We don’t know about you, but we sure missed spending time outdoors together! As we continue to venture out more and more, we’ve been dreaming of a classic picnic to come together with loved ones over a delicious meal. Whether dining in your backyard or heading out to your favorite park, we want to make sure you’re prepared accordingly. From food safety tips to quintessential dishes to pack and the best Eleven Eleven Wines to tote along, treat yourself to some fresh air, fabulous fare, and a beautiful day in soaking up some sun.
Food Safety Tips
One of our most important tips is to start by packing cold foods straight to your basket or cooler.
- Use plenty of ice packs or fill water bottles about two-thirds full and pop them in the freezer a day ahead. They’ll keep your food cold and, as they melt, you’ll have refreshing ice water.
- Skip mayo-heavy salads such as potato salad, which can spoil more quickly in the sun. We opt for bean, grain, or pasta salads with vinegar-based dressings.
- For food safety reasons, none of your perishables should be out of the cooler for more than two hours.
Handy Items to Pack
This ultimately goes without saying, but don’t forget to pack the following items to ensure you’re picnic ready! Some may not be necessities, but your picnic will feel more comfortable with them in tow.
- A big picnic blanket or two, and ideally ones you won’t worry about if something spills on them. For those who might have accessibility issues or discomfort sitting on the ground, a chair (preferably foldable, that can be carried in a bag) is a must.
- Reusable plates, unbreakable cups or wine glasses (we love GoVino!), and real silverware (or disposable plates and silverware).
- A roll of paper towels or cloth napkins to make things feel a little more elevated. Paper napkins can blow away easily, and paper towels or cloth napkins can serve as impromptu plates for small bites and desserts.
- Wet wipes or damp washcloths sealed in a ziplock bag. This one especially applies if you’re not going to have running water nearby. No one wants sticky hands!
- A small knife wrapped in cardboard for safety and a small cutting board. Or, wrap the knife in a thick kitchen towel and secure it with a rubber band.
- Trash bags. Before you leave, it’s important to clean up after yourself!
- Sunscreen. Even if you plan on sitting in the shade, better be safe than sorry.
- Depending on where you live, bug spray could be the key to prevent creepy-crawlies from ruining your time.
- Avoid soggy salads and sandwiches by keeping components such as dressings, fillings, and optional extras stored away in separate containers (chilled if necessary) until they’re needed.
Our Top Food Picks
Before we get into our recommended pairings, our most important tip is not to pack anything too messy. A few thoughtful choices will mean your picnic spread will be both tasty and low-stress.
Easy Caprese Picnic Sandwiches
The sandwich version of an Italian classic, this simple dish includes tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil which makes an easy filling for a vegetarian picnic sandwich. Pesto, fresh basil leaves, and baby spinach as add-ons make these extra delicious! We love this with a light yet flavorful red wine, which makes our 2018 Bacigalupi Pinot Noir an excellent choice.
Mediterranean Orzo Salad
You’ll be pleasantly surprised that just a handful of ingredients can make something so delightful. All you need is orzo pasta, red grape or cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, plenty of fresh herbs and feta to toss with a simple dressing of extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and black pepper (don’t forget to pack that in it’s own container!). With these Mediterranean flavors, we recommend our 2019 Carol’s Song Riesling.
Courtesy of Ree Drummond, click here for the recipe.
Apple, Sausage, and Caramelized Onion Frittata
We love this recipe because it’s not only easy to bring along in your basket, but each bite of this sweet and savory frittata provides delicious layers of complementary flavors, including tart granny smith apples, meaty sausage, earthy thyme, and sweet caramelized onions. It’s also packed with protein, low in carbs, and ready in less than 30 minutes. If you prefer a dairy-free version, swap in almond, soy, or oat milk and omit the cheese topping. With the complexity of the flavors in this dish, we love it with our 2018 Moss Creek Old Vine Zinfandel.
Courtesy of Joy Bauer, click here for the recipe.
