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Wine Innovation in Napa

Updated: Apr 29

Napa Valley Wine innovation features Mathiasson
Mathiasson Wines

Discovering innovative wines can be a rarity when developing Sommelier skills. Luckily, we recently uncovered the fine and elegant innovation at Matthiasson Wines on the Mt. Veeder side of Napa. I enjoyed visiting their humble abode and experiencing their excellent varietals firsthand (thanks to Derrick Harrison for the warm hospitality) in Napa Valley

We love Napa Valley Wines. Unlike many Napa Cabs that have become known for their high alcohol content and big, jammy flavors, Steve and Jill Matthiasson focus on the purity of their wines and their relation to regenerative land. They pick early, keep the acids high, and highlight bursts of fresh fruit flavor while maintaining lower alcohol levels. Their 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, comes in at 13.5% and boasts abundant red fruits, cherry, blackberry, cranberry, and mulberry flavors, framed with hints of mineral/herbal characters such as graphite, cedar, and pencil shavings. 

Their Ribolla Gialla, originating in the Friuli region of Italy and crossing the border into Slovenia, is a standout food wine that fills the gap between white and red wines with its orange wine characteristics. The wine is fermented on its skins and stems in an ancient manner with native yeast in an open-top tank using punch-downs. After two weeks, it is pressed and aged for 18 months in neutral barrels, sur lees, and never racked. The result is a beautiful wine with notes of hazelnuts, baking spices, Meyer lemon curd, orange peel, Bartlett pear, and a distinctive river rock minerality. 

I highly recommend Matthiasson for those seeking wine innovation and authentic pleasures in napa valley. Stay curious and keep trying new varietals! For more information on events with a wine-tasting-sommelier, visit,,
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