Through the spring and early summer, we did not hold most of our events, winemaker dinners and tastings, as the circumstances and restrictions of the corona virus unfolded. We resumed our events this past week with great success. Are they different now? You bet here are the changes. With our restaurant partner Fleur de Sel we have reduced our capacity at the dinners from 60 to 44. This gives Laurent and Patricia the room to spread out the tables allowing all to be comfortable and still enjoy the evening. At our tastings here at the shop we have split them into 45-minute increments and limit each time slot to 18 guests, again giving everyone enough room to spread out and be comfortable.
As you might guess with the reduced capacity and our efforts to keep everyone comfortable, the events are selling out very quickly. Our adjustments are not the only reason for this though, we also get the sense from our wine club members and guests that everyone is eager to be out at events like these. We are thrilled we can hold them again!
Our events this past week were with Andrea Pucci from Antinori in Italy. We were thrilled that Andrea was able to make the trip and we thank him for his great work in taking us through the back story of the Antinori family that has been making wine for over 700 years and 26 generations. Our dinner and tasting lineup included wines from the Antinori properties in Napa, Tuscany and Piedmont, and the wines were incredibly well received.
In October, November and December we will be hosting winemakers and importers from Cade and Plumpjack out of Napa, Lux Imports from Italy and Daou from Paso Robles respectively. This is an extraordinary lineup and we appreciate all of our winery partners travelling to make these events special. While our wine club members get preferred access to our events, we hope you can join us as well.
The lively crowd at the winemaker dinner had some great questions, regarding wine and our events more specifically. The fires burning across the west are in the forefront of everyone’s mind and we received many questions on the effects, especially in California where the fires are by far the worst. Sadly, as things develop the news could not be much worse. With the fires hitting so early virtually all of the red and some of the white varietals are still “hanging”. Projections suggest that fully 90% of the grape crop across Northern California could be lost to smoke taint. Our hearts break for all of our friends in wine country and pray they will be able to salvage some of the crop.
Across the Northwest the news from the vineyards so far is better but clearly the harvest is not ensured by any stretch. We will keep everyone posted as we know more.