I attended a tasting last night at Grape & Gourmet in Virginia Beach which featured wines from Salvestrin Family Winery based in St. Helena, CA.  Salvestrin’s National Sales Manager was on hand to host the tasting, pour and provide an overview of the wines. I appreciated the fact that she provided a lot of historical information on the winery and Salvestrin family. The winery has been in operation since 1932 and farms organically.

2007 Salvestrin Sauvignon Blanc


Good stuff. Real cork closure. Bright color. This juice was tank fermented and aged six months in 70% stainless steel and 30% neutral oak. I found this wine full of tropical fruit and loads of grapefruit complimented by light floral aromas. The mouth was full of more grapefruit, well balanced. The acidity was zingy and very crisp!

I paired this with one of my very favorite meals in the whole word… Cheddar Cheese grits with grilled barbecue shrimp! Cheesy grits and BBQ shrimp are so good that any wine would pair well with this meal!!

Salvestrin Sauvignon Blanc with Cheesy Grits and BBQ Shrimp
Salvestrin Sauvignon Blanc with Cheesy Grits and BBQ Shrimp

The tasting included two other Salvestrin wines:

2004 Salvestrin Cabernet Sauvignon

I really liked this wine. Great fruit, spice, balance. I’ll hold off on a detailed review of this wine until I open up the bottle I bought at the tasting.

2005 Salvestrin Rettagio

50% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot, 20% Cabernet, $33.99

Ruby in color. On the nose I found an intense leather component along with hint of spice and blackberry. The mouth feel was much dryer than expected and included some dark fruit. I found this wine disjointed and passed on this one. Maybe I have no clue what I’m talking about and am the disjointed one.

Salvestrin Winery info:


Our family has been growing winegrapes on our historic St. Helena vineyard since 1932. Originally planted in 1860 by Dr. George Crane, three generations of the Salvestrin Family have meticulously and sustainably farmed this vineyard. Our goal today is to produce the finest quality winegrapes and showcase those grapes in handcrafted wines that are fruit forward, elegant, balanced and memorably world class. We strive to be good stewards of the land, being sensitive to the environment and the surrounding community by farming our vineyards according to organic guidelines. We invite you to explore our website and learn more about or wines, vineyard and family and to visit us the next time you are in Napa Valley.

At Salvestrin the vineyard is a special place, embodying the passionate commitment of three generations of Salvestrins to produce exceptional grapes and memorable wines.

Italian immigrants, John and Emma Salvestrin fell in love with the St. Helena area in the early 1920’s when visiting (paesanis) friends from their homeland that had already arrived here. In 1932 John and Emma purchased a portion of the historic Crane Ranch, including the Victorian home of Dr. Crane. With the repeal of prohibition in 1933, the wine industry began to grow again and it became much easier to sell the grape crop that was already producing fruit when the Salvestrin purchased the property only a year before.

Over the last five years we have been farming according to organic guidelines and have employed sustainable practices for three generations. There are an abundance of fruit and nut trees planted around the property that provide needed diversity. We use organic compost and annual cover crop for soil building and plant nutrition, and cultivate the soil in spring and early summer to incorporate the cover crop and preserve natural soil moisture making it available for the vines. The practice of cultivation helps to achieve proper vine balance, this, along with drought tolerant rootstock selection, reduces water demand.