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Tank Garage Winery
 
March 31, 2021 | Tank Garage Winery

What the hell is Pét-Nat Sparkling Wine?

What is Pét-Nat?

So you’ve heard of it. But what the hell is it? Pét-Nat is short for petillant naturel (aka “naturally bubbling”) and is a sparkling wine made according to the traditional ancestral method. Pét-Nats are bottled while the wine is still fermenting, which results in trapped CO2, creating bubbles. This process requires minimal intervention from the winemaker and, like most wine made naturally, it typically ranges from 10-12% ABV (alcohol by volume). Thanks to their natural yeast, Pét-Nats are exciting and produce funky aromas and characteristics unlike any other style of wine. The traditional method produces the bubbliest of sparkling wines at a whoppin' 5-6 atmospheres of pressure. The result is a rustic and lively wine true to its roots.

History of Pétillant Natural Sparkling Wines

Despite seeming like the latest and greatest, Pét-Nat was first developed in the 16th century (pre-Champagne) and is the oldest way of making sparkling wine. In the 1500s a monk in Saint-Hilaire, France, noticed that his bottled and sealed wine had formed bubbles. The wine most likely had stopped fermenting in cold winter temperatures, been bottled, and started fermenting again when the weather warmed in the spring. Therefore Pét-Nat was born. In the early 1990s, Christian Chaussard, who then had an estate in Vouvray, found that one of his wines with some residual sugar had begun re-fermenting inside the bottle. After tasting this delightfully accidental fizzy wine, Chaussard researched the méthode ancestrale and began experimenting with the process. In the 1990s, Loire Valley winemakers all began experimenting with Pét-Nat as well, following in Chaussard's steps. 

What’s the difference between Pét-Nat and Champagne-style Sparkling Wines?

Traditional Champagne and other sparkling wines are the product of combining one or more still, dry wines. These finished wines are bottled and aged and CO2 is created during a second fermentation in the bottle, unlike Pét-Nats, which do not undergo a second fermentation. While it’s true that the ancestral method predates the Champagne method, Pét-Nat only shot up in the last decade. The Pét-Nat method isn’t limited geographically like Champagne but is most commonly found in the Loire Valley and Limoux in France as well as Italy. Traditionally Pét Nats are cloudy, unfiltered, and capped with a crown cap (like beer), compared to the mass-produced products from larger Champagne and Prosecco houses that use characteristically large corks. Classic Champagne may require several years of aging, Pét-Nats are often released and meant to be consumed young. This also isn’t a high roller situation like Champagne; You can easily find a bottle of Pét-Nat for a reasonable $20-$40 compared to their more expensive sparkling counterparts.

Our Pét-Nats (so far)

All the cool kids are drinking Pet-Nats.

Back in 2017, we released our very first Pét-Nat called California Love. Shout out to Deutschland for the amazing grapes that made this sparkling wine possible. For the core of this blend, we chose Lake County Riesling (65%) for its acidity and perfumed aromas. As a compliment, we added this rad Mendocino Gewürztraminer (33%) and Pinot Gris (2%) that Bertus found us for some pop and flavor. We used several old-school techniques to make this wine and decided not to filter it, because we know you like it a little dirty. In the end, we got a sparkling wine with amazing texture and notes of honeydew melon, honey blossom and jasmine with some nuttiness from the lees contact. The finish is crisp, dry and unforgettable. We love California and it has given all of us so much. This past year has been trying and difficult for this beautiful state, so we dedicated this project to California and make a wine so full of love that it can only be described as “right on.”

The first two times we attempted to make a Pét-Nat, things didn't go as planned. Two years of learning and refinement later, we finally perfected the craft and the result is Space Crush. Our friends from Babcock Ranch in Solano County hooked us up with a few small lots of their celestial Riesling. After some manual foot-stomping and a run through the basket press, the fermentation process began. After a few weeks, we moved the juice to bottles where the fermentation continued. How'd it turn out? OH MY GOD. We nailed this one. It's fresh, crisp and complex with a floral perfume and green apple, peachy notes that endlessly orbit around your mouth. The texture is fascinating, the bubbles so satisfying and the finish extends to the moon. Space Crush is a natural wine and was not fully filtered. Because of this, there will be sediment inside each bottle from the Pét-Nat process that tells you it is legit. It's dirty, embrace it.

