by Fred McMillin
for January 7, 1998

The Two-Heart Canopy


The method used to conduct the trellis evaluation tastings were far more rigorous (glasses had watch-glass covers, etc.) than any I had encountered in wine competitions ... the results showed wines from improved trellis systems were clearly superior to those with more shading of the grapes. The superior fruit intensity would have been obvious to any wine drinker.

...by Bob Campbell, Master of Wine, in "A Handbook for Winegrape Canopy Management"

Fine Sauvignon Blanc has never been easy to produce because the grape can impart savage taste elements suggesting grass, asparagus, etc. ... Robert Pepi has eliminated these flavors by training the vines to bring more sunlight to the grape clusters.

...Robert Lawrence Balzer, "Los Angeles Times Magazine"

The Rest of the Story: The Two-Heart Canopy is the secret of the Pepi success. The vines arc downward in two parallel paths, forming the two hearts, exposing the grape bunches to more sunlight. The 1996 is the eighth Two-Heart vintage. It is loaded with that fruit intensity Bob Campbell mentioned ... melon, figs, and vigor.

The Wine:
1996 Two-Heart Canopy Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
Robert Pepi Winery
Contact—James Caudill (707) 525-6229

Food Affinities: What to serve with the Blanc? There's a new cookbook that provides about 20 recipes that pair magically with each of the major varietals. It's Chef Mary Evely's "The Vintner's Table Cookbook." Starting on page 30 you'll find 21 recommended recipes for Sauvignon Blanc, and a table of 21 items that conflict with that wine. Pasta with smoked oysters is good, avocado is bad. For details, contact Nancy Gilbert at (707) 433-6981.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

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