Arugula Potato Salad with Orange and Gorgonzola
This might not be the typical “potato salad” that comes to mind, but we can’t get over how lively this is! Roasted baby potatoes are tossed with arugula, sweet orange segments, toasted walnuts, and gorgonzola cheese which results in plenty of great texture. The simple, bright orange vinaigrette ties it all together beautifully. This is a great salad as a side to a lamb or beef course, too; and, it’s a colorful addition to your picnic blanket! Savor this with our light, equally fresh 2020 Beckstoffer Sauvignon Blanc.
Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis, click here for the recipe.
With Father’s Day approaching, we’re here to inspire you to create an experience full of delicious food and memorable wines for that father figure in your life.
Whether celebrating on Father’s Day or looking for a special way to treat Dad any day of the year, we’re excited to share our team’s picks with the ideal pairing to accompany your wine.
Brightly shining and as clear as a perfect day, it’s no secret why this wine simply screams summer. You’re first treated to aromas of tropical fruit followed by invigorating scents of gardenia and Meyer lemon, while the palate is lively with crisp green apples, lemon meringue, and pineapple.
This refreshing Sauvignon Blanc pairs perfectly with exotic and vibrant culinary fare. We recommend whipping up some Peruvian cuisine such as lomo saltado (stir fry beef), rocoto relleno (stuffed spicy peppers), or arroz con pato (rice with duck). Find the recipes and learn more about these dishes here. If spice isn’t your thing, a simple grilled chicken or fish with fresh herbs and a hint of lemon will do the trick.
Whether floating down the river, heading to the beach, or relaxing poolside–grab a floatie and get your glass of crisp, cool Sauvignon Blanc ready!
With exuberant aromas of orange peel and dried apricot, this vivacious, mouthwatering wine is dry in style, yet full of flavors of fresh-squeezed lemonade and citrus zest.
Riesling is unique because it pairs well with many dishes that other varietals do not, and we love this with lighter fare such as a fresh mango and seafood salad or a classic ceviche.
This wine truly takes us to another time and place everytime we sit down to enjoy it, and it’s especially drinkable served chilled on those hot summer days!
A powerful bouquet unfolds of blackberries, toffee, spice, and white pepper followed by hints of bacon fat, tobacco, and minerality on the nose and palate.
This wine is full-bodied,structured, and dark with bold fruity and peppery flavors.
The characteristics of this very special Syrah makes it a beautiful match with meats and grilled foods of all kinds. We’re partial to a classic BBQ dish such as ribs or brisket, or a blue cheeseburger with caramelized onions and bacon!
With aromas of dark plums and blackberries, hints of graphite and black olive round it out giving this powerhouse a perceived maturity. Layers of cacao, raspberry, cinnamon, and nutmeg are most prominent followed by a hint of white pepper.
This young, bold wine complements a classic ribeye or Santa Maria tri-tip for those quintessential summer evenings made for grilling. Or, try it with a truffle cacio e pepe for a truly delectable duo!
It goes without saying that this wine is essential when cooking around a barbeque with friends and family, or winding down around a bonfire in the evening.
Whether you treat dad to one of our favorite meals by cooking it up with the kids, commemorate with a fun activity outdoors, or celebrate the memory of a father figure who is no longer with us, Eleven Eleven is always here to Make Your Moment® extra special. Browse our collection and explore our ten current releases to find the wine that suits dad's palate. A very Happy Father’s Day to all of the wonderful dads and father figures out there!
Introducing: Three New Eleven Eleven Wines
We’re so proud to finally announce the release of our three brand new wines–the 2018 Malbec, 2018 Cabernet Franc, and 2018 Merlot. These wines are a testament to our Oak Knoll estate vineyards, and you can truly taste the distinct terroir. Each of these wines was carefully crafted and chosen specifically to enhance our current portfolio. We’re also excited to share the quintessential food pairings to accompany these new wines and the inside scoop from our Winemaker Kirk Venge!
