Notes From the Winemaker - February 11th, 2014


The stately majesty of Thomas Jefferson's architecture from the air, the Octagon surveying the vineyards.Being busy with several exciting projects at once this winter, has slightly delayed publication of our Newsletter, and I'm writing to give you a priority glimpse at our Calendar of Events for 2014, now on-line, including feasts which often book very early. Please expect to see our 2014 Newsletter early next month. 

I would really be remiss if I did not offer you this advance announcement, of one occasion our calendar has never posted before. On October 11th, we will be gathering for a five-course dinner in celebration of200 Years of Architecture and 15 Years of Fine Dining, marking the bicentennial of Thomas Jefferson's mansion for Governor Barbour, and an important anniversary for Palladio Restaurant, which opened in September, 1999. Joining Alessandro Medici, our restaurant host and Sommelier since that day, and Melissa Close-Hart, Executive Chef since 2001, will be her predecessor Chef John Marshall and Sous Chefs who have gone on to direct their own restaurants, Nathan Fountain, Mike Yager, and Jeremy Butterfield. Please call Palladio soon to reserve, (540) 832-7848. 

Taking responsibility for preserving Jefferson's masterpiece when founding this vineyard in 1976, Gianni and Silvana Zonin reclaimed this Virginia historic landmark from generations of abandonment and decrepitude, a continuous task, while restoring its framing parkland to the delight of thousands of visitors every season. As founders also of Palladio Restaurant, their joining us for this occasion will give us all the opportunity to celebrate the recent award by Wine Enthusiast for his Lifetime Achievement in wine. 

Sommelier Alessandro and Chef Melissa, tasting a new course for the menu at Palladio. As winemaker and general manager, I have taken the liberty of creating a highly limited edition blend of Octagon 2010 to commemorate these anniversaries, which will be presented at the dinner, with exclusive availability here. This was one of the most gratifying projects I've ever pursued in the blending of wine. 

Finally, this allows me to report that Octagon 2010has just received the Gold Medal of San Diego's Winemaker Challenge, to go along with its Gold Medals from the San Francisco International and Virginia's Monticello competitions. We will release Octagon 2010 on February 22nd at the winery and at Virginia Wine Expo in Richmond. Please look forward to many years of pleasure with this vintage.