Wine and Art of the Day: Chateau Montelena and Artist Darrell Hill

I wear a lot of hats….I always have. My days at Nielsen Media juggling 6 or 7 media markets resulting in dozens of television groups, stations, and agency clients taught me the ability to multi-task with an understanding that if I didn’t figure out how to manage them all, and sell a little something now and then, I wouldn’t survive. I became one of the youngest Vice President’s in the company’s history after gaining an understanding of how to juggle, wearing a lot of hats. Luckily when I stepped away from Nielsen to follow my passion for wine, I found many different avenues to pursue to share the story and my passion.

In addition to my enthusiasm for writing about wine, I have had the ability to pick up a new love while living on this beautiful island of Hawaii. I have the privilege of bringing beauty and joy into the lives and homes of new friends and old selling fine art with Lahaina Galleries.

Art is such a personal, emotional experience, whether that be a painting on a canvas or the wine in a bottle. Pairing wine and art have turned out to be more than ideal, as the emotion that each can evoke when completely appreciated is often more than words can say. The feeling that resonates from deep inside is rarely felt, that to see it when it does is a thing of magic and requires action. It is a privilege to see and to be a part of it.

Beloved Big Island artist Darrell Hill was known for his dreamy tropical Hawaiian landscapes and tropical works, but he was a master of many subjects, including portraits, dogs, country scenes, and wine.

His “Out of the Cellar” inspired me to dig into my cellar, selecting one of my favorites to pair with the artist’s work, the wines of Chateau Montelena in Napa Valley.

Begun in 1972 when Jim Barrett purchased the Calistoga historic property developed by Alfred L. Tubbs almost 100 years prior. Tubbs had the dream to create premium Bordeaux-style wine in America and achieved success, but as a whole, due to that crazy thing we Americans did to ourselves called Prohibition, Napa Valley wine growth was stunted until the mid-1970s when the region was turning over a new leaf and began to truly shine.

They had some help along with way when wine merchant, the late Steven Spurrier, brought some of the most respected French wine experts together in Paris for a taste-off, deciding who made the best Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wine, the French or the Americans.

45 years ago, The “Judgement of Paris” changed the course for American wine, propelling Napa Valley onto an international stage, with Chateau Montelena winning the best Chardonnay. From Napa Valley vineyards including their Calistoga estate, Chateau Montelena Chardonnay is juicy, fresh, slightly spicy, and creamy opening with layers of honeysuckle, ripe melon, apple and peach blossom, and green fig, leading to golden apricot, green apple, marzipan, toasted Crème Brulee, cinnamon and allspice.

As delicious as their Chardonnay is, their Cabernet Sauvignon shines as one of the best from the region. Textured, concentrated, and beautifully structured, highlighting dark cherry and currant, roasted espresso, licorice, and spice. A unique expression from one of Napa Valley’s iconic wineries.

The gallery is hosting a limited-time opportunity to acquire a beauty from the late artist’s portfolio and receive a delicious bottle of Chateau Montelena curated by me. Take a peek here for more details, and at Hill’s full portfolio, here. Leave a comment or send me a message if you would like to know more!

Wine and Art, a truly perfect pairing. Cheers!