The year 2016 has been one of the most successful here at Le Vigne. Another outstanding yield of superior-quality grapes was harvested, thanks to the favorable soil and weather conditions the past few months have brought to the vineyards. We’ve also seen an amazing turnout in the tasting room and at many of our events, especially during Harvest Festival Weekend. To keep the momentum going, we’ve been working around the clock to ensure that this upcoming holiday season will be the best yet. We welcomed guests to favorite traditions including our Olive Oil Harvest and Pickup Party, as well as brand new events. The latest 2013 vintage of Reserve wines was released and we are extremely pleased with the award-winning scores they have received. We even introduced a brand new succession of wines, The Heritage Series, which features five bottles of award-winning wines specially made as a tribute to the history and traditions of the Filippini family. Regardless of whether you’re a member of our La Famiglia wine club, a regular attendee to our exciting events, or are just now hearing about us for the first time, we would love to see you this holiday season in the tasting room so that we can celebrate with you and your friends and family. In the meantime, here’s a closer look at what we did in the Autumn months here at Le Vigne!
We kicked off the season with an early harvest, receiving the first truckload of Sauvignon Blanc grapes from our Domenico Estate Vineyard on August 31st. We celebrated as Winemaker Michael Barreto performed