Nathaniel Dorn

This three Michelin starred restaurant takes pride in celebrating the past, present and future of Napa Valley. The food and drinks reflect the clam, tranquil ambience of Meadowood, taking inspiration from the world renowned Napa Valley and beyond. Restaurant Director Nathaniel Dorn and Sommelier Victoria Kulinich answer our questions about their 1,200+ wine list and tell us what they believe makes Meadowood so special.

Congratulations on being featured in the World of Fine Wine Awards 2015. The awards, chaired by WOFW editor Neil Beckett, celebrate the importance of a good wine selection and are evaluated by a panel of senior judges. How does it feel to be recognized by industry insiders in this way?

We are incredibly grateful for this nomination. It is a particular honor to be recognized by our peers. A big thank you to Neil Becket and the team!

Where did your love of fine wine originate from?

We live and breathe the culture of Napa Valley. Vine and wine is all around us, and no gathering goes without a bottle being opened. We love how wine brings our families, friends, and neighbors together.

Was it always your intention to work with fine wine?

Actually, yes! We always wanted to provide our guests with the best available to us.

What is the secret to your success?

Understanding our guests. Making sure everyone feels heard and taken care of. Our cellar is merely a resource for a memorable moment in their evening.

What trends are you noticing in California at the moment?

The new generation of winemakers and their independent approach. There is a healthy acceptance of fruit ripeness that comes with our climate. Alongside, there is this refreshing pursuit of balance, character, and site specificity. It is really exciting to observe how thoughtful their approach is becoming, and how much we care about what our land has to say.

What do you think is the most important element of a good wine list?

Its' ability to be an integral part of a restaurant's message and story.

Are there any particular wines that you love, or remind you of a certain place or memory?

Absolutely! The 1969 Chateau Souverain a guest once shared with our staff. Some have never had something this old, let alone this good. Their reactions will stay with me forever.

What makes the wine list at Meadowood special?

Our focus is the past, present, and future of Napa Valley. A pioneer's life work is gathered in a vertical. We seek out more recent development carefully, making sure they are true to the legacy and the culture of Napa Valley.

What is your fundamental philosophy on fine wine?

Fine wine is that which tells a story of the place where it was grown and the people who made it. It has unique character, longevity, and is memorable.

What is next for you?

We are now exploring Napa Valley's newest developments. We are visiting and learning from celebrated growers starting to bottle their own wine. We are finding newly minted projects with plenty of talent and promise.