Five years ago the restaurant company I was working for in New York took on the laborious task of turning all seven of our restaurant's voluminous international wine lists into strictly American wine lists. It was just shy of a monumental task which our 29-year-old wine director accomplished by first finding wineries in each state, then by tasting a tremendous amount of wine, some of which was incredibly bad. Fortunately there was a lot that was also very good.
As it happens Louisiana is proud to be home to six wineries - but only one of those wineries produces wine from grapes, a primary necessity in selecting the wine for our wine lists. Thru no regional nepotism, John Seago's Pontchartrain Vineyards wine was selected as one of the wines we would not only have on our wine lists around the country but would also be featured at a press-heavy kickoff luncheon in Manhattan. There were 100 American wines opened at this lunch event and American wine all-stars such as Michael Mondavi, Jess Jackson, Bo Barrett (of Bottle Shock fame) and Doug Schafer poured wines side by side winemakers like John Seago.
John was wonderful. He is an avuncular character well-versed not only on wine and Louisiana but how those two things intermingle. As well he is quite a history buff and knows a tremendous amount about wine's history in America. His quest to start a vineyard in Louisiana is enough to fill several hundred pages alone.
This Saturday, November 29th, from noon to 5pm, Pontchartrain Vineyards is hosting a Harvest & Holiday celebration with food, hayrides, barrel tastings, tours, music and, of course, wine. Adults $7, Children under 12, free. This is a great opportunity to meet and mingle with the people of Pontchartrain Vineyards and to taste wine local to Louisiana that doesn't start with "strawberry" or "muscadine"
Click here for directions.
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