In 2019, we released the wildly popular Pop-Nat. We picked the grapes from Rubidoux Ridge Vineyard, a family-owned property located at 2000-2100 ft. in the rolling hills of the Fiddletown AVA in Amador County. Though this particular vineyard isn’t that old, the area’s grape-growing history can be traced back to the mid-1800s when the population swelled with European settlers chasing the gold rush dream. Honoring the old-school vibe of the area, we decided to pay homage to the vintage popsicle of yesteryear. The label for this fun summer wine replicates popsicle wrappers from the 1960s and 1970s. Just like that cool popsicle on a hot summer day, this wine is refreshing AF on a hot summer day. Tart raspberries and strawberries hit your palate on the first sip, with tiny bubbles that dance across your palate and make way for a wave of crisp acidity.

    Lastly (but not really…), we released Come, Saints and Sinners. Come, Saints and Sinners is a Carbonic Macerated 100% Petite Sirah Pétillant Naturel sparkling wine made from the legendary Rorick Heritage Vineyard in Calaveras County, California. When we first started checking on this wine, we knew we had a unicorn on our hands. It's like Pop-Nat made out with a Cherry Otter Pop while Love Now More Than Ever watched. Come, Saints and Sinners is ungodly special. Big cherry and juicy strawberry fizzes with brisk minerality, and hints of nectarine and citrus. Our resident Somm, Aaron, compares it to an Italian Lambrusco made in a frizzante style. It's interesting, but not too weird. Complex, but so damn drinkable. Honest to god, this is one of the coolest wines ever produced by Tank Garage Winery.

Introduction to Tank

Hey there! Welcome to Tank Garage Winery, the coolest winery in Napa Valley. No... really. Visiting the tasting room is like taking a trip back in time to a 1920s gas station turned speakeasy, pouring rad as shit wines and playing bomb as hell music. Cool California vibes mixed with vintage decor bring to fruition the most quirky encounter you’ll get at a winery. Every day, we celebrate this crazy dream turned into a movement where we get to do cool shit and you get to come along for the ride. We celebrate the adventurers, the dreamers, the weirdos, the free spirits, and the misfits. So next time you’re in town, you won’t want to miss out. Come by our little garage and celebrate with us.

 

Time Posted: Mar 31, 2021 at 7:00 AM Permalink to What the hell is Pét-Nat Sparkling Wine? Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
 
March 30, 2021 | Tank Garage Winery

5 Reasons to Visit Napa Valley Right Now

Old Faithful Geyser

Did you know that there is a geyser in little Calistoga?
In the early days of the National Geographic Society, Old Faithful Geyser of California was declared one of only three “faithful” geysers in the world because of its regular eruptions. This geyser has also proven itself to be a good predictor of earthquakes. When the geyser’s regular eruptions are delayed or diminished, an earthquake is likely within the next couple of weeks in the 500 miles surrounding the geyser.
Old Faithful Geyser of California soon became one of the most visited places in the American West. The rainbows that form in the predictable sprays of mist are a wonderful feature in this serene setting at the top of Napa Valley. To this day, Old Faithful Geyser of California remains one of the most photographed places in the State of California.

1299 Tubbs Ln, Calistoga, CA, 94515
707-942-6463
 

Ride in a Hot Air Balloon

Experience Napa Valley like never before as morning winds carry you gently above corridors of grapes and between the mountains of one of the most magnificent valleys on Earth. If you book through Calistoga Balloons, soar 2,000 feet above the valley, vineyards, and mountains for an inspiring way to get a birds-eye-view of Castello di Amorosa, Palisade Cliffs, Mount St. Helena, Old Faithful Geyser, Sterling Vineyards, and Chateau Montelena, the winery featured in the movie Bottle Shock. Your adventure begins just after sunrise when the morning sunlight enhances the natural beauty of Upper Napa Valley. Flights depart at sunrise, between 6:00 and 7:30 am, and last 3 - 4 hours.

