April 6, 2011
Spoto Wines to be poured at Taste of Oakville

Stuart Spoto shows off a bottle of his wine at his Arden Oaks home. Credit: Chris Macias

When it comes to wine tastings, few match the buzz and hype behind Taste of Oakville. The tasting, an especially hot ticket that's limited to wine industry and media, features some of the Napa Valley's most coveted (and astronomically pricey) wines from the Oakville appellation, including Opus One, Harlan Estate, Bond and Screaming Eagle. And for the first time, a Sacramento winery will pour at this event.

Spoto Wines, based in a local Arden Oaks neighborhood, will be pouring two wines at this April 18 tasting: 2008 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($85) and 2008 Cuvee Arianna ($45), a cabernet sauvignon-based Bordeaux blend. Though owner and winemaker Stuart Spoto creates these wines in the 916 area code, he sources the fruit from Oakville, including a 30-acre vineyard owned by UC Davis.

Wineries have traditionally been grouped in alphabetical order at Taste of Oakville, meaning Spoto Wines will likely be right next to Screaming Eagle at this event. The 2007 vintage of Screaming Eagle currently fetches about $2,000 a bottle on the secondary market, and Taste of Oakville offers a rare chance to taste this much hyped wine. That's not to mention all of the other blue chip wines that will be poured at the tasting, where any bottle less than $100 is considered a bargain.

"I'm very humbled," said Spoto. "I've been trying to get in to this event for two years. I honestly believe we'll hold up OK, but I'm nervous as heck. As a winemaker, you put in your heart and soul and hope that someone loves it. This could put Spoto Wines on the map."

So how will Spoto Wines fare at Taste of Oakville? I'll be there to see Stuart Spoto in action, so stay tuned for a follow-up story.

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