Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Solar Wineries, part three...

Despite this simple sign, the Chateau Montelena is an exercise in excess. They have a castle like facility. A lake. Beautiful grounds. And for good reason, as they started this Napa Valley wine craze back in 1976.

Go see the movie "Bottleshock" for an enhanced view of this. In 1976, a few upstart Napa Valley wines bested the French in a blind tasting competition. The Chateau Montelena was one of the wines that beat the French (I think it was a chardonnay). After the competition, their winemaker ran off and started his own winery (with investment from the Hills family--the coffee folks).

Recently the French have exacted their revenge by buying this winery. The amount they paid wasn't released...but it reportedly was millions and millions of dollars.

This is a view of the hillside where they put their panels...lots and lots of them.

The winery is outside of Calistoga. Some of the folks in town complained that the panels spoil the aesthetics of the hillside.

I think they are beautiful!

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