Our host for the evening was the fabulous Gabrielle Leonhard O’Connell. Read more about Gabrielle and her collection of wines below.
Gabrielle Leonhard O’Connell is vintner and Director of Winemaking of O’Connell Family Wines, which produces Gabrielle Collection, Pietro Family Cellars and O’Connell Family Vineyard Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. The family portfolio of wines is known for boutique, handcrafted, gold metal Cabernet Sauvignons from the O’Connell Family Estate Vineyard in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley and their elegant Chardonnay and sumptuous Sauvignon Blanc. Gabrielle specializes in distinctive, small production Cabernet Sauvignons that show a sense of place and her style of artful blending. The Gabrielle Collection has a loyal following of fine wine collectors worldwide.
As a forward thinking vintner, Gabrielle believes in bio-diversity, purity of the growing environment and sharing the bounty that a vineyard based lifestyle produces. She established the CCOF Organic Certified estate vineyard and gardens as a diverse eco-system to ensure overall vineyard health- one of few Napa Valley estates that is 100% organic. She believes this complex environment sustains healthy organisms that maintain a naturally robust vineyard, which creates beautifully complex wines. The olive grove, orchard, lavender field, herb and vegetable garden produce culinary and lifestyle enhancing products, that embody the natural luxury of wine country living. These products and innovative food & wine pairings are featured for all to enjoy at Gabrielle Collection taste+, the winery’s Tasting Boutique in downtown Napa.
Gabrielle has another passion: Olive Oil. She has completed the certification curriculum at UC Davis to be an Olive Oil Taster; is founder of the Olive Oil Culinary Guild- a training program for chefs on olive oil sensory evaluation and quality; and of MOPREP- an organization to preserve the historic olive trees in California. She is currently authoring a The Ultimate Guide of American Olive Oil and grows historic Mission olives to produce GC Napa Valley Certified Organic Estate Extra Virgin Oil.
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First | SCALLOP & LOBSTER | Whipped Goat Cheese, Arugula, Cornbread, Lemon Truffle | paired with Pietro Sauvignon Blanc
Second | EGGS ROYALE | Smoked Salmon, Pineapple, Green Chili, Papa Mountain Bread | paired with Pietro Chardonnay
Third | ENDIVE SALAD | Buttermilk Bleu, Lardons, Champagne Dressing | paired with Field Blend Red
Fourth | DUCK CONFIT | Field Peas, Creamed Corn, Morels | paired with Vertex 620
Fifth | LAMB LOIN | Spiced Carrot, Huckleberry | paired with Juxaposition
Sixth | CHOCOLATE TORTE | Banana, Marshmallow, Coffee Ice Cream | paired with Whisker’s Blake Port
AN ARTISTIC EXPRESSION OF CABERNET SAUVIGNON HANDCRAFTED BY GABRIELLE COLLECTION
Gabrielle Collection is a series of boutique, luxury Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons and Proprietary Cabernet blends, that show the artistry of Winemaker Gabrielle Leonhard O’Connell in their balance, suppleness and distinction as she brings the magic of the soil and sun into a glass of wine. They are inviting, food complimentary Napa Valley wines.
Gabrielle believes blending varietals and vineyards achieves the most expressive wine. Drawing from the organically farmed O’Connell Family Estate Vineyard in the Oak Knoll Appellation of Napa Valley, as well as other sustainably farmed vineyards, where the climate and soil are best suited to perfectly produce each varietal, she creates wines with richness and complexity. Consulting winemaker Mitch Cozentino, brings decades of expereince and accolades to the winemaking collaboration and expertise.
The winemaking style includes hand harvesting, hand punchdowns, use of moderate oak, minmalistic winemaking techniques to produce wines of purity that reflect the winemaker’s point of view, a sense of place and varietal characteristics. Extended aging in French oak for up to 3 years creates wine of great elegance and smoothness.
THE O’CONNELL FAMILY ESTATE VINEYARD, OAK KNOLL DISTRICT OF NAPA VALLEY
Five specific blocks with individual soil structures and climatic subtleties enables the winemaking team to beautifully balance the aromas, flavors and structure of each Gabrielle Collection Napa Valley wine. The vineyard was created over millennium by the layers of forces: Dry Creek ancient creek bed, frequent flooding, volcanic action from the Vaca mountains, alluvial soil erosion from Mt Veeder, San Francisco Bay ocean bottom. Each grape block has specific influences and encounter variables as the grapes penetrate the soil.
CITATION: “An Artistic Expression of Cabernet Sauvignon Handcrafted by Gabrielle Collection.” O’Connell Family Wines, oconnellfamilywines.com/gabrielle-collection/.