“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
“Just try new things. Don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zones and soar, all right?”
Frequent readers of our blog here at Schweiger Vineyards have heard many stories by now of my Portugal adventure in 2015. I’ve discussed cork harvesting, cork sorting, and even shared photos of a chapel made out of human bones. I got to sample hundreds of new wines from different regions around the country and discovered styles and nuances of Portugal that I never knew existed. There has been one find I made in Portugal I’ve been keeping to myself…until now.
It’s a lesser known wine, typically from the upper slopes of the Douro Valley, often made from Arinto, Malvasia Fina, Codega, and Gouveio varieties. Traditionally it is enjoyed on its own, slightly chilled, or the recent trend is enjoying it as part of a cocktail, a “White Port and Tonic”. My good friend Michael Riel brought one to me on our second evening in Portugal and I think I enjoyed two or five of these every evening. It was an amazing way to end a day, sipping your cocktail as the sun sets on the Douro River with your feet up.
So, fast forward to the 2015 harvest. As I’m monitoring our fermentations, the aroma of our estate Chardonnay drew me back to those sunsets in Portugal. White peach, nectarine, honeysuckle, dried apricot, and a slight fig note. If I could capture this moment in time, it would make such an amazing white port.
I gave this some serious consideration in the months to come and approached my dad early in 2016 with my experiment idea. I bought some white ports to try with him. “Will it work?” he asked me. I replied, “I honestly don’t know until we try but I’m pretty confident it will work.” With that, he gave me the thumbs up to try making one barrel of this experimental wine. I purchased some extra brandy from Germain Robin, and after harvesting our estate Chardonnay in the fall of 2016, calculated the exact moment when to add the brandy.
Things went exactly according to plan and even exceeded my expectations. The mid-fermentation aromas were perfectly preserved. The sweetness of the fruit creates a lovely balance with the smooth and subtle brandy components. My daughter, Megan, loves baking and even started playing around with food pairings for this wine. Pear tarts, Fig tarts, pecan pie, and pumpkin pie all shine when accompanied bywith this wine.
So, yeah, we had to bottle it and share it with our club. Remember we gave up our rights to the Port name, so we can’t call it “White Port”. Well, one of the name submissions in our Port contest summed this project up so nicely we had to run with it. This wine is a combination of Napa fruit and Douro traditions. Napa. Douro. So thanks to Chris Chiampas of San Jose, the name "Napuro®" was born!
We only bottled 60 cases of Napuro in 375 ml bottles and will be releasing it exclusively to our club members. There will be a three bottle maximum and orders will be handled on a first come, first served basis. You can purchase here on the website, or by calling us directly at 707-963-4882.
I plan on making Napuro in the years to come, when conditions are right, and I hope you enjoy this as a new part of your special family gatherings.