So Happy Twogether, Suzanne and Shane of Phifer Pavitt Vineyards
By Kaye Cloutman
Who doesn’t find irresistible a good ol’ love story especially when it involves wine? GEV was recently guest at a winery whose story has all the ingredients for a great movie. Phifer Pavitt Wines is a dream of Suzanne Phifer and Shane Pavitt, who moved to the Napa Valley in 2001 and over the course of several years of ‘date nights,’ hatched the idea for their own Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery opened in November 2010, and is housed in an historic “Napa Valley vernacular” barn, with a board-and-batten façade and a metal roof, nestled into a scenic spot looking out over views of Napa Valley.
Last week we had the pleasure of experiencing one of their open-house “date night” events where we were able to taste their exquisite blends of 2011 Sauvignon Blanc and 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. Owners Suzanne and Shane Pavitt graciously poured abundant glasses while a bevy of distinguished guests including powerhouse-couple winemakers Bo and Heidi Barrett graced the evening with their valuable presence. What we particularly love most about this repurposed-barn-winery is the fact that it takes the intimidation and elitist aura out of wines and provides a casual and relaxed atmosphere for guests to just really focus on and enjoy them. Phifer Pavitt Wines has become known for its annual Pick-Up Party when customers arrive to collect their purchases and enjoy food, friends and music by local musicians. Customers enjoy adding their favorite “date night” experience on the chalkboards that adorn the barn wall.
Get to know Suzanne and Shane:
1.) What is your idea of the perfect date night? and why?
Shane: “My idea is always changing, but recently we had a perfect ‘date night’—we hiked up the Palisades (the mountain range near our home) carrying a backpack of cream cheese, caviar and Champagne. It was a terrific time-contemplating the amazing view, a time for the two of us to decompress and enjoy each other away from cell phones, kids and the hubbub of our lives.”
Suzanne: “Recently we were able to participate in a couple’s yoga retreat in Bali—that’s one I’ll savor for quite a while!”
2.) What kinds of varietals are grown at your winery?
We make Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc
and what are your favorite dishes for pairing them ?
“Skirt steak with chimichurri sauce with the Cabernet is my current favorite pairing…
Fresh local Hog Island oysters with mignonette sauce with the Sauvignon Blanc”
3.) What do you look forward to most during Harvest Season in Napa?
“It’s hard to convey the excitement of harvest—there’s the perfume of grapes and wine in the air, the sense of art and science and Mother Nature all coming together, the feeling of pride as you see your ‘babies,’ those grapes you’ve been tending all year, come to maturity. It’s also the fun of teamwork and seeing the end result of our farming and nurturing!”
September 15 is their annual “pick-up’ party, where they will be releasing their 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. Suzanne and Shane encourage people to come—); it’s a wonderful way to see the winery and taste their wines and also have a chance to join The Verona Society, their wine club. Tickets can be purchased here.
4660 Silverado Trail
Calistoga California 94515