2018 Estate MalbecDestin Vineyard, Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley Produced: 136 Cases
The 2018 Malbec emerges into the Eleven Eleven portfolio from the Destin Vineyard. Planted in 2015, these young vines are well beyond their years with power showing at every turn. At first glance, it shows intensity with dark purple and blue hues followed by gorgeous aromatics of ripe dark fruit with undertones of graphite. On the palate, this exhilarating wine offers striking juicy flavors of blueberry, plum, blackberry, brown sugar, and cloves, while the finish follows through with silky tannins. This bottle can be savored now or cellared for future enjoyment.
The Perfect Pairing
This young, bold wine will pair beautifully with Argentinian steak and a chimichurri sauce or a classic blue cheeseburger. For a lighter option, try stuffed red peppers with a wild rice and mushroom filling. To finish, pair it with a variety of cheeses with boundless flavor, such as blue, gorgonzola, Monterey Jack, or provolone.
A Word from Our Winemaker
“Malbec is the quintessential silver bullet of the cellar. Gorgeous black color, fumy blue fruit aromatics, ripe tannins, and a gravity in the mouth unlike any other. Often these wines can be quite monolithic by nature, but with some finessing in the cellar and always crafted with creative and gentle handling, this release will certainly be a welcome addition to the cellars of Eleven Eleven aficionados.”
2018 Estate MerlotDestin Vineyard, Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley Produced: 142 Cases
The Eleven Eleven 2018 Merlot hails from the Destin Vineyard and is a unique and pleasurable wine. Merlot is undoubtedly the unsung hero of the Bordeaux varieties in Napa Valley. It’s a grape that offers elegance and restraint, all the while showing bright and lively components.
Upon inspection, the wine starts to reveal its distinction with a dark, brilliant currant hue. Moments later, you’re greeted with aromas of ripe red fruits and notes of minerality. The palate is plush and voluptuous with flavors of ripe cherry and raspberry compote. Cherry cola and vanilla notes continue to smooth and silky tannins on the finish. Layers upon layers of flavor give the wine an opulent feel, all the while remaining true to its roots with delicate features that make this wine delightful for any wine lover.
The Perfect Pairing
This bright, juicy wine will accent comforting and savory flavors like those in beef bourguignon. For something more adventurous, try duck meatballs or a caramelized shallot pasta. For dessert, experiment with a vanilla bean raspberry tart with a graham cracker crust.
A Word from Our Winemaker
“When we thought of our unique terroir and cooler climate at Destin, in [the] Oak Knoll [District AVA], Merlot was a natural fit. It thrives in slightly cooler and deeper soils, like we have there. Planting it there was the right choice, and I hope you agree. Layers of depth, structure, and finesse course throughout this fine wine.”
2018 Estate Cabernet Franc11:11 Vineyard, Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley
Produced: 55 Cases
When we planted Cabernet Franc at our 11:11 Vineyard, we could only imagine the beauty that would unfold. The original decision came from the desire to produce a true Bordeaux blend, but what we were rewarded with is truly exciting. Staying true to our intentions, most of the fruit harvested went to our X∙I blend, but what we kept for the solo bottling we feel is an astounding expression of this variety.
In the glass, the appearance is truly inviting with a deep scarlet color that would make you think you’re staring at the stone itself. Aromas of violets and rose petals are a welcome start, followed by notes of new leather, cassis, and an earthy minerality. Flavors of dark black fruits, raspberry jam, and mocha are dominant, while hints of sweetness on the side palate and spices lift the wine to a whole new level.
The Perfect Pairing
Try this wine with lamb chops and a mint sauce for something truly special. Simple dishes of red beans and rice or pasta with Bolognese sauce will also be a great match. To finish, enjoy goat cheese with small bits of honeycomb and Marcona almonds.
A Word from Our Winemaker
“One of the boldest of the Bordeaux varieties, I’m thrilled to have this Cabernet Franc in our lineup. It’s a lovely tool as a blending varietal or standalone. It has a driving character, muscle, and an array of earth and black fruit aromatics. I imagine this to be one of our most anticipated and popular releases each year.”
Having trouble deciding which of our new wines suits you? Take our quiz to determine which one fits your personality!
Whether one of our new red wines speaks to you or if you prefer whites, we have something for every palate in our collection. Shop our entire portfolio here, and if you pick up one of our new releases, be sure to share your experience with us on Facebook and Instagram!
