Charles Krug Winery will delight locals and epicurean pilgrims to Napa Valley’s wine country on Friday, July 18, when the winery in St. Helena, California, formally opens its Cucina di Rosa Italian trattoria.
The Cucina’s realization was the final element of a $9.5 million restoration and beautification of the Redwood Cellar Building designed by noted architect Howard Backen. Named in honor of the winery’s matriarch Rosa Mondavi and launched to commemorate the 100th birthday of her son, Peter, the opening brings the renovation of the historic winery and property full circle.
Cucina di Rosa will initially open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. With a menu designed by Napa Valley celebrity chef Richard Haake, the trattoria will offer a variety of rustic panini sandwiches, antipasti, and salads, as well as traditional Italian snack items designed to pair beautifully with Charles Krug’s estate wines.
Meant to reflect the entertaining style that epitomizes the Italian heritage of proprietor Peter Mondavi Sr. and his family, guests will have the option to dine in the spacious tasting room or picnic on the tree-covered grounds.
Says Chef Haake, “Our inspiration is Rosa, but our focus isn't so much on her recipes but her gracious hospitality. Rosa was always quick to share her daily creation from the family kitchen. The Cucina will focus on fresh, homemade products that include our bread, antipasti, salads, panini and sweet bites made daily.”
Charles Krug has enjoyed a close relationship with The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone since the inauguration of its Chef Larry Forgione-led CIA Student Farm at Charles Krug Winery. Honoring this partnership with an emphasis on fresh ingredients is important to Chef Haake. The Cucina will enjoy access to produce from the property’s shared CIA Student Farm, using its seasonal ingredients as inspiration for the chef’s daily specials.
To read the column Chef Forgione's wrote for FSR's June 2014 issue, click here.
Chef Haake goes on to note Cucina di Rosa’s partnership with Equator coffee. No good meal is complete without a finale of top quality espresso drinks. “We are excited to partner with Equator," he says. "We have hired a great barista, Rosa Villenueva, to make perfect espresso and cappuccinos. Yes, her name is Rosa—a happy coincidence.”