Good Beer Hunting

no. 177

Mad Fritz Brewing founder Nile Zacherle has a day job—it just happens to be as interesting as his side hustle. He's the vintner for David Arthur Vineyards way up on Pritchard Hill in Napa Valley. So after we tasted through his beers and recorded a podcast episode, the natural question was, "Do you want to see the vineyard?"

Yes, yes we did.

We pulled some barrel samples with the wine thief, compared it to some finished wines, and then hopped in the cart to go "kick some dirt," as Zacherle puts it. And just like grabbing a pint before you take a brewery tour, we filled our glasses with a Nebbiolo and went bouncing down the hill. Most of the hill is covered in Cab these days due to its popularity and price-points, but in this little patch, Zacherle is growing the thick-skinned and super-tannic Nebbiolo grape. 

From vineyard to barrel to bottle—an effortless tasting in a single afternoon. Now imagine how that affects his perspective on beer-making. I can't wait to share the conversation.

—Michael Kiser