John and Barbara Bava
“My wife and I were introduced to Monticello Vineyards some years ago when we were up in Bayfield, Wisconsin, dining in the The Clubhouse on Madeline Island (in the Apostle Islands). Jay Corley was there in person to introduce four different wines with courses prepared by the award winning chef, Jim Webster. The wines were just superb. We longed to get more once we returned home. Then, when we vacationed about 6-7 years ago in Napa, we visited the winery, where we were delighted by the wines we tasted and stunned to learn of all the Wisconsin connections. We of course signed up for the wine club and have continued since, ordering in between shipments of different offerings. I can say without meeting Jay and tasting his fabulous wines at the dinner, we would have probably never discovered these treasures. In other words, we got lucky!”
—Tim Meyer, Green Bay, WI
“One of the reasons we keep coming back to Monticello (besides the great juice) is this story about the way we were treated during one of our first visits a few years ago.
My wife and I drove in, walked over to where they were unloading the newly harvested grapes and stood outside the fence watching them work. Along came Gayle, who said "you can't see anything from here" and proceeded to lead us through the gate and along the path of the grapes as they went from the containers to sorting to juice in the tanks. It was entertaining, educational and welcoming.
Monticello is always the first place we visit when we come to The Valley from North Dakota (after stopping at Soda Canyon Deli to pick up lunch). All of your people make us feel like family. Many thanks to Gayle, Linde and all the others.”
—Larry Wood, Bismarck, ND
“Barbara and I have been members of your wine club since 1997, the longest of any that we belong to. Here are 2 pictures of a bottle that we are dinking this evening, taken in my wine cellar prior to being decanted. I would be happy to put a double magnum of your cab in my cellar. ”
—John and Barbara Bava
“Many years ago I went to my local wine shop to look for a good Cabernet, as my wife & I were having a few people over for a good steak dinner.
Lo & behold, in the Cab section was a bottle of Corley Cabernet. I had never seen a bottle of wine with my surname on it and I bought every bottle they had. ( made for some nice Xmas gifts for my 5 siblings). The best part was at dinner, I found out that, this is really good wine! I then got online and joined the Corley Family Wine Club.
After a while, I received my first newsletter. In it I found that a man named Stephen Corley ( my name too) ran the winery, his brother Chris Corley ( I have a nephew with the same name) was the winemaker and that he, if I remember right, recently married a woman named with the name Delany, which is also my wife's maiden name.
I was beginning to think that Rod Sterling wrote the newsletter!
A few years later, my wife and I, along with another couple vacationed in beautiful Napa valley. Of course on our agenda was a trip to Monticello. When we arrived and entered the tasting room/ Gift shop, I met a man with a ponytail who worked there and introduced myself. I didn't realize it at the time, but that day was his first day working at the winery and he thought I was THE Stephen Corley. Thinking back on it, it is pretty funny to remember the look on his face when I was asking to taste all the different wines. It was like he was thinking " you make this stuff and you don't know what it tastes like?". It was about that time, when I was looking at some of the Corley merchandise, that Jay Corley walked though the shop to the winery. As Jay walked by me, without acknowledging my presence, my friend with the ponytail could tell that that is not the normal Father/ Son relationship you would expect to see at a family owned winery and figured that I was an imposter. He asked, " you are not the Stephen Corley that runs this place, are you"? We then realized what had happened and had a good laugh.
To Stephen, Jay, Kevin & Chris-- Keep up the good work!”
—Steve Corley, Frontenac, MO
“Although I have spoken about a visit to your family's winery for years, I finally decided this year to find the "source" of my many nights of wine drinking pleasures over the years. I was treated to one of the most amazing nights of wine, laughs and history about your family's special place. I have grown to appreciate the family and the history of your wines so much more. Your family's wine ( as you know from my late night photos to you) has graced so many dinner tables and special events.
Thanks again for all of your cheer! See you in Napa for another long night soon enough!”
—PK, Scottsdale, AZ
“No amusing stories just satisfied enjoyment of a fine product- especially the Pinot at Thanksgiving! Keep up the good work!!”
—J Michael Maxwell, Adrian, MI
“We have deep roots in the Napa Valley, having spent a number of years in nearby Monticello Park during the 70's & 80's when our children were in their most formative years. Many return visits keep those times and relationships alive. Your wines have been a part of our lives these many years; and, we have been well-tended by Linde McGee, either by mail or at visits to the winery.
SO, that, when the occasion of our 50th anniversary was looming ahead, we had much advice as to how to celebrate: with multitudes of people (or not) and at fun places near and faraway, etc. Instead, we chose to celebrate at home and enjoy a superb dinner with our children and their mates, accompanied by a different, elegant Corley wine at each stage.
That September 3rd was a memorable event. Andy and I agreed it was the perfect tribute to our years together, to our family of whom we are so proud, and to your wines!
Happy New Year to you all!”
—Joan Rice, La Jolla, CA
Jack and Lila
“Our special story is that we celebrated my husbands 70th birthday, on September 25th, 2010 at the Corley Family Winery.
