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Alsace Varietals Festival Showcases International Whites
For the seventh consecutive year, the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association will host the International Alsace Varietals Festival – an event that has become a popular showcase for Alsace-style white wines from around the world. The 2012 festival, to be held February 18-19, will also feature a celebrity chef cooking demonstration and a New Zealand Riesling challenge.
Producers from both near and far will pour five highlighted varietals during the two-day celebration: Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Muscat. Festival events will include a technical conference, a cooking demonstration by Food Network star chef Beau MacMillan, a grand tasting, a group winemaker dinner and winery open houses.
The technical conference on Saturday morning will highlight pertinent issues in winemaking and grape growing for these varietals, with talks by industry experts and winemakers. The conference will also include a New Zealand Riesling challenge, with attendees tasting 12 Rieslings – all sourced from the same vineyard, but crafted by winemakers from around the country. Tasters will try to identify which elements originate from the vineyard site, and which from the winemakers.
The Alsace Varietals Grand Tasting on Saturday afternoon will showcase aromatic white wines from approximately 40 producers. Fantastic small bites, including fresh oysters and dishes from several well-known chefs, will be paired with the wines.
Chef Beau MacMillian – former “Iron Chef America” winner, current “The Next Iron Chef” challenger and executive chef at Scottsdale’s Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain – will host an engaging and educational cooking demonstration with chef Francois de Melogue (former executive chef at Dayboat Restaurant, Copper Beech Inn and Pili Pili). Together they will cook Asian-inspired and Alsace-style dishes for attendees, pairing them with the highlighted wines. Attendees will be able to savor both dishes at the grand tasting and try their own food and wine pairings based on the chefs’ recommendations.
Participating wineries at the festival normally include: Anne Amie Vineyards, Arista, Banyan/The Hobo Wine Co., Alderbrook Winery, Bowers Harbor, Brandborg Vineyard & Winery, Breggo Cellars, Brooks Winery, Grand Traverse, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Chehalem, Claiborne & Churchill, Claudia Springs Winery, Domaine Charles Baur, Domaine Marc Kreydenweiss, Domaine Weinbach, Domaines Schlumberger, Esterlina Vineyards, Foris Vineyards Winery, Graziano Family of Wines, Greenwood Ridge Vineyards, Gundlach Bundschu, Hagafen Cellars, Handley Cellars, Husch Vineyards, La Rochelle Winery, Lazy Creek Vineyards, Left Foot Charley, Londer Vineyards, McFadden Farm, Navarro Vineyards, New York Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, New Zealand Winegrowers Association, Phillips Hill Estates Winery, Philo Ridge Vineyards, Robert Sinskey, Sheldrake Point, Steele Wines, Tatomer Wines, Thomas Fogarty Winery, Toulouse Vineyards, Tudor Wines, Valckenberg, Zina Hyde Cunningham and Zin Valle Vineyards, among others.
The winemaker dinner at Scharffenberger Cellars on Saturday evening will focus on Alsace-style wines (including Pinot Noir) produced by participating wineries. The gourmet, sit-down meal will offer attendees a chance to meet and get to know each winemaker and taste their favorite wines.
On Sunday, local wineries will host open houses that include live music, vineyard tours, food and wine pairings, and more.
A detailed schedule for the weekend follows and any additional information about the event can be found at the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association website at www.avwines.com, or by contacting the Association via e-mail at email@example.com, or by phone at (707) 895-WINE. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased online.
EVENT DETAILS AND COST:
Technical Conference: Saturday, February 18, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Cooking Demonstration with Food Network Chef Beau MacMillan:
Alsace Varietals Grand Tasting: Saturday, February 18, 1-4 p.m.
Alsace Festival Winemaker Dinner: Saturday, February 18, 6:30 p.m.
Winery Open Houses: Sunday, February 19, All Day
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