If there are two important moments in a year for the wineries; the first one is the commencement of the harvest and the second is the end! The wineries usually celebrate one of these important moments, and share it with their employees and/or consumers.
On August 13th, I went to Harvest Party of Inglenook winery, which is located in Rutherford and owned by Francis Ford Coppola. The party started at 19:00; perfect time to enjoy the view of the vineyard with the hills under the pink sky. As we arrived, we received the most important things: wine glasses! And after a couple steps, our glasses were filled with Sauvignon Blanc wine of Inglenook.
The light bulbs were hanged up all over the garden for decoration, and that was enough to show the natural beauty of the garden and the winery. On the two sides of the pool, they light fires which illuminated and heated the night.
At the beginning of the night, Eleanor Coppola made a speech to share her feelings about the harvest. Later on, the general manager and winemaker of the winery, Philippe Bascaules, also made a speech and shared his observations about the harvest 2016. After the speeches, the live music started and continued until the end of the night.
And dinner time! Chef Alex Lovick and his team prepared different dishes to go with the pork and lamb that were cooked in the fire. They actually used the wine barrels to hang the pork and the lamb. I found it really creative and a perfect way to reuse the old barrels.
Here, I am sharing the menu of the night:
- Devil’s Gulch Heritage Pig
- Don Watson’s Milk Fed Lamb
- Escalivada with Achiote Oil
- Fingerlings with Chimicchurri Rojo
- Spiced black beans and Rice
- Salad of Romaine, Avocado, Tomato, Radish, Scallion, Corn, Cilantro and Lemon vinaigrette.
I prepared a plate with all these and accompanied with their Cabernet Sauvignon 2013. It was really tasty and enjoyable with the vineyard view.
As the dessert, Chef Alex made Whole Grain Tres Leches Cake with Roasted Strawberries served with Whipped Cream. What I like the most was the salty crumbles on top of the whipped cream which balanced the sweetness of the cake. As well as in the palate, the dessert was enjoyable for the eyes with the elegant decoration of the plate with small pink flowers.
There was a blind tasting booth, which was leaded by Anthony Mueller, Wine Educator of Inglenook Winery. According to his instructions, we tasted the wine without knowing what it was and then we had to decide between Cask 2007, Cask 2008, Rubicon 2005 or Rubicon 2008. We voted to the boxes under the wines. I voted for Rubicon 2008, which later came out to be the correct answer! They made a lottery from the box and the name came out from the box won 2 bottles of Rubicon 2008. Such a lucky night for the winner!
Another booth was the barrel tasting. The guests could taste purely the wine of last vintage right from the barrel. Apart from the booths, wine service continued all night long with the wines of Inglenook: Sauvignon Blanc 2015 and Blancaneaux (blend of Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier) from whites; Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, RC Syrah 2013 and Edizione Pennino Zinfandel 2013 from reds.
The night continued with more music and a breathtaking dance show with fire which was a real spectacle. After that, the dance floor was full with the happy dances of the guests.
Unfortunately you’ve missed it for the harvest 2016, but if you have the chance, try to attend the Inglenook Harvest Party next year! And be quick, when the tickets are released, they are sold out really fast!
All images © 2016 by Neslihan IVIT. All rights reserved.