Board Member and longtime supporter of Nashville Wine Auction, Gary Rzucidlo, and has gone above and beyond gathering the crème de la crème of Napa for this trip. Gary will personally host your group of three couples through this 4-day itinerary of top-tier Napa wineries. He’s taken care of every detail. You’ll come back with expanded wine appreciation, new favorites, new friends, and probably a need to visit Betty Ford.
When you arrive in Napa, you’ll head to your home away from home on Atlas Peak. Tim Persson, Proprietor of Stalworth Wines, has offered up his stunning personal residence for your stay, complete with panoramic views of Napa Valley all the way down to San Francisco. The home features four bedrooms and a 40-foot infinity pool overlooking the breathtaking vista, you will never want to leave.
In addition to the luxury accommodations, you’ll also have premium driver service from Eclectic Tours. A seasoned driver for luxury Nashville Wine Auction wine trips, Eclectic Tours will get you safely to all of your appointments in a timely manner, and even snap photos for you!
Here is how this amazing itinerary will unfold:
Wednesday, March 13
Vacation kicks off with a trip to the Davies Vineyards tasting room in St. Helena for a Sparkling Tasting from Schramsberg. Founded in 1862, German immigrant Jacob Schram first made his home and started his winery on Napa’s Diamond Mountain. Both Davies Vineyards and Schramsberg are owned and run by friends of Nashville Wine Auction, Monique and Hugh Davies. Toasting with this premier producer of American sparkling wines is the perfect way to start the day.
Situated on 150 acres, facing southwest on Howell Mountain, your next stop looks over the Napa Valley. You’ll enjoy delicious lunch and tasting at Zakin Family Estate with the proprietors in their personal residence. Not only is Phillipe Melka the winemaker, Antonio Galloni included our 2019 Zakin Estate in his list of the top 24 wines of the vintage and wrote, “These are the most memorable wines I tasted. Not just the very high scorers, but wines of true distinction readers should be on the lookout for. These are the wines I would want to personally own most.”
Nestled in a quiet corner of the famed Rutherford Bench is a vineyard with a legacy for producing some of Napa Valley’s earliest and most noteworthy single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons. Quietly, over the last decade, visionary proprietor and steward Suzanne Deal Booth has breathed new life into the storied Bella Oaks property alongside a formidable team. Together with vineyard manager David Abreu, winemaker Nigel Kinsman, and master blender Michel Rolland, Suzanne Deal Booth’s intention to preserve and elevate this historic site sees Bella Oaks poised to inscribe its name once more in the history of the Napa Valley.
The enduring vision at BOND is to create a portfolio of wines that are ‘Grand Cru’ in quality, all under the aegis of one philosophy, one team, one mark. Sourced from select hillside estates throughout the Napa Valley, the Cabernet Sauvignon wines of BOND vividly convey the distinctive characters of their respective sites of origin. Over the past four decades, the team at Harlan has slowly and deliberately chose five properties to represent BOND. Indulge in a private visit for six to the BOND Winery in the foothills of Oakville, including a walkthrough of the cellar, followed by an intimate dinner alongside the BOND wines.
Thursday, March 14
Begin your day like a champ, with a trip to the secluded mountaintop in St. Helena to visit Colgin Cellars. Colgin has embraced the ideal of crafting wines of harmony, grace, and precision from the beautiful hillside vineyards of Napa Valley. Their collection of wines have developed a cult-like status among wine enthusiasts and collectors alike – and rightfully so. The legendary Ann Colgin and her husband Joe Wender, specialize in small production, hand-crafted ultra-premium red wines including Bordeaux-style blends and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Brand is moving to lunch. Tour of the property, including the Famed Rock, barrel tasting then lunch with the owners and tasting Now get ready for a VIP experience from BRAND. The stunning 110-acre property has a total of 12 planted acres that are organically farmed and thoughtfully cultivated. Rock star winemaker Phillippe Melka has been involved in BRAND since its inception. You will be treated to a VIP tasting and tour of the beautiful winery.
Next up is a tasting at OVID Napa Valley represents 15 acres of some of the most distinctive, beautiful scenery along with wonderful wines. OVID is their flagship wine as well as their compass for what truly impeccable wine tastes like. Their great wines represent the fluidity of time and nature.
Wrap up an eventful, exciting day at your home, the Stalworth House. You’ll be joined by Winemaker, Celia Welch as you enjoy dinner from a private chef paired with Bourbon, cigars, Champagne from Special Club, and of course, Stalworth Wines. Just for the lot winners Stalworth will prioritize access to their sold out 2018 and 2019 vintages, along with futures with 2021 and the first and only Stalworth etched large format 5L (only 20 bottles made).