1458 Lincoln Ave #15, Calistoga, CA, 94515
707-942-5758
 

Grab a Bite at the Farmstead restaurant at Long Meadow Ranch

Housed in a former nursery barn, the restaurant at Farmstead is the heart of Long Meadow Ranch with modern American farmhouse cuisine, a lively open kitchen, and indoor and outdoor seating. This farm-to-table experience revels in the talents of chefs, farmers, cattle ranchers, winemakers, and restaurant managers that create a Napa Valley experience like no other (we’re lookin’ at the Dungeness crab cioppino). They also have a general store, where you can find fresh produce and artisanal provisions.

738 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574
707-963-4555

 

Check out Napa Valley Distillery

We may be home to the best wine around, but there are dozens of breweries and a number of distilleries that you won’t want to miss. Located in true 'speakeasy' style, this is the first Distillery in the City of Napa since Prohibition. Engulfed in a sea of wine, Napa Valley Distillery is truly a hidden gem. family-owned and operated by Arthur and Lusine Hartunian. After working as a limo driver, a Las Vegas stickman, a professional poker player, and insurance salesman, Napa Valley Distillery founder and frontman Arthur Hartunian began Napa Valley Distillery in 2009 over a Poker bet! They create a variety of rare and unique artisanal spirits, bottled cocktails, and cocktail ingredients in very limited quantities.

2485 Stockton St Napa, CA 94559
707 265-6272

 

Stay at the Calistoga Motor Lodge

The Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa is an epic ode to the Great American Road Trip of the '50s, '60s, and '70s, and the spirit of exploration it evokes. Whether it's backroad wine country or a relaxing mineral bath, their backyard can be your backyard, and it's anything but ordinary. Framed by vineyards and bike trails, their stylish Mid-Century Modern digs are the perfect foundation for those looking to find their next great adventure from the perfect home base. Perfectly placed at the head of the Silverado Trail, in the heart of California's scenic wine region, the Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa feature 50 rooms and suites, two Mineral Water Pools, and a Mineral Water Hot Tub, and a Full-Service Spa.

1880 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515
707-942-0991

 

Time Posted: Mar 30, 2021 at 10:00 AM Permalink to 5 Reasons to Visit Napa Valley Right Now Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
 
March 23, 2021 | Tank Garage Winery

Dopamine and Stir Fry

Go bold or go home with this unconventional food pairing. We decided to pair Dopamine with one pan beef stir fry. A little bit of savory, a little bit of sweet, and a little bit of spice from the garlic-soaked noodles marries perfectly with the smokiness of the wine. Dopamine can take a little heat so don't be shy! 

The wine: 
We asked our winemaking team to go for bold on this one and bold they went with 61% Tempranillo, 26% Graciano, and 13% Syrah. The Tempranillo and Graciano clusters were de-stemmed and spent about 20 days on the skins prior to finding their homes in neutral oak for 15 months. We employed extended maceration during fermentation  And, because we’re cool like that, we blended in a small percentage of foot-stomped and whole-cluster fermented Syrah that adds a faint whisper of smoke and bold bramble-berry characteristics.

The Ingredients:
1 pound flank steak
Choose your noods (soba, udon, egg, rice, and even spaghetti noodles will work)
1 white onion
5 shiitake mushrooms
1/2 cup minced garlic
1 cup shredded carrots 
2 stems bok choy
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 cup green onion

The sauce:
Minced garlic
2 tbsp sesame oil
As much soy sauce as your heart desires 

The process:
Heat a medium to large-sized pan on medium heat with a little bit of sesame oil. Sear the flank steak on both sides until desired temperature is reached. Once cooked, add in a whole sliced white onion. Next up, add your shiitake mushrooms. Drizzle in some of the pre-made sauce. Let simmer. 
Add in the shredded carrots, bok choy, and noodles and stir until fully cooked. 
Once plated, sprinkle green onions on top and voila! You just made one pan stir fry.