With a new season comes exceptional new wines – one of which is brand new to our collection! With the especially chilly weather most of the country is experiencing, there’s nothing we love more than curling up on the couch with close friends and family, a good movie, and sipping on a hearty glass of red wine.
But, don’t get us wrong – these can be savored year-round! These wines warm our hearts and bellies with every sip, and whether enjoyed on their own or with your favorite fare, we’re excited to highlight our three new spring releases. Want early access to our new releases, too? Explore Club 11:11 to learn more about how you can access our new wines before they’re released.
2018 X∙I Cabernet Sauvignon
We can’t help but begin this feature and introduction of a new wine by highlighting the thoughts of our Winemaker, Kirk Venge. He says of the X•I, “I haven’t been this excited about unveiling a new wine in years. Finally, the secret is out! A true five varietal Estate Bordeaux Blend. Having the viticulture at your fingers to guide each of these plantings with just the right inputs and be blessed with a nearly perfect vintage like 2018 was a combination for success. I love the dark fruit and young, tightly laced tannin feel. As young as these plantings are, I predict outstanding things in future years stemming from this, the X•I inaugural release!”
Predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 X∙I Cabernet Sauvignon is a mélange of the five Bordeaux varietals giving this youthful blend depth and complexity, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec.
In 2014 and 2015, we planted the 11:11 and Destin Vineyards with young graftings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc. For the inaugural harvest of these grapes, Mother Nature delivered more than expected. The growing season was ideal – long and slow, resulting in an abundant harvest.
With aromas of dark plums and blackberries, hints of graphite and black olive round out the nose, giving this powerhouse a perceived maturity. The palate commands attention with layers of cacao, raspberry, cinnamon, and nutmeg, followed by a hint of white pepper. This wine is approachable yet formidable with all the heft and structure needed to age. Whether poured to stand-alone or paired with a flavorful meal, this wine is an occasion in and of itself!
This young, bold wine will pair well with a classic ribeye or Santa Maria tri-tip. For something interesting, try it with a truffle cacio e pepe or a cacao rubbed pork chop. To finish your meal, a baked apple crisp drizzled with caramel is sure to excite your taste buds.
2018 Laki’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Our oldest estate Cabernet Sauvignon, our 2018 Laki’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect complement to any small gathering where an elevated and truly stunning wine is needed. With each vintage, we look to perfect this wine that started it all for us in 2012.
For the 2018 vintage, we were again able to extend barrel aging to 23 months to increase depth. The aromatics emit layers on the nose, the most prominent being lush red and black fruit with refined aromas of leather, cassis, and rose petal. That refinement carries through to the palate, where it showcases flavors of ripe plum and black currant.
As you dive deeper, these fruit qualities are matched with bitter dark chocolate and coffee. This wine is beautiful to enjoy now, but also age-worthy and drinkable in 10 years. Whenever you decide to open this bottle, it’s sure to be the quintessential time to Make Your Moment®!
This classic example of premium Napa Cabernet Sauvignon will pair well with the hefty dishes we all love to indulge in from time to time. The intricacy of the palate makes it a great pair to Korean Short Ribs with a sweet glaze, duck molé, or polenta with a spicy tomato sauce.
2018 Destin Estate Syrah
Our 2018 Destin Vineyard Estate Syrah flourished, as did many vineyards in 2018, and we were blessed with a bountiful and beautiful crop. This dynamic wine is the perfect combination of Old and New world.
The nose of this wine is aromatically bold with a complex palate rich in flavors and texture. The journey starts with an eye-catching deep ruby color.
By allowing the wine a moment to express itself and breathe, a powerful bouquet unfolds chock-full of blackberries, toffee, spice, and white pepper. This is followed by hints of bacon fat, tobacco, and graphite. The bold, lengthy finish highlights fine acidity and youthful tannins for a perfect finale. You’re sure to win the hearts and palates of anyone you share this with!
