Hosts Jeff Smith, proprietor of Hourglass Winery and Tony Biagi, Winemaker, will lead us through a tasting of their four current vintages. Hourglass was founded in 1975 by Jeff's father, Ned Smith. Ned began planting Zinfandel to sell to winemakers on the property bordering the inn in 1976; sadly, the vineyard succumbed to phylloxera in 1990. Reluctant to give up the property, Jeff held out hope that would soon be redeemed, thanks to a visit by the Dean of Viticulture at UC Davis, Dr. Mark Kleiwer. Kliewer advised Jeff to plant Cabernet Sauvignon. Laying at the unique “pinch” of a bedrock outcropping of the Mayacamas, the “hourglass” shaped vineyard also provided an ideal microclimate for the grape—which went on to the first spectacular, award-winning vintage in 1997 of Hourglass Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.
A few years later, Jeff spotted a property on a chance drive. He discovered a property with piles of rocks scattered among the vines, which had been deposited by two "blue line" streams that had traversed the property thousands of years ago. Appropriately naming the property 'Blueline', it is also home to Hourglass’ highly modern winery, designed by renowned architect Olle Lundberg, which juts dramatically from the side of Dutch Henry Canyon, and produces some of the Valley's top Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The following wines will be featured during today's live tasting: 2010 Hourglass Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $155) , 2010 Hourglass Blueline Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $125), 2010 Hourglass Blueline Cabernet Franc (SRP $135) and 2010 Hourglass Blueline Merlot (SRP $75).