Time Posted: Mar 23, 2021 at 8:13 AM Permalink to Dopamine and Stir Fry Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
 
March 17, 2021 | Tank Garage Winery

10 Cool Things to Do in Napa Valley

Grab a Burger from Gott’s Roadside

Gott’s Roadside was founded in 1999 in Saint Helena by brothers Joel and Duncan Gott. Gott’s California-inspired dishes and seasonal specials use locally sourced ingredients and purveyors such as Niman Ranch beef, Zoe’s bacon, Panorama Bakery bread, and Osprey Seafood. Gott's modern approach to American roadside classics has something for everyone including dishes like the California Burger with a fried egg, Zoe's bacon, and balsamic onions, Ahi Poke Crispy Tacos, Chicken Kale Caesar, and hand-spun organic shakes. There’s something about their cheeseburger, fries, and shake combo that will rock your world.

Located at 933 Main St, CA-29, St Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-3486

Enjoy a Mud Bath at Solage, an Auberge Resort 

Come to Solage to detox, retox, and repeat. Solage is home to an award-winning 20,000 square foot Spa Solage, which showcases the renowned Calistoga mud and mineral water therapies that have attracted spa-goers to this northern stretch of Napa Valley since the 19th century. The Bathhouse at Solage delivers the ultimate wellness experience, featuring exclusive geothermal pools with temperatures that range from icy cold to a comforting 98°, and a soothing 103°. They use mineral-enriched mud personalized with essential oils. The best part? You’re not sharing your mud. Instead of a communal mud bath, expect a private, three-part detoxifying treatment that begins with mud combined with volcanic ash, geothermal mineral water, and an aromatherapy blend of essential oils that you select yourself. Treat yo’ self.

Located at 755 Silverado Trail N, Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 226-0800

Hike the Beautiful Trails of Skyline Wilderness Park

Lake Marie via Skyline Trail is a 6.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Napa, California that features beautiful wildflowers and is rated as moderate. The park opened on April 5th, 1983. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, horses, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. The park has 25 miles of multi-use fire road and singletrack trails of various skill levels. Later additions included an RV camp area, a tent camping area, and a picnic area with a cook shack. Local horsemen proposed a riding arena, show office, and bleachers, and money was raised to construct these. Now, Skyline holds a series of horse shows each year. Napa Valley is so green right now, the flowers are blooming, and daylight savings just hit so it’s time to get out on the trail. The views here are endless. 

Located at  2201 Imola Ave, Napa, CA 94559
(707) 252-0481

Shop for Vintage Clothes at Wildcat Vintage Clothing

One of the best shops for vintage clothing is Wildcat Vintage Clothing. Wildcat is a unique vintage and retro clothing store for guys and gals who want some sass and class on their ass! This store rocks its own style and encourages customers to do the same. 

Located at 931 Coombs St, Napa, CA 94559
(707) 224-3162

Ride a Bike through The Napa Valley Vine Trail

Take advantage of the sunshine for a ride through the valley on the Napa Valley Vine Trail. The coalition that built the trail is a local nonprofit that aims to construct a walking/cycling trail system that will connect the entire Napa Valley. Upon completion, there will be 47 safe and continuous miles of level, paved, dog-friendly trails stretching from the ferry terminal in Vallejo to Calistoga. More than 300 trees have been planted that will eventually shade trail users. At present, the continuous section goes from Kennedy Park in south Napa to the north end of Yountville in the valley’s center. If you want to do the entire trail, start your ride at Kennedy Park, a public space on the Napa River with softball fields, sand volleyball courts, picnic sites, and a formal garden. If you ride 2.5 miles north on the trail, you’ll hit the Oxbow Public Market, a bustling food hall that features restaurants, vendors, local produce, and a riverside deck overlooking the “oxbow” in the Napa River. This is the perfect place to stock up on snacks for your ride.

Located at 3299 Claremont Way #4, Napa, CA 94558
(707) 252-3547

Pose for an IG Pic in front of the Napa Valley Welcome Signs

Nothing says “you are here” like a photo at the Napa Valley welcome sign along Highway 29. “Welcome to this world-famous wine-growing region... and the wine is bottled poetry...” it reads. There are actually two matching welcome signs in the valley. The south sign is located near Oakville, south of Robert Mondavi Winery on the edge of the historic To Kalon vineyard. The north sign is just south of Calistoga. These iconic signs are beloved. I mean…did you really go to Napa if you didn’t take a photo with the welcome sign?

