AVON — Napa Valley winemaker and winery owner Peter Franus will pour his Napa Valley wines at vin48’s Summer Tasting Series today.
If there’s a short way to describe Franus and his winemaking, it’s this: He takes his craft seriously, but not himself. He is a son of Connecticut and a product of Berkeley. He’s a regular guy filled with Old World ethos, New World spirit and with rock ‘n’ roll. And he’s a searcher who could not avoid his life’s path.
Franus grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, and headed in the late 1960s to the University of California at Berkeley to explore the expanding, rebellious world. He graduated in 1971 with a degree in journalism and with an awareness of something else that would define his life. He discovered Napa and the world of wine — not just the taste, but the connection to nature, the attention to detail in the winemaking, the feel of vineyards and wine country, and the bonds people had with their vineyards, the wine and each other. He enrolled in Fresno State’s viticulture and enology program in 1978, and then worked at a number of wineries before taking over as winemaker at Mount Veeder Winery in 1981. While he was still making Mount Veeder’s wine, he fell in love with the zinfandel from that mountain. He started his own label in 1987 and left Mount Veeder Winery in 1992 to devote all his attention to what would become Peter Franus wine.
Since then, his reputation as an acclaimed winemaker has continued to grow. He’s spent decades finding the best vineyards in the region, and with the help of friends and connections throughout Napa Valley, he’s assembled a lineup of vineyards that speak to him and produce fruit he loves. And one of those very special places for him will always be the vineyards on Mount Veeder.
Franus says his first goal is to make wines that are delicious. He relies on intuition, experience and a minimalist approach to winemaking, and he believes that the more you manipulate and hover over a wine, the more you’ll lose its unique personality and character.
Charles Hays, vin48’s chef and owner, will pair the wines with appetizers on the restaurant’s patio. The event is part of vin48’s Summer Tasting Series, which takes place every Wednesday and features winemakers/importers from the world’s best wine growing region. The wines are paired with Hays’ cuisine. The event is $25, which includes wine tasting and appetizers. All wines served are available at discounted prices from series partner Beaver Liquors in Avon.