Our Estate Syrah is full-bodied, structured, and dark with bold, uncompromising fruit and pepper notes. This makes it the ideal pairing for rich meats and grilled foods. For something simple, enjoy it with your favorite BBQ recipe or a blue cheese burger with caramelized onions and bacon. For a more adventurous pairing, try a curry lentil soup as the hints of spice will complement the gentle heat of the curry. To top off the night, finish with peanut butter and chocolate ice cream!
We hope you savor these new releases as much as we do, and be sure to share your experience on Facebook and Instagram! If red wines don’t suit your palate, make sure to browse our collection of white wines that are sure to please this spring!
Here we are in the last stretch of the year. As you move through this holiday week, we hope you take time to pause and breathe.
2020 was no doubt one for the record books. This was a year of major change and reflection both individually and as a country, a time of movement, and a time of pivoting our winery and tasting room practices. Join us for this look back on 2020 to relive some of the new and exciting things we implemented for this unique year that we will carry into 2021.
Virtual Tastings and Experiences
We pride ourselves on providing elevated, personal, and welcoming wine tastings at our Napa tasting room just minutes from downtown. When we closed our tasting room earlier this year (and intermittently since then), this began to look very different for us, as well as many wineries around the valley. With that, we all had to get creative. This led us to develop virtual wine tastings and experiences.
The 11:11 Connect Experience
Our Virtual Tastings became the 11:11 Connect Experience, which brings our elevated wine tasting to the comfort of your home. Whether you’re a loyal Eleven Eleven fan or new to our wines, we wanted to bring you a little cheer this year - even if it's from afar! When you purchase a minimum of $300 of wine for you or with your fellow wine lovers to enjoy, receive a special one-on-one virtual tasting with one of our Hospitality Associates. They’re not only experts on our wines, but are well-versed in the Napa and Sonoma Valley terroir so you have a truly “edutaining” (educating and entertaining) experience! To book an 11:11 Connect Experience, click here.
Make Your Moment Series
This series was developed as an hour-long happy hour hosted by Eleven Eleven Founders, Ellie Anest and Aurelien Roulin, and featured a variety of guests who all had a connection to Eleven Eleven. We first chatted with Nutrition & Lifestyle Expert and Author, Joy Bauer, and Chef Ryan Scott, then dove into how COVID-19 affected the sports industry with NBA Commentator, Mike Breen, and NBA Announcer, Tim Roye. We also heard the musical talent of musician, Brian Newmann, and Actor Scott Wolf and his Writer, Speaker, and Life Coach wife, Kelley, joined us in our most recent installment of this series. Each of these experiences were filled with laughs, finding new and eye-opening ways of experiencing life, and each spoke to our motto of Make Your Moment® while enjoying sips of wine.
When winery visits were barred, we once again found ourselves having to find new ways of providing your Eleven Eleven favorites. In an effort to maintain social distancing for those that are local, we began offering curbside pick-up. We’re excited to continue this offering throughout 2021 to ensure your experience with us is as comfortable as possible. If you’re interested in this option, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (707) 224.2211 to place your order and coordinate your pick-up time with one of our team members.
Our New Patio for Wine Tastings
Aside from COVID-19 and indoor tasting closures over the past several months, we gave our main tasting room a little facelift (more to come in 2021!). Thankfully, we have a beautiful patio in the back of our property that overlooks a neighboring vineyard.
Adorned with colorful umbrellas, comfy couches, heaters, and blankets to keep you toasty during the cooler days, our patio is a quintessential place to enjoy an afternoon in the Napa Valley when the time is right for you.
While 2020 wasn’t what any of us expected, we choose to look at the glass half full and see this year as a learning experience. We’re so proud of each team member here at Eleven Eleven for being so adaptable and maintaining positivity. We’re also incredibly grateful to our Club 11:11 members and loyal Eleven Eleven fans for helping to keep our doors open and the wine flowing this year. We couldn’t have done it without you! Cheers to the end of one interesting year, and the beginning of 2021 filled with new opportunities and new moments ahead.
Five years ago we opened our tasting room and created Club 11:11. 2020 has reminded us all of how lucky we are to have our extended family to weather the storms in life. To share in our gratitude, we're highlighting a few long-time members who have become lifelong friends of our team. We’re thankful for their patronage and kind words. Read on to learn more about their experiences with us, what made them decide to become members, and some of their favorite Eleven Eleven wine and holiday food pairings.
Angela & Mike Nadeau
Angela and Mike Nadeau have been Wine Club members for five years, and when asked why they joined us, they said, “while the wine is fantastic, we also loved the energy of the tasting room. Eleven Eleven does things THEIR way. Fabulous parties, hugs from Holly [our Manager of Hospitality & Wine Club], blogs, etc.”
Mike and Angela are foodies and love to pair our Destin Estate Syrah with grilled lamb lollipops because of its complex layers. They enjoy our Carol’s Song Riesling with curry, the Dutton Ranch Chardonnay with crab legs, and our Laki’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon with a classic steak, pictured here. With that, our mouths are watering!
Karen & Evertte Dyer
Karen has been a Wine Club member for four years. “We came to Eleven Eleven at [a friend’s} recommendation. Every moment of that large group visit (that many wineries would not even take) was friendly, enjoyable, and sheer happiness. We joined and stayed because of Holly. It was she who made that first day and every day since memorable. I love sitting outside under the sails and taking in the beauty and serenity. I love that [the Eleven Eleven team has] so much to share about the wines and when to enjoy them, and are NEVER in a hurry.”
One of their favorite things about our wines is that they “know that we can take Eleven Eleven anywhere for any occasion (or just in our own backyard) and be absolutely confident that it will be exceptional. We also know that we are genuinely cared for as a part of the Eleven Eleven family.”
Kate & Gerard Gurney
Kate and Gerard have been members for four years, and not only that, we were their first wine club! “[Eleven Eleven] will be our forever favorite. In addition to the wonderful wines, we immediately loved the welcoming, unpretentious atmosphere of the tasting room. The beautiful decor (along with the glass of Sauv Blanc from Holly as soon as you walk in the door!) always immediately transports us to our ‘happy place’. We also loved the passion that the tasting room team has for their wine, as well as their excitement to make every tasting a special experience. Everyone is so genuine and there is no ‘going through the motions’. It's a wonderful experience every time.”
When we asked about their favorite Eleven Eleven wine, we were so flattered by their response. “The 2013 Cab is not just our favorite Eleven Eleven wine… it's our favorite wine [overall]. Hands down. We love that we can drink it alone or with a special meal.” When it comes to their go-to food and wine pairing, they love our Dutton Ranch Chardonnay with sushi.
Chris & Whitney Vishey
Chris and Whitney have been Wine Club members for four and a half years, and what brought them to join our club was their tasting experience with us.
“Our first experience onsite for a wine tasting with Holly was an absolute blast. Loved the people, the experience, and the wine.” When they visit us, what they enjoy the most is “[it’s] always a relaxing experience and a great way to decompress after the flight [from Michigan] with great wine and company.”
Our 2013 Laki’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon has been a favorite of theirs over the years, while they enjoy our Beckstoffer Sauvignon Blanc during the summer months. To accompany our wines, Whitney’s mom makes “amazing homemade pizzas, [which is] great with the Bacigalupi Pinot Noir.” On their next visit, they’re looking forward to hopefully bringing their dog, Henri, out for a tasting and some sunbathing on the patio!
Alison & Carlos Rodrigues
Alison and Carlos have been members of ours for four years, and they joined us because of Holly’s hospitality who hosted them on their first experience. Additionally, “the vibe of the tasting room (a unique mix of cool, refined, and comfortable), and, of course, the wine (delicious!). We visited Eleven Eleven and didn’t want to leave. Fortunately, the winery is a mere hour drive from San Francisco. The Eleven Eleven story is so special and unique, and the team running the hospitality program is stellar.”
Our Bacigalupi Pinot Noir is their favorite “because it’s so smooth. Its fruit lingers on the palate in all the right ways. While the Bacigalupi Pinot is my favorite of the Eleven Eleven wines, I’m [currently] loving the Carol's Song Riesling. To all those who are skeptical about American-produced Rieslings, I encourage you to try this one. It’s light, aromatic, and dry – everything you would want from this varietal.”
