transitioned from vineyard manager to winemaker at a small vineyard, later purchased by Duckhorn Wine Company.

Bruce Regalia of Materra | Cunat Family Vineyards
Bruce Regalia of Materra | Cunat Family Vineyards (credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)

It was during his time as a winemaker for Duckhorn and specifically his responsibilities for Goldeneye, a well-respected Pinot Noir brand from California's Anderson Valley, that Bruce acknowledged Pinot Noir as his favorite wine and winemaking as his life's endeavor. With Goldeneye's success, Bruce was hired by several Napa Valley wineries to provide consultation and guidance to their winemaking programs. His love and passion for the terroir have kept Bruce in the Napa Valley, working with wineries in one of the best grape growing regions in the world.

Bruce's passion and respect for the land ultimately led him to his current partnership with the Cunat Family as a consulting winemaker for Materra | Cunat Family Vineyards. Through experience and passion, Bruce, Brian Cunat and the rest of the family continue their labor of love at the Oak Knoll vineyard which is home to the award-winning wines of Materra.

We met at the bucholic Materra winery recently for our Foodie Chap chat. We talked, we tasted, we talked, we barrel tasted and talked some more. Enjoy the conversation with Bruce Regalia, a rock star winemaker who makes Napa wines that rock.

Cheers, Liam!

Bruce Regalia of Materra | Cunat Family Vineyards
Bruce Regalia of Materra | Cunat Family Vineyards (credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)


Cunat Family Vineyards
Cunat Family Vineyards (credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)

Appellation - Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley
Varietal 100% Viognier
Alcohol - 14.4%
Bottling Date - February 2017
Case Production - 230
Winemakers - Michael Truijllo & Bruce Regalia
Suggested Retail Price - $36.00

The 2016 Vintage

2016 marked a return to normalcy, both in terms of rainfall and temperature after several extremely dry years in a row. The vines responded with considerable vigor: canopies came in thick and full, requring additional hand work to maintain proper sun exposure. Clusters were long and loose, presenting the perfect balance between volume and air flow. Flavors were pronounced well before harvest and kept on getting better. Yields were higher than expected, and harvest was completed before the arrival of some early winter rains.

Winemaker's Notes:

Our 2016 Viognier expresses itself in true varietal character with bright aromas of vanilla, tangerine, apricot and honeysuckle. A touch of oak from neutral French Oak barrels lifts the viognier fruit and showcases senuous flavors of stone fruits, citrus, and creme brulee. With bright acidity, a medium body and lingering finish this wine exudes elegance and vitality. Enjoy on its own or with Thai dishes or grilled octopus. 100% Viognier.

Cunat Family Vineyards
Cunat Family Vineyards (credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)

Appellation - Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley
Varietal 96% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec
Alcohol - 14.5 %
Bottling Date - September 2014
Case Production - 1,180
Winemakers - Michael Truijllo & Bruce Regalia
Suggested Retail Price - $50.00

The 2012 Vintage

By all accounts, an outstanding growing season for the Napa Valley yielded a plentiful harvest of ripe and flavorful fruit across all varietals and sub-appellations. Many vineyards produced record yields with harvest timing decisions made by the flavor and ripeness of the grapes, not on impending weather. This vintage saw near-perfect spring bud break, steady flowering and fruit set, and ideally consistent weather with fog in the mornings, sunny warm days and cool nights. "Mother Nature smiled upon the California wine harvest this year with a bountiful crop of amazing quality," a sentiment heard from winemakers across the Napa Valley.

Accolades - 88; 2015 Wine Spectator

Winemaker's Notes:

With a backbone of our estate-grown Merlot, this classic Right Bank blend exhibits dense plum, sweet rhubarb pie, cinnamon, spice (and everything nice). With a uniquely floral nose, bright red fruit, and firm tannins, this well-balanced wine will continue to age nicely over the next 7-10 years. Pair with root vegetables, pot roast, wild boar, smoked meats and cheese like gouda, goat and sheep's milk.

For more information, visit:
Materra | Cunat Family Vineyards
4326 Big Ranch Road
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 224-4900

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