It started with our family, my husband excluded, planning his birthday once we found out that on the 25th a party was being planned at the winery and his favorite German food was being served. Lets make it dads birthday party, what's a few extra people, after all, all he wanted was immediate family.
Linda was great, I spoke with her numerous times, she purchased a cake for me and took care of all the details.
On the day of the event, our family arrived and enjoyed the wonderful wines,cheeses,etc and our grandchildren played with the Corley family grandchildren. We met and enjoyed visiting with the members of the family and staff of the winery. Then the great German meal was served followed by more wonderful Corley Family wines followed by birthday cake and the singing of Happy Birthday! Jack was presented with a 70s balloon that was tied to his chair and a card signed by family and staff from the winery.
All and all it was a wonderful afternoon, it was just what we had hopped for and then some! ”
—Jack and Lila, Sacramento, CA
“Merry Christmas, we think of you all often. I fact, Rachel and I enjoyed a bottle of 2003 Corley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Christmas Eve with Bill and Joanne Patterson and we couldn't help but talk about some of the good times that we have all shared with the Corley family. Like the signing of the beautiful Millennium Montreaux bottle that Bill Patterson did and the wonderful 24 Hour of Le Mans winning bottle that you had etched for me (1996 Corley Cabernet Sauvignon - Huge, uncorked and way special). How about the time we stopped by for dinner in the Jefferson house with a few cars (see attached photo)… Many good times at Monticello and many more to come with great friends like the Corley's.
Enjoy the Holidays, Happy Year to all and I will all ways look forward to the next glass of Corley reserve...”
—Davy Jones, Gardnerville, NV
Ric and BJ Galberaith
“We were pleased and thrilled to once again be the lot winner of the Corley Family donation to the Nebraska Wine charity event in the spring. The Corley Family generosity for this event has been tremendous over the past years. We the Galberaith's and Nebraska Boys cannot thank you enough for your support. This year was particularly a fun tasting with Michelle joining us in Florida, great dining, successful fishing, good relaxation visits and a robust/delightful menu of new released wines. We were unable to pick one wine that was a single hit - all the wines tasted had No. 1 rating by a participant, as it should be in wine tastings. Our pledge is lets do this event again in 2011 on the Grand Cru II. Have a happy and prosperous New Year from the Galberaith's.”
—Ric and BJ Galberaith, Englewood, FL
Dick and Rita Mayer
“Early this fall my wife Rita and sent Linde a note that we would be stopping by Monticello on Saturday October 9th or Sunday October 10th and looked forward seeing her and getting our usual hugs. Linde said she would not be there on Saturday but to come by on Sunday and ask whoever was working in the tasting room to let Linde know that Dick & Rita Mayer were there.
That day there was a large group of people in the Monticello Vineyards picnic area and we soon found out that it was a party of German heritage folks who loved wine, especially wines from Monticello Vineyards. Linde came to the tasting room and took us hand in hand to the party where we met many of her friends who live in the valley. I, being the son of Frank Mayer and Stella Paetz, am of 100% German Heritage. My wife Rita, 100% Irish Heritage seemed to fit in with the group just fine. I think most German folk's like Irish folk's.
Before saying goodbye to our new found friends, Linde had us join her and one of the gentlemen we met who had on authentic German clothing, and could have been from the "Sound of Music" movie, for a couple of photo's, one of which is enclosed.
We have visited Monticello many times over the years that I have been a Wine Club Member, but our October 10th, 2010 will remain in our heart's and memories for years to come. Linde's love for us and for Monticello Vineyards is always there in her gracious welcoming smile and hugs.”
—Dick and Rita Mayer, Indianapolis, IN
Amy and Phil Gelber
“I wanted to share with you how very important Monticello Vineyards has been to my husband and I. Back in 1998, we stumbled upon your beautiful winery and decided that we had found the perfect place to get married. And so in September of that same year, we said our vows, enjoyed your amazing wine, and dined with friends and family on an absolutely perfect and wonderful evening.
Back in 2008 we spent a wonderful week in the Napa Valley celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary and of course we spent time reminiscing at Monticello. It holds so many beautiful memories for us and we are so very grateful that we discovered you all those years ago.
We now live in the suburbs of Chicago (a very long way from Monticello....) and have three beautiful children and just finished building a wine cellar down in our basement to house your amazing wines. We love getting our wine club shipments and everytime we share a bottle of your wine, we are reminded of how lucky we are to not only have found one another, but to have found a special place like Monticello to say our "I do's"
Thank you so much! We hope to see you again soon! Happy New Year!”
—Amy and Phil Gelber, Glen Ellyn, IL
“I thought that you might be interested in a few pictures that I have from an event that took place at the vineyard on April 2007. You generously donated a day at the vineyard that included a tour of the vineyards, a wine blending lesson and contest, followed by dinner. Glenn and Mary Johnson were the chairpersons for the event and your generosity helped to raise a lot of money.
I am not in any of the pictures as I was the photographer.
I hope that you enjoy some of these pictures as much as we do as we loved the event and talk about it often.
Happy New Years to all of you!”
—Gary Bilovesky, Pleasanton, CA