Road to Table Weekend with Goop & Cadillac

Posted: March 23, 2018

The moment a double rainbow emerges from gray skies while an event is underway, it’s a sure sign that something truly special is unfolding.

This very phenomenon occurred earlier this month amidst a weekend-long event we hosted for the Road to Table event series – and it’s safe to say that the what unfolded over the course of those two days was an incredible weekend of exceptional wines, inspiring wine education, and game-changing culinary fare.

Road to Table is a concept-turned-event series developed by auto industry titan Cadillac and mega-cool lifestyle brand Goop. The event’s primary objective: to quite literally drive guests through a weekend of ultra-curated and unforgettable epicurean experiences.

We partnered with Cadillac and Goop for their first-ever Napa Valley Road to Table Weekend, hosted by Goop CEO Gwyneth Paltrow. Two days of souped-up Cadillacs, a feast prepared by Chef Christopher Kostow at The Charter Oak, and a one-of-a-kind educational, and dare we say double-rainbow-inducing, blending session with Turnbull Winemaker Peter Heitz.

Let’s set the scene:

Imagine a stainless steel-clad, industrial tank room transformed into a cozy, goop-ified winemaker’s lab. If you entered our Tank Room B on the weekend of this event, and that’s where you’d find this somewhat perplexing, yet beautiful scene – and the authentic setting for our blending session (double rainbows aside, the weekend’s on-and-off rainy weather wasn’t exactly cooperative for hosting this outside).

At each guest’s blending station, you would find the following: six, single varietal-filled 75mL test tubes for experimenting, one 100mL graduated cylinder for measuring, one wine glass for blending, one 50mL Erlenmeyer flask of 2014 Black Label for comparing, one notecard for notetaking, and one pencil for writing. Exactly.

Peter took the stage at the head of these goop-ified lab benches, educating guests on the basics of Blending 101: why we use in in winemaking, and how to do it in true master-blender fashion. Using their Black Label-filled Erlenmeyer flasks as an (honorable) example for comparison, guests blended their own Cabernet Sauvignon using Leopoldina Vineyard Petite Verdot, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2016 vintage. Hard to make a lousy blend from that, if you ask us.

As the atmosphere in Tank Room B changed from disciplined instruction to banter-ous exchange, the awkward hesitation that may have dictated our guest’s initial approach to blending quickly transformed into an attitude of enthusiastic confidence. As the blending session progressed and our guest’s curiosities deepened, serious wine discussion transpired, covering a range of topics from the merits of using different barrel cooperages, to anticipating how soil variation within our vineyards affects barrel selection in the final blending process.

By weekend’s close, everyone left the winery knowing a more about wine and the winemaking process, and the unique bond that forms when new friends come together under double rainbows.