New Friends Worth Knowing

On the next segment of this California road trip we will talk about the wonderful visit we had to Napa Valley to visit a property we have driven past but never knew its past.

On this trip, we made some new friends during our visit to Titus Winery in Napa Valley. I reviewed their Cabernet Franc most favorably in one of my previous posts and found the opportunity to visit the winery compelling. The Valley was beautiful on that day and I was ready to taste some wine. Having already consumed some crock-pot tamales from a gas station balanced with an Odwalla “Mo Beta” it was “breakfast of champions” I say. We pulled into Titus ready for anything.

At first, we wondered if we had turned into the right drive. There was no entrance sign and none of the usual disclaimers seen at tasting rooms, because this was not a tasting room. Seems these forty acres have been here for quite a while and one look at the giant gas engine powered fans to thwart off frost; you know there have been vines here for fifty years or more. The farmhouse that represented the main structure on the complex appeared as it was fifty years ago almost untouched and seemingly a million miles away from the intersection of Deer Park Road and Silverado Highway.

It was an illumination that reminded me of the experiences I had in the 70’s that made Napa magical years ago when I first started going there. I was also reminded of the nostalgic look the movie “Bottleshock” took on an era of wine appreciation that changed the worldwide consumer landscape and how that tied into the way it was when Chateau Montelana and Stag’s Leap first went to the competition in France. When it goes to video do yourself a favor and watch this movie.

As we exited our vehicle, we had the pleasure of meeting Christophe Smith. Originally from the south his hospitality was natural and engaging and even the shyest guest would easily be disarmed and made comfortable in his presence. After touring the farmhouse and listening to Christophe’s vision and passion regarding the honest representation of this family’s wines, it was an honor to sit and taste these wines from Titus. I found it brilliantly refreshing to witness the candid approach Christophe took to relate all of the progressive aspects this winery has brought together to bring you wines that stand apart from the crowd.

It is vividly apparent the small team at Titus has seamlessly blended great Viticultural skills, superb winemaking techniques and an honest approach to hospitality and marketing to produce superb wines that are consistently undervalued and still somehow fly under the radar of a lot of critics. As with any new friend that you really like we want to help them with their endeavors and tell all our friends about the great products they produce.


About the Author:

Marc has held almost every position in the food & wine industry and is committed to Celebrating Hospitality with Pride. In addition to being the co-founder and editor-at-large for Enobytes, Marc is a wine blogger contributor to (Wine Bytes) and writes the Wine Knowledge column in the print magazine About Face. The Contra Costa County Times, San Jose Mercury News, Tacoma Times Tribune and Washington Post have either interviewed or quoted Marc on his viniferous and culinary opinions. Marc has also appeared on Portland's "Vine Time" on News Radio 750 KXL and on California's Central Coast "From the Growing of the Grape to the Glass" on KUHL-AM 1410. He is also the author of A History of Pacific Northwest Cuisine: Mastodons to Molecular Gastronomy. While continuing to tenaciously search for what he may finally proclaim as his favorite wine Marc is relentless in his quest for the ultimate food and wine experience.


  1. Lisa November 8, 2008 at 5:07 PM - Reply

    I saw the movie bottleshock at the movies and thought it was good, certainly not the greatest movie ever made, but I liked it.

  2. Keith November 12, 2008 at 10:17 AM - Reply

    I heard the movie isn’t very good. I think I’ll wait for it to come out on DVD.

Leave A Comment

snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake