This morning I woke up to a roaring sound (it was not my stomach!) It was the wind machine in Vittorio’s Vineyard. We use wind machines for frost protection. The machine draws down warmer air from above and circulates it with the colder air to prevent frost.
Napa Valley Register
By Jennifer Huffman
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
To Keith Idle, cheese is more than just food — it’s family. “Cheese are like my children,” Idle said. On most days, visitors at V. Sattui Winery will find Idle behind the extensive cheese counter at the winery’s popular deli, where he’s worked for 26 years.
“I have 200 little children,” Idle said. “Some are a little bit harder to like than others but it’s just a matter of getting to know them,” he said.
Idle doesn’t just sell cheese, he also makes his own artichoke Parmesan Romano spread. “It’s fresh cheese mixed with artichokes, and Parmesan and garlic. We sell about 250 pounds of it a week in the summer time.”
Do you have a favorite and least favorite cheese?
I tend to go towards fuller flavors. I like hard cheeses (like) piave vecchio. I love camembert, blue cheeses and Roquefort’s. Least favorite? I don’t like smoked cheeses in general. It covers up the cheese flavors. I prefer straight-up cheese.
What’s a common misconception people have about cheese?
(That) cheese has to be refrigerated immediately. Cheese actually benefits from coming to room temperature. All it needs is coolness. Get over the fear of it spoiling immediately. Cheese is much more rugged than people think.
What do you recommend for someone who may be hesitant to try a new cheese?
A lot of people are afraid of cheese. Cheese can have a nose to it but you have to acquire the taste by moving them up slightly. Work your way into stronger flavors and get used to something different and you’ll like them.
Which cheese has the worst reputation?
Limburger is the most infamous cheese. Its bark is worse than its bite. It should be strong and aromatic but there is a difference between strong and spoiled. It’s a matter of getting it in the right condition.
Blue cheese has the worst reputation. It’s a little more aggressive. But if you have a high quality blue, you get used to that flavor. The high-end blues are really great.
Which three people would you most like to have dinner with?
Jack Nicklaus, Paul Simon and John Cleese.
What job would you like to try/not like to try?
Sportscaster. Toll booth attendant.
What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Overcoming the “fast food” mindset of customers.
I can’t live without a sharp knife.
What was your childhood ambition?
Caped Crusader or bus driver.
What other business person(s) would you like to see featured in “10 Questions for…”
Rob Monaghan, tasting room/wine club manager, William Harrison Winery.
More from Keith Idle
What was your first job?
Video game machine factory custodian.
What’s the worst job you ever had?
Freelance candle salesman.
How did you get into this business?
What is one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet?
Create a music album of my own compositions.
If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
Triple the floor space.
What’s your favorite gift to give?
Puzzles and books.
What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I’m somewhat claustrophobic.
What is your favorite charity?
American Diabetes Association.
What’s on your to-do list?
Make a to-do list.
Who do you most admire in the business world ?
If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
What’s one thing Napa could do to help local business?
More visible business from Highway 29.
Check out this video of our harvest crew picking at night in Vittorio’s Vineyard!
Don’t forget to get your Crush Party tickets for this Sat Oct. 9th at http://www.vsattui.com/crushparty
Thanks for sending me my birth wine! I can’t wait to drink it when I’m 21!
Cole, Age 3
We often get questions about the solar panels we have installed. Therefore, I thought I’d recap the story.
In March of 2006, V. Sattui Winery boasted about the most prominent solar electric system in the Napa Valley, easily visible from Highway 29. The 34 kW solar electric system sits boldly on the winery’s red steel roof. “The system looks even better than I thought,” said Mr. Dario Sattui, “I am very pleased with the final results of the installation done by Akeena Solar.” Consisting of 198 high efficiency solar modules, the system will significantly reduce the winery’s electric expenses over its 30-year lifespan and also reduce the harmful emissions that would have been produced through traditional utility energy sources.
The solar electric installation couldn’t come at a better time for the Winery. With commercial rates up to $0.16 per kWh, the solar electric system is an effective way to permanently lock in a low electric rate of $0.09 per kWh for 30 years. As a result, Mr. Sattui has managed to control one of the more expensive and typically unpredictable components of running a winery: electric rates.
“Sustainability has become a vital focus for family-owned wineries in California, and we are proud to have partnered with the Sattui family on this latest solar winery project,” said Akeena President, Barry Cinnamon.
Solar Electric System Benefits
Mr. Sattui has made a decision that not only saves his family-owned business money but also helps protect the environment in an aesthetically pleasing way. The system will generate approximately 46,250 kWh annually and provide energy savings of over $6,000 in the first year alone. They system will benefit the environment by avoiding release of 908,388 pounds of carbon dioxide and 838 pounds of nitrogen oxide during the 30-year life span of the system. Generous state rebates and federal tax credits helped pay for over half of the system cost. Currently, state rebates are $2800 per kilowatt, and are $2800 per kilowatt, and are supplemented by a 30% federal tax credit and a five-year accelerated depreciation schedule are applied to all commercial systems.
A great video filmed at V. Sattui just posted today!
(In a Mike Joy voice) Attention all NASCAR FANS: V. Sattui presents NASCAR Heluva Good! 400 race-winning #11 Fed Ex JGR Toyota THIS FRIDAY June 18th or Sat. June 19th. Get your picture taken from 10 am to 2pm!!