Napa Valley Vintners Congratulates Team Napa Valley on Inaugural Sommelier Scavenger Hunt Win


10/27/2014 - St. Helena, CA – The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) nonprofit trade association has learned that Team Napa Valley won the inaugural Wine & Spirits Magazine Sommelier Scavenger Hunt. Led by Michael Madrigale of Boulud Sud in New York City, with Josiah Baldivino of Bay Grape in Oakland, California, and Michelle Biscieglia of Blue Hill, also in New York City, Team Napa Valley was judged by a panel of fellow sommeliers, Master Sommeliers and wine writers as having made the most compelling presentation of the competition about the expression of terroir through Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

“I will admit that I had a preconceived notion of Napa Valley walking into this and it wasn’t my first choice for the competition,” commented Madrigale. “But, revisiting Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon made me realize these are wines I want on the dinner table,” he continued. “It was great to see an establishment of quality-minded vintners who produce wines with balance, acidity, structure and ageability.”

Madrigale and his team visited Napa Valley last month to taste more than 140 wines and visit 13 wineries to conduct research for the competition. Team Napa Valley presented their favorite wines and their discoveries about how the region’s diverse soils, ideal climate and new winemaking styles are reinvigorating an appreciation for Cabernet Sauvignon produced in the famous wine region.

“We are very proud of Michael, Josiah and Michelle for their hard work and creative presentation,” commented Linda Reiff, president and CEO of the NVV. “Sommeliers are often stereotyped as seeking only the world’s most unusual and offbeat wines. It is gratifying to see these sommeliers finding so much joy in their discovery of both the classic and new styles of Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley.”

The five teams competing in the Sommelier Scavenger Hunt were challenged to discover the new classics of five great U.S. regional categories: Finger Lakes Riesling, Santa Barbara County Chardonnay, Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, Washington Bordeaux-variety blends, and the winner, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Wine & Spirits Magazine will cover the competition’s full results in its December 2014 issue, on sale November 25, 2014.

About the Napa Valley Vintners
The Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association has been cultivating excellence for 70 years by inspiring its 500 members to produce consistent quality wines, provide environmental leadership and care for the extraordinary place they call home. Learn more at

About the Sommelier Scavenger Hunt
Wine & Spirits Magazine called on its sommelier friends from around the nation to participate in the first annual Sommelier Scavenger Hunt. The fundamental concept pitted five teams of sommeliers in a competition to find the new classics from five regions. Each team of three sommeliers chose their own combination of region and variety and traveled to the region to seek out six wines that create the most complete picture of that region’s terroir. The teams battled for first place on Monday, October 20, at a taste-off with all of the teams in San Francisco, CA.

About Wine & Spirits Magazine
Founded in 1982, Wine & Spirits Magazine is published eight times a year and read by over 200,000 members of America’s wine community. Consumers and wine professionals read the magazine for information on established and up-and-coming regions and producers, the art and science of viticulture, restaurant and industry happenings, and food and wine pairing. Leading the wine magazine category, Wine & Spirits has earned the most James Beard awards for excellence in wine writing.

Contact: Patsy McGaughy, Communications Director 707.968.4207