[Image to right: Monique Soltani holding the 2013 Tres Sabores Cabernet Sauvignon, which she watched from vine to wine, to wine the glass!]

I asked the members of PS I Love You – on a first come, first served basis, “Who would like to work with a media person (Monique Soltani, but they didn’t know that), for her to shadow a complete harvest?”  That was in 2013. Only now can we share the complete adventure, as the wine from vine to bottle, then aging was just ready to be enjoyed this past May… And we did at Tres Sabores… Three women with a plan and luscious Napa Valley Cab…


Julie Johnson of Tres Sabores jumped at the opportunity, when my email reached her, and off we went.

Tasting this wine a couple of months ago, that’s how long the fruits of Julie, as her winemaker’s labor, was going to take, if the process was done as planned. Let’s just say, Monique Soltani of WineOhTV was ready for the opportunity, and against all odds, we got it done.  In the meanwhile, while waiting for the wine to be ready and luscious, Monique Soltani was able to have adorable, twin daughters in the process, and the story still hadn’t skipped a beat. Neither has Julie Johnson; and, neither has the wine.

It’s very gratifying to see talent (both Julie and Monique’s) unite in one special project. This is their story.

Winemaking 101 with Tres Sabores Winemaker Julie Johnson

FROM Monique: In 2013, Jo Diaz had this idea to have Julie Johnson of Tres Sabores Winery teach me what it takes to make wine. I covered three parts of the process: Bloom, Veraison and then Harvest. The fourth part came, when I pressed on for a final get together. Schedules were hard to coordinate, but I persisted. I needed to finalize the bottle being open, and have Monique taste what she had watched along the way. (Closure is important, in any project.)

It all began in 2013: Watching a vintner in the making ~ Who’s a fly on the wall?

  • Bloom, A great start ~ How to Make Wine with Julie Johnson: Bloom (VIDEO) ~ WINE TV, May 14, 2013


  • How to Make Wine: Veraison (VIDEO) ~ WINE TV, July 13, 2013
  • MONIQUE’S OWN WORDS: In our first video, How to Make Wine with Julie Johnson: Bloom, the grapes were in bloom, then they were in veraison. Veraison might be hard to say but it’s pretty easy to explain, it’s a grape-growing term that means “the onset of ripening.” The exact definition of the originally French word is: “change of color of the grape berries.” In this wine video, Julie Johnson shows me where we are at in the grape growing process as we continue our winemaking journey going from grape to glass!


  • How to Make Wine with Julie Johnson: Crush It (VIDEO)
  • Harvest is one of the most crucial steps in the winemaking process. Deciding when to pick is one of the most important decisions a winemaker can make. Harvesting is determined primarily by how ripe the grapes are. Punch Downs are another important part of the winemaking process. Punching down is done to keep the fermenting wine and skins mixed up during red wine fermentation. On October 9, 2013, I headed back to Tres Sabores Winery in the Napa Valley to continue my video series on How to make wine with Julie Johnson where Harvest and Punch Downs were in process!


THE TASTING, but only the beginning.

  • How to Enjoy Wine with Julie Johnson: Grape to Glass (VIDEO)
  • This past May of 2017, and a more gorgeous day couldn’t have been asked for…

The grand finale from Monique’s own words:

Then on May 22, 2017 , Julie, Jo and I sat down for a beautiful lunch (with a salad forged straight from Julie’s organic garden) and drank the fruits of our labor: 2013 Tres Sabores Zinfandel and 2013 Tres Sabores Cabernet Sauvignon. Watch as the winemaking process comes full circle as we go from Grape to Glass.

There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a positive project come full circle. We’re all the better for it. I’m thankful I have such successful resources surrounding me. I get to just wave a magic wand, and Voila!