Sunday, February 12, 2012

Vintners Hall of Fame induction tickets still available

If the idea of rubbing elbows with some of the great historic figures in California wine appeals to you, next Monday is your chance. Tickets are still available for the 6th Vintners Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Monday, Feb. 20.

The event is much more affordable this year: $175, which includes dinner and plenty of wines from Hall member-associated wineries -- as well as wines that have been served in the past at the White House.

Dinner is again in the popular walk-around format in the CIA kitchens. CIA graduate chefs, some who are now culinary celebrities, will each prepare one signature dish. I hope Rep. Mike Thompson is also once again making and serving his own risotto. It takes chutzpah for a Congressman to play chef in that crowd, but the man can cook.

The food is good, but what makes the event unique is the unmatched opportunity for casual conversation. At winemaker dinners, you generally sit at a large table and don't get a lot of personal interaction. Here, if you want to chat with Hall of Famers like Joel Peterson, Randall Grahm, Gerald Asher or Darrell Corti, you can just mingle with them by the mushroom soup (boy, I hope that stuff's there again.)

The emotional highlight this year might be when 95-year-old Peter Mondavi, Sr. is inducted. It will also be nice to see Richard Sanford recognized for his pioneering role on the Central Coast. But you never know how funny or moving the ceremony for individual inductees might be. Last year, the relatives of August Sebastiani made his induction a highlight.

This year's induction class: Joe Heitz, Eugene Hilgard, Peter Mondavi, Sr., Myron Nightingale, John Parducci, Richard Sanford, Albert Winkler.

If you'd like to mingle with me for some reason -- normally I'm relatively interesting, but not in this crowd -- I'll be there as my role as Chairman of the Electoral College. I'll be trying to soak up some of the oral history of wine. The presence of so many good wines usually helps facilitate that.

Here's a link for ticket info.Hope to see you there.

Vintners Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Monday, Feb. 20, 4 p.m. reception; 5:30 ceremony; 6:30 dinner
CIA Greystone, St. Helena
Tickets: $175 ($100 is tax-deductible)

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Blake,
I'm working with George Langworthy on a documentary about veterans who become farmers and I'll be at the CIA event and would like to interview you about Richard Sanford. Please contact me at
Thanks, Dan