From Golden Stones to the Golden State

Our basil coconut curry with hand-pulled noodles features Penn Cove mussels—perfect with a fall white.

Our fall wine specials take members from France to Central California

By Peter Christian, Vice President Food & Beverage | Featured photo by Olivia Brent

From France’s “Land of the Golden Stone” we find one of the world’s favorite wine regions—Beaujolais. Nestled between Burgundy and the Rhône, just north of Lyon, this area has been producing wine since the first century B.C., when Caesar’s army planted vineyards in its wake.

Through the centuries, builders in this area used golden stones pulled from the limestone-rich soils. To this day, the limestone lends its ochre color to the Beaujolais scenery, giving it a luminous, warm and relaxing golden hue.

Many modern-day vintners in Beaujolais (say: BOE-zjoh-lay) focus their attention on combining the region’s plentiful old-vine grapes with natural winemaking methods. This fusion of old-vine character and cellar craft produces some of the world’s best bottles.

This September, we’ll highlight some of our favorite Beaujolais labels, including Domaine Pral, a husband-and-wife operation that practices biodynamic farming and natural production. Their Beaujolais Blanc, made entirely from Chardonnay, is a rich dry white, while their Beaujolais Rouge showcases old-vine Gamay grapes with lots of spice and a bright fruit character. These charming wines are perfect for late summer and early fall. Find them by the glass in Torchy’s and Hagerty’s.

September also welcomes back our popular Thirsty Thursday series. Andrea and James Frey founded Trisaetum vineyards in Oregon’s Ribbon Ridge American Viticultural Area in 2003.

Their first commercial vintage came four years later. Today, the winemakers produce small lots of acclaimed Pinot Noir and Riesling from three estate vineyards. Taste their hard work from 5–7 pm on Thursday, September 7, in the WAC lobby.

October wine highlights

Our fall wine events continue in October with a special tasting of Argentinian vintages from Familia Zuccardi. The winery’s grapes come largely from the Uco Valley in the Andean foothills. The valley receives more than 250 sunny days a year, with most grapes grown above 3,000 feet. The elevation, alluvial soil, and long growing season yield high-quality grapes rich in color, aromas and flavor.

Enjoy a top-tier tasting of Zuccardi icon wines paired with a carne asada feast and an educational presentation by Zuccardi wine ambassador Leandro Lowi from 6–8 pm on Thursday, October 12.

A week before our night in the Andes, we’ll feature Niven Family Wine Estates of Central California at Thirsty Thursday in the lobby. Niven is a family wine company in the truest sense. Family patriarch Jack Niven pioneered wine grape planting in the Edna Valley in the early 1970s. Today, his children and grandchildren carry on that legacy.

The Niven family focuses on sustainability, innovation and tradition. Its wines showcase the diversity of the Central California climate—cool mornings, hot afternoons—and the Edna Valley growing season, which can stretch from February into November.

As published in the September/October 2017 issue of WAC Magazine.

Posted September 13, 2017

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