Andrea & Bill Duesenberg
Andrea and Bill were the very first members of Club 11:11 and joined in 2015. Since then they’ve welcomed a son, Henry, pictured here with a magnum of their favorite Eleven Eleven wine from his birth year.
They took a trip to Napa over Thanksgiving with a group of friends. “We were immediately drawn to the culture, ambiance, and outstanding tasting experience. The meaning behind Eleven Eleven really spoke to us. For us, the meant-to-be moments that represent Eleven Eleven are often the reasons we are reaching to open that bottle of wine. Whether we're celebrating holidays, friends, accomplishments, or just good company, we always cherish meant-to-be moments. The hospitality team goes above and beyond to help us celebrate all of our moments!”
The pair lives in Chicago and enjoys both red and white wine with the change in seasons. “In the cooler months, we savor the Estate Cab and Pinot Noir. In the warmer months, we enjoy sitting outside with a bottle of the Chardonnay. If we had to pick a favorite Eleven Eleven wine it would have to be Laki's Estate Cabernet. It’s bold but structured with balance. It pairs well with a charcuterie board or a full dinner.”
John & Kim Novikoff
John and his wife have been Club 11:11 Members for four years, and from the first time they entered the winery, they said they “were treated as returning family members and were encapsulated by the story of Eleven Eleven’s start. Instead of scripted wine descriptions, we have open discussions with Holly about each wine, history of the growing season, and how best to leverage its character.”
Their favorite wine in our portfolio is our Laki’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon because of it’s hearty flavor and versatility, and love pairing it with a slightly seasoned steak with rosemary, thyme, pepper, salt, and a hint of garlic butter caramelization.
Besides enjoying our wines at our tasting room, they love the West Shore Cafe in Lake Tahoe who actually carries our Cabernet Sauvignon on their menu! They have been visiting this restaurant for years, and our Cab “is a staple of an evening out on the water, watching the sunset and moonrise.”
We truly can’t thank our Club 11:11 Members enough for their continued support - particularly during this especially unusual year. For the everyday wine enthusiast or the deeply committed collector, our memberships will allow you to enjoy our single-vineyard wines all year long. Our members receive exclusive access to our elevated experiences and limited production wines, and always end up feeling like family. Interested in Club 11:11? Click here to learn more and Make Your Moment® with us! Happy holidays!
For us and many wineries around Napa Valley, August through October marks our harvest season. The Valley comes alive with the excitement and rush of harvest. Tending to the grapevines is a year-round process, but this is the time when the vineyards and the wineries bustle with workers racing to pick grapes at their peak ripeness. This year has certainly brought its fair share of hurdles, but we're excited to dive into what the 2020 vintage looks like for all of us here at Eleven Eleven.
The 2020 Growing Season
For an update on the growing season, we reached out to our Associate Winemaker, Brett Weis, who said, “the growing season started off with a fairly mild spring that led us into ideal conditions for bloom and set. There were a couple cooling events, but for the most part, we were off to the races for what we thought was going to be a ‘normal’ ripening season.”
He continued, “June through August were steady and warm with no major heat spikes to speed things along until [mid-August]. Fires again have returned and, unfortunately, cast a thick layer [of smoke] across the valley. One thing I know is that we will make the best wines we can under the most difficult of circumstances.”
The Harvest of the Grapes
On August 21st, we harvested our first fruit of the year, our Sauvignon Blanc, followed by the second pick of our estate Riesling. Every year, we as a team pick grapes from some selected blocks on our Estate. Brett says, “this is truly the best team-building experience and proves to be extremely helpful for everyone. It gives insight, recognition, and respect for the land, the people, and the process that goes into a bottle of wine.”
Through September, we continued to harvest the remainder of our estate fruit, ending with the Cab Franc the last week of the month. Even though our Harvest finished earlier than years past, the wine quality was not compromised and the resulting wines we have in house are dark, dense, and full of flavor and character.
