Russian River Valley Winegrowers Pinot Classic
First Annual Paulée Dinner
Part 1 of 2 Part Series
by: L.M. Archer, FWS
The dinner kicked off the new Pinot Classic, slated for roll out June 12-15, 2014. The Pinot Classic broadens the existing Passport to Pinot program to include:
- Winemaker Dinners & Receptions
- Barrel, Vertical & Library Tastings
- New Vintage Launches
- Private & Public Winery Tours
After Arista Winery host Mark McWilliams graciously welcomed guests, the irrepressable Jean-Charles Boisset of DeLoach led the group to a rousing rendition of the classic Burgundian Paulee drinking song ‘Le Bon Bourguignon.’ Link here for video.
The dinner also celebrated the recent appointment of Karissa Kruse as President of Sonoma County Winegrape Commission. Karissa replaced Nick Frey, who held the position for fourteen years. Karissa comes to SWC from Dairy Management, and brings a strong business background, as well as deep roots in the community.
Luminary winemakers and winegrowers from Arista Winery, Benovia Winery, C. Donatiello Winery, Davis Family Winery, Dehlinger Winery, DeLoach Vineyards, Dutton-Goldfield Winery, Gary Farrell Winery, Hartford Family Winery, Iron Horse Vineyards, Joseph Swan Vineyards, Kosta Browne Winery, Merry Edwards Winery, Siduri Wines, and Williams Seylem unleashed top-shelf pours from their cellars, including some extraordinary Burgundian Grand Crus (Merci, Jean-Charles Boisset and SWC 2nd VP Chris Donatiello!)
Pinot-inspired artisan fare included locally sourced and crafted:
- Wood-oven fired pizza, gourmet appitizers, and dinner course of fish, game and produce created by chefs Timothy Kaulfers of Arista Winery, Duskie Estes of Zazu Restaurant & Farm, and Thomas Schmidt of John Ash & Co.
- Cheese course provided by Bellwether Farms
- Dessert course created by Condra Easley of Patisserie Angelica
Luckily, dynamo doyen Lauren Eastman of Issima!PR orchestrated a designated driver for binNotes from www.PureLuxury.com to navigate the windy back roads of Russian River Valley to and from the event. Lauren also worked her magic arranging lodging at Benovia Winery’s Hideaway, a 3-bedroom, 2-bath well-appointed rental cottage overlooking Benovia Vineyards – the perfect staging venue for a wine tour to Sonoma. Waking up to a silent parade of hot air balloons suspended above the vineyard amidst the chirping of birds in the smog-free air sure helped clear away the dregs of over-indulgence.
Unquestionably, the brightest stars outshining the event’s stellar food, wine, and venue were the participants. Individually, each prove exceptional in their respective fields. Together, they engender the quintessential spirit of Burgundy’s original Paulée dinner – a celebration among neighbors after harvest. Neighbors who hold authentic mutual respect and regard for one another – as people, as family, as artisans.
Any wine enthusiast looking for a unique spin on an Old-World tradition – save yourself the hassle of international travel and schedule a trip to Russian River Valley Pinot Classic next June 12 – 15, 2014. Santé!
Regrets for delay in posting this event – it’s busy season in the Tasting Room!
Copyrighted 2013. All images courtesy of author. All Rights Reserved.
Dinner and Passport to Pinot access provided by Issima!PR.
Lodging provided by Benovia Winery Cottage.
Thank you to Russian River Valley Winegrowers Team – Shannon Wesley, et al.
Thank you to Lauren Eastman – Issima! PR
Thank you to Dominic Phillips & Team – DPEM.com
Thank you to Paul Miller – www.paulcmiller.com
Thank you to Arista Winery – McWilliams Family
Thank you to Benovia Winery – Mike & Roger!
Thank you to Davis Family Winery – Adrienne, Guy & and Extended Davis Family!