Pretend you’re in OG Napa Valley at Turtle Rock Bar & Cafe

The world’s best egg rolls, according to Napa locals, can be found at Turtle Rock, a 1960s institution that’s one part bar, one part general store. Hundreds, if not thousands, of dollar bills, hang from the ceiling of this divey biker’s haven, which is a popular stop-off for locals heading to and from Lake Berryessa. In fact, it’s really the only place to pull over for a snack in the rural area. Turtle Rock’s giant egg rolls are so notorious that they sell over a thousand on summer weekends, but they often have other specials too, like burgers, tri-tip, pulled pork, and monthly Taco Tuesdays. 

Located at 2000 Capell Valley Rd, Napa, CA 94558
(707) 966-2246

Chill by the Pool at the Calistoga Motor Lodge

Designed by New York-based design firm AvroKo and inspired by the Great American Road trip, the Calistoga Motor Lodge is the best version of a classic roadside boutique hotel. There’s a pretty good reason why travelers have been coming to Calistoga for over 150 years to soak in the geothermal pools. There are three located at the Calistoga Motor Lodge, all fed from nature’s own underground hot springs. Post-soak, chill out by the outdoor pool with cabana beds and loungers. They also recently introduced Adult Swim Only to enhance social distancing while ensuring that all guests receive their own time and space at the pool. 

1880 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 942-0991

Grab a slice of Pizza from Pizzeria Tra Vigne 

In-The-Know locals go to Tra Vigne Pizzeria and Restaurant, a wood-fired pizzeria in the heart of St. Helena Wine Country. Casual spot for Northern Italian cuisine with a quaint, old-world feel & tree-covered courtyard. Thin-crust, sourdough pizzas star on the menu, which also includes an incredible array of delicious salads, fun, tasty, Italian small plates (think made to order mozzarella), sandwiches, pasta, and other wood-fired specialties. Tra Vigne Pizzeria and Restaurant is a beverage oasis, boasting a seasonal craft cocktail list, an increasing selection of craft-brewed Northwest-focused beer, and an eclectic, affordable selection of local wine on tap and in the bottle. Tra Vigne Pizzeria and Restaurant offers wine country flavors at friendly, affordable prices.

1016 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574
(707) 967-9999

Introduction to Tank

Welcome to Tank. A home away from home where you never dream alone. At Tank, we’ve set out to do something different. We specialize in the art of the blend and we only release limited one-offs so we never put out the same thing twice. Our winery is set in a 1930s gas station turned tasting room aka your next favorite place to hang. Tank started out as a dream to make wines with soul and purpose. No business plan, no exit strategy, just a mission to do cool shit. We source fruit from California’s most sought-after vineyards (and some obscure ones, too) to make the most unique wines you’ve ever experienced. Come on by and hang with the Tank crew while we pour you through limited-release wines! If you’re reading this, thank you for being a part of this crazy ride.

 

Time Posted: Mar 17, 2021 at 9:00 AM Permalink to 10 Cool Things to Do in Napa Valley Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
 
March 3, 2021 | Tank Garage Winery

Tenacious Tempranillo

You’re getting into red wine. You’re craving something different. Something savory. Enter Tempranillo, Spain’s #1 wine grape.” - Wine Folly

Where is Tempranillo From?

Tempranillo is a red grape varietal from Spain. The name means “little early one” referencing its earlier ripening than many other Spanish red grapes. The first official mention of Tempranillo was in 1807. Although, Tempranillo is thought to have originated in the Iberian Peninsula and has been around since Phoenician settlement, over 3,000 years ago. In 2015, Tempranillo was the fourth most widely planted wine grape variety worldwide with 232,561 hectares (574,670 acres), of which 87% was in Spain where it is the most planted red grape variety.

Why we love Tempranillo

Tempranillo can be light and fresh, luxuriant and profound, or sophisticated and worthy of aging. Tempranillo grapes have moderately thin skins, creating a ruby-colored red wine. On its own, tempranillo is typically medium-bodied but it is often blended with other grapes to make a more full-bodied wine. It is found primarily in Northern and Central Spain and Portugal. Tempranillo is more neutral than it’s bigger bodied red counterparts so it is known for acting as a blending grape with Grenache and Syrah. 