Friday, March 15
Sleep in a bit, as your first appointment is not until lunchtime. Head to Bistro Don Giovanni and join Hall of Fame Winemaker, Celia Welch, for a once in a lifetime Scarecrow Tasting. Following the tasting, attend a vineyard tour and meet and greet with Bistro Don Giovanni’s owners in their own personal residence to discuss the history of wine and Napa.
Proceed to Rewa Estate for a unique tasting experience. With Rewa’s wine cultivated across two distinct slopes, the vineyard encompasses divergent soils and contrasting aspects to form a vintage and place unlike any others. Originally called Blue Oak Hill, named from the numerous old oak trees that grow on site, this coveted site in Coombsville is just east of downtown Napa. The rockstar team at this winery includes viticulturist, Michael Wolf, who has managed or is managing vineyards for BOND, Harlan Estate, Lewis Cellars, Meteor Vineyards, Scarecrow, and Vineyard 29, and Celia Welch, who Mike advised the owner to bring over as winemaker in 2015.
Tonight’s dinner is a casual affair hosted by serious winemakers. Head to TORC, a contemporary, high-energy American restaurant with global influences. Joining you and pouring his namesake wine is one of the Top 10 winemakers in the world, and l’Eté du Vin 2025 Guest of Honor, Phillipe Melka and his wife, Cherie. After tasting his superlative wines all week, you’ll get to experience the eponymous Melka Estates.
Saturday March 16
Gear up for your last day in Napa as you arrive at Featured Reception Vintner Memento Mori for lunch and tasting. Hayes Drumwright, Co-founder of Memento Mori, invites six guests for a private lunch experience at Memento Mori in Calistoga, hosted by the Hospitality Team. While Memento Mori wines capture the famed single-vineyard sites from which they are sourced – Beckstoffer Dr. Crane, Beckstoffer Las Piedras, Vine Hill Ranch, Weitz Vineyard, and Oakville Ranch Vineyard – their Flagship Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from these iconic Napa Valley vineyards. Founded in 2010 by three childhood friends, Adriel Lares, Hayes Drumwright, and Adam Craun, the name, Memento Mori, is taken from an ancient Latin philosophy that reminds us of our mortality. However, after experiencing some serious health scares and family tragedies throughout their friendship, Memento Mori is instead interpreted by the Founders as “Remember to Live.” This shared mantra is a reminder that since nothing in life is guaranteed, we need to embrace it, while also taking risks along the way in order to experience the greatest rewards.
Experience the breathtaking views from Diamond Mountain Vineyard at your next appointment. Straddling the Sonoma and Napa County line at an elevation of 2200 feet, Diamond Mountain estate vineyards sit above the fog line. Rich and extremely well-drained volcanic soils along with a unique microclimate produce Bordeaux-style wines that are powerful yet elegant, collectible wines. Under the stewardship of Pairing’s darling and winemaker Kevin Vecchiarelli, as well as consulting winemaker Paul Hobbs, Diamond Mountain Vineyard continues to showcase the unique characteristics of each vineyard block, producing wines from their Rhône-style Syrah to their single varietal Bordeaux.
Put an exclamation point on the end of your Napa trip, with a visit to Adversity Cellars for an intimate gathering of true wine lovers. Enjoy the symphony of flavors fire-roasted pizza, perfectly seared steak, and fine charcuterie paired with the distinctive taste profiles of the wines. Handcrafted by Russell and Heidi Bevan, each bottle in the Adversity Cellars portfolio tells the story of unique vineyards, where adversity breeds resilience and character. Enjoy this sensory journey and rare opportunity to get an insider perspective of Adversity Cellars.
Sunday, March 17
Time to wave good-bye to Napa, the rockstar winemakers, the red-carpet treatment, and Gary Rzucidlo. You’ll be returning to Nashville with great memories and undoubtedly marvelous new cellar favorites once your allocations arrive.
This trip for 3 couples with Gary Rzucidlo and Lori Latusek takes place Wednesday, March 13 – Sunday, March 17, 2024 and includes:
4-night stay at Stalworth House on Atlas Peak
Driver for all tasting appointments
Diamond Mountain Vineyard
OVID Napa Valley
Bistro Don Giovanni with Celia Welch and Scarecrow
Zakin Family Estate
TORC with Cherie & Phillipe Melka
Stalworth House with Celia Welch
Restrictions: Trip takes place Wednesday, March 13 – Sunday, March 17, 2024. Itinerary subject to change. Airfare is not included. Trip restrictions apply, see Trip Guidelines in the Auction Rules and Reference section of the catalog.
Donated by Lori Latusek & Gary Rzucidlo, Adversity Cellars, Bella Oaks, BOND, BRAND, Celia Welch, Cherie & Phillipe Melka, Colgin Cellars, Diamond Mountain Vineyard, Eclectic Tours, Memento Mori, OVID Napa Valley, Rewa Estate, Scarecrow Wines, Schramsberg Vineyards, Stalworth Wines, Zakin Family Estate