5 Wines Pouring at Pacific Wine and Food Classic
There’s nothing much better than an Orange County beach in the summertime. With the ongoing roster of events all season long, i often find it hard to fit everything in. A definite one not to miss? The Pacific Wine and Food Classic.
Held annually on the sand in Newport Beach, the Pacific Food and Wine Classic looks to get better each year. I’m thrilled to be attending next month for my first time and especially look forward to trying some fantastic wines. Here’s just a sampling of some of the wine makers who will be pouring. Cheers!
Once the first – always the first. In 1971, the first pioneering vineyards in Santa Barbara were planted at Sanford Winery. This renowned cool climate AVA was not only launched by the planting of the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, but also expanded to neighbors’ plantings through cuttings from this vineyard. For over 40 years now, this iconic vineyard has set the standard for quality in the region and is also home to the oldest Pinot Noir vines in the county. Today the estate is owned, farmed and cared for by the Terlato family and is comprised of the Sanford & Benedict and La Rinconada Ranches and their vineyards.
Chateau Ste. Michelle
Chateau Ste. Michelle is celebrating more than 50 years of wine making. Since then, they have combined Old World wine making traditions with New World innovation. In fact, Chateau Ste. Michelle is one of the few premium wineries in the world with two state-of-the-art wineries, one for red and one for white. The whites are made at the Chateau in Woodinville, WA, while the reds are made at their Canoe Ridge Estate winery in Eastern Washington.
In 1978, Rosenblum Cellars opened in Alameda, California. A city known more for its docks and shipyards than for wine making. But then again, Kent Rosenblum, “The King of Zin,” always did things a little differently from the status quo.
When most of the established wineries in California were focused on their estate-grown wines, Kent chose to explore some of the unrecognized and underappreciated grape-growing areas of Northern California. He met families who had been growing grapes for generations; dedicated growers passionate about their vineyards, who worked tirelessly to grow the best grapes possible from old vines their families had planted years before.
From single-vineyards in Sonoma and Alexander Valley to strictly selected regional blends, Rosenblum has made more than 50 Zinfandels earning 90 or more points from Wine Spectator. It’s an eye-opening track record for Zin lovers, but at Rosenblum, guided by commitment and craft, delivering sumptuous wines is just business as usual.
Picket Fence Vineyards
Picket Fence wines grew out of a desire to create handcrafted wines that reflect the awe-inspiring appeal of Sonoma County. This spectacular region is a place of unparalleled beauty with unique growing conditions and vineyards. It is the coolest appellation in Sonoma County with diverse soils and microclimates owing to its tumultuous geological history.
Given their Summer climate, Picket Fence is recognized for growing world class Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Expertly grown and harvested, their grapes are a true expression of the soil and climate that specifically define the Sonoma Valley region. Created in small lots, Picket Fence Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon celebrate the passion for the Russian River and Alexander Valley and I love that their sentiment is wine brings family and friends together!
It was serendipity that brought Emmy Award winning sports commentator Jim Nantz and wine industry entrepreneur Peter Deutsch together in Greenwich, Connecticut where they were each having dinner with friends. Peter had recently read Jim’s book about his father, Always By My Side, and it resonated with him, reminding him of his own relationship with his father. Peter introduced himself that evening.
Jim was at the restaurant having dinner with a friend who had contacts in the wine industry and was working on an idea that had been in development for years. Jim had long held a passion for wine and was exploring how to take the next step in becoming involved in the wine business when Peter stopped by the table. As fate would have it, that chance meeting would spawn a friendship and partnership, the Deutsch Nantz Alliance (DNA).
Theirs has been a hands-on collaboration. Jim and Peter traveled together to California and worked closely with renowned winemakers Dan Goldfield, Wayne Donaldson, and James MacPhail on every step of the wine making process They also poured themselves into the packaging process, working to capture the essence of the brand in the label design. For Jim and Peter, The Calling is about pursuing a passion, inspiring others, and making a great wine.
Get Your Tickets for the Pacific Wine and Food Classic
Single day tickets remain to sip and savor the Pacific Wine and Food Classic, but will sell out. Held on the sand, appropriate shoes and summer chic (I’m thinking capris and a nice top) attire is encouraged. Don’t forget a hat and sunscreen, too. Parking is said to be extremely limited, and with the amount of food and drink that await you, plan on an Uber.
You can also book a room at the Fashion Island Hotel and enjoy a complimentary shuttle to and from the Classic, as well as an after-party Saturday night. Sip on Prosecco and snack on small bites, while you dance to beats by the hotel’s resident DJ and dance the night away.
See you on August 18th and 19th! xo
(*Disclosure: I am attending this event on behalf of my coverage. All opinions are my own.
Photos: Courtesy of Pacific Wine and Food Classic.)