All of our Tempranillo Wines

We’ve tackled Tempranillo quite a few times. From our vault, our very first wine ever released in 2014 was called Never Dream Alone, a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Zinfandel. The Tempranillo was grown on “extreme terroir” 1,600 feet up on Atlas Peak in Napa Valley. The Zin is old vine goodness from Chiles Valley. This combination produces inspiring notes of wildflowers, black cherry, butter, cinnamon, plum, peach and dried cloves.

In 2015, we created Las Californias, a blend of 67% Tempranillo and 33% Graciano. Lets face it, California doesn’t really need another Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot blend, so we decided to let Tempranillo play the part of Cabernet Sauvignon and provide the framework, backbone, structure and ageing ability, while the Graciano (loosely playing the part of Merlot) brings deep color and strong aromatics.

Fast forward to 2016 with the release of Jonny Oro. Tempranillo, Syrah, and Mourvedre prove to be a match made in heaven, which sometimes looks a lot like Calistoga, CA. Sweet red raspberry on the nose, with hints of tobacco and rich leather, bravely followed by a juicy palate full of red fruits, white pepper, and a little bit of brown sugar.

Lick is next on our Vault journey, released in 2017. Big, expressive Syrah from Calistoga comes together with Tempranillo and a touch of Carignane to make a wine so good you'll want to lick the glass clean. There's no doubt that Lick is one of our richest and most seductive blends to date. The notes of freshly cracked pepper combined with flavors of dark berries and silky tannins are what make this wine completely irresistible.

Last but certainly not least is The Art of Surfing, recently released in 2019. For this blend, Bertus starts with Tempranillo from Shake Ridge Ranch, a vineyard in the Sierra Foothills that straddles the ridgeline at 1,700 feet above sea level. Tempranillo is a Spanish varietal and Bertus loves its tannins and cherry flavors. To complement tempranillo’s lush tannins and cherry flavors, Bertus added a small lot of Sangiovese and Barbera, two lighter Italian varieties he feels will add additional brightness to our sun-kissed blend. One thing is for sure, Bertus got something very right with this one. Juicy aromas of cherries and cocoa make way for a smoother ride across the palate and mouth watering finish. 

DOPAMINE

The moment you’ve been waiting for. Enjoy your dose of Dopamine, a ferocious 2019 Sierra Foothills red that packs a punch with 61% Tempranillo, 26% Graciano and 13% Syrah. We asked our winemaking team to go for bold and bold they went. The Tempranillo and Graciano clusters were de-stemmed and spent about 20 days on the skins prior to finding their homes in neutral oak for 15 months. We employed extended maceration during fermentation  And, because we’re cool like that, we blended in a small percentage of foot-stomped and whole-cluster fermented Syrah that adds a faint whisper of smoke and bold bramble-berry characteristics. The Tempranillo in Dopamine went through two delestages during early peak active fermentation. So how does it work? First, separate the juice from the solids by racking, where the wine is drained off the fermentation bin into a clean tank. Then take some of the seeds/stems out and gently pump the juice back onto the solids. Warmer temperatures are better for extracting tannin so this process softens the tannins and helps to create a juicier wine.

Introduction to Tank

Welcome to Tank. A home away from home where you never dream alone. At Tank, we’ve set out to do something different. We specialize in the art of the blend and we only release limited one-offs so we never put out the same thing twice. Our winery is set in a 1930s gas station turned tasting room aka your next favorite place to hang. Tank started out as a dream to make wines with soul and purpose. No business plan, no exit strategy, just a mission to do cool shit. We source fruit from California’s most sought after vineyards (and some obscure ones, too) to make the most unique wines you’ve ever experienced. Come on by and hang with the Tank crew while we pour you through limited release wines! If you’re reading this, thank you for being a part of this crazy ride.

 

Time Posted: Mar 3, 2021 at 11:00 AM Permalink to Tenacious Tempranillo Permalink