Napa Valley Handcrafted Wines & Historic Winery Tours: Dolcetto Varietal Update

The winery’s new tours give visitors an intimate view of Madonna Estate’s 100-year-old winemaking process, from planting and harvesting to storing and aging. Cellar and vineyard tours are available by appointment for Carneros Club members.

More information can be found at

Madonna Estate’s expanded services are designed to share the rich history of Napa Valley’s world-famous Carneros region. The region’s maritime microclimate makes it best-suited for the cultivation of cool-climate grapes and has given it a reputation for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varietals.

The estate has also planted five acres of the Dolcetto varietal. Although its name means “little sweet one” in Italian, this varietal is not sweet but has a rich, fruity flavor reminiscent of blackberry, licorice, and almond, with pronounced but not overpowering tannins. It is easy to sip and pairs best with richer, darker meats and vegetable dishes featuring roasted tomatoes, eggplant, and garlic.

Tour participants will learn about the intricacies of the winemaking process for Dolcetto and many other varietals, including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Pinot Grigio. The tour also includes a reserve tasting room for Carneros Club members and a picnic area where visitors can enjoy lunch.

The winery also offers indoor and outdoor tastings, available by appointment. These are suitable for customers who would like a more intimate setting for their wine tasting. They can choose five out of 10 different varietals on a set menu.

Madonna Estate is located in the storied Carneros region of Napa Valley, about 40 miles northeast of San Francisco. The region is the first viticulture area north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The estate’s wines are handcrafted by the Bartolucci family, who have been in the local winegrowing and winemaking industry for over a century. They use grapes that are 100 percent organically grown and dry-farmed on the estate vineyard.

A satisfied customer said, “They have the best Chardonnay wine I have ever experienced. Lovely, friendly staff taught us a lot about making wines. We really appreciated the fact that they grow their own grapes organically and use only one type of grape for each wine. Compared to other wineries we visited, this was clearly the best.”

More details can be found at

Madonna Estate

5400 Old Sonoma Road

United States

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