The Great Santini Opens A Great Wine Bar

And a great addition to the neighborhood
BY: BUNNY WINGATE

The Napa wine region’s watering holes now have nothing on our newest and absolutely fabulous wine bar. Located at km 40 in the refurbished building previously known as Mule 61, the décor is upscale modern with grape vines decorating the walls and ceiling.

There are several seating arrangements in this large area to suit all age groups and styles of tasting, including what Aldo Santini calls the living wall room decorated with green grass walls and an intimate seating area for special occasions. There is also a room with seating on comfortable couches with a glorious ocean view and a heater for the cooler winter months.

The Great Santini wine bar is still a work in progress that will, when built out, feature an art gallery showing well known young artists from around the world and where people can peruse their choices for sale on a wine walk. The bar is presently open for tasting featuring Santini wines poured from barrels mounted on the walls behind the bar.

Aldo Santini’s wines are mainly red, his premium being 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon and his white the French wine 2014 Viogner.

Upon ordering a glass of wine you will be presented with a small appetizer for your pallete. The price of his tasting is $5 and the pour will be the standard 62 millimeters. There are cheese platters for two, four, and more, all with imported cheeses, Italian polenta and Argentinian sausage.

His vineyard is in the Guadalupe valley where he grows his grapes that will then be shipped to his bar in refrigerated trucks and brought to the building behind the bar where, in late August to early September, the crush will take place.  His wines will also be shipped throughout Mexico, as much as 1500 cases a year.

There are classes planned, the first to be a history of wine and the proper way of tasting. The wines will be in a cooler, the white at 50 degrees and the red at 62.  There will be eight to 12 different wines for tasting. The second class will be about wines of the world and will be held every Friday for 16 weeks and you will be presented with new wines from all over the world. The third class will concern wine blending where you blend your own wine to your taste, using several wines available to you.

A coffee shop is planned, and will have imported coffees, both French and Italian pastries, as well as a sample menu of appetizers and cheese plates. There will be jazz on Saturdays and possibly film noire on Thursdays.

Aldo Santini is an experienced enologist, having worked in the Napa Valley at Stags Leap and Cakebread Cellars. Born in Baja, he has always felt his heart was here and so he has returned with a beautiful gift for wine lovers. There is ample parking,. open at 1PM, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.