Matthiasson Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2018
If there were ever two people who were more fated to be and work together in the same industry than Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, it is Steve Matthiason and Jill Klein Matthiason.
Steve grew up wanting to be a farmer his entire life. While studying philosophy in college he became both an amazing gardener and a cook. He then went to grad school to study horticulture. After school, he worked for an agricultural consulting firm that focused on sustainability. When it comes to sustainability there aren’t many with the knowledge he has on the subject, as he wrote the book on it. In 1999 he co-authored the California manual on sustainable agriculture - so when he talks, people listen.
Jill’s story follows a similar path to Steve’s - and that is probably due to a similar love and passion for the land. She always had a passion and love for nature, the land, as well as culture. She studied botany in college (so she had a bit of a head-start on Steve ;)). After studying botany she also studied ancient farming methods in Israel. Since then she has become incredibly active in the community. She started “Farmers to Farmers” which helps farmers network about sustainability, as well as being on the board of the Napa Valley Farmer’s Market. Of course, food plays a major role in her life, and she spends lots of her time teaching cooking classes.
In 2003 they founded Matthiason. They took all the principles they had learned and turned it into an amazing winery, built on sustainability and minimally invasive winemaking. They focus on Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and some fun grapes from Italy - RIbola Gialla and Refosco.
Their wines have become a favorite of ours to use in the shop when we are doing classes about classically made, amazing wines. They are a departure from most Napa Cabernets and Chardonnays currently, and that is because they are more like Napa of the past. They have structure and elegance, and the focus is on showcasing the fruit - not barrels. You can’t put cowbell in all rock songs, and they surely don’t mask the band with one…