It is not lost on us how fortunate we are to have been able to harvest the majority of our fruit before any smoke damage from the fires. We are confident that a stellar 2020 vintage and many stories of this harvest will be enjoyed for years to come. We are fully committed to what the Eleven Eleven name stands for: quality, and of Making Our Moment Count.
We have been wearing our masks this year and our smiles are covered, but our team at Eleven Eleven has shown such resilience, perseverance, and teamwork. We are grateful for all the learnings 2020 has brought us!
For us and many wineries around the Napa Valley, August marks the beginning of harvest. Although this year has certainly brought its fair share of hurdles, we're excited to dive into what the 2020 vintage looks like for all of us here at Eleven Eleven from the blessing of the grapes and everything in between!
Our core belief is to Make Your Moment® whenever possible, wherever you are. When you visit us in our tasting room or crack open one of our bottles at home, our goal is to elicit those meant-to-be moments that highlight inspiration and delight. The work that goes into crafting our wines is an integral part of this intention, and we look forward to sharing this special moment of our winemaking process with you.
The Tradition of the Grape Blessing
Traditionally, August 6th is recognized as the day of grape blessings. This ceremony originated as what is considered to be the first harvest of the season. This fruit maintains a special place of honor for us as we head into the season, and this blessing is a way to show our gratitude to what the earth has provided us.
This is generally an ancient Christian custom as during the first week of August, the farmers used to gather the early fruits of their summer harvest (grapes, figs, etc.) and present them in the church to be blessed and give them to the congregation. These fruits are called the “beginnings”.
Each year, our team gathers as a group (safely and socially distanced, this year!) around a bin of new grapes to partake in this special occasion. Each person has their own unique way of pouring the wine, from a simple splash to a zig-zag or cross formation. This has been a tradition we have kept since we started the winery. Here you can see our Associate Winemaker, Brett Weis, pouring a previous vintage of our Rosé over new Syrah grapes!
Thoughts from Our Leadership Team
While harvest is always a busy, exciting time for the wine industry as a whole, we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the fires affecting the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. As with any fire or natural disaster, it’s a little unnerving for all of us both personally, and making sure Eleven Eleven as a business is operating to the best of our ability.
We pride ourselves at Eleven Eleven on being a close-knit family, and the well-being of our employees and guests continue to be paramount. With COVID-19 on top of this, 2020 has presented an especially unique challenge both in and out of production and the tasting room.
As we slowly phase into autumn, winter, and the holidays that come with this season of life, we’re increasingly thankful for our family, friends, our Club 11:11 members, and loyal Eleven Eleven supporters like you!
We love a good wine and food pairing here at Eleven Eleven, and one of our team’s favorite cookbooks, Eat What You Watch, takes it one step further by adding a fitting movie to each pairing. While you’re safe indoors, continue to pick up a little inspiration for your next wine and food pairing and see the choice of Co-Founder, Ellie Anest, below! Did you miss parts 1 through 6? If so, check them out, here.
The pairing: Pasta with prison gravy & meatballs and chocolate truffles
The movie: Goodfellas and Chocolat
Goodfellas is widely regarded as one of the greatest films in the gangster genre. This movie was adapted from the life of American Mobster, Henry Hill Jr. It’s filled with night club scenes, murder, drugs, marriage, friendship, and betrayal. While it has everything you could possibly need in a movie, you need a big, bold, complex wine to accompany the film.
With the amazing direction of Martin Scorsese and skillful acting of Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta, this movie screams for a pairing with a savory pasta with prison gravy and meatballs and our 2017 Laki’s Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.
To soften the craziness of a mobster movie, I added the romantic drama, Chocolat, starring Juliette Binoche. Her elegance in this movie is also reminiscent of our Cabernet, and anyone that knows me well knows I appreciate the best chocolate!
Stay tuned for the final installation of our “Eat What You Watch” series, where another team member will share their favorite pairing. We hope this inspires you to Make Your Moment® and research some new and fun pairings you haven’t tried before. Share your creation with us on Instagram by tagging us @11.11.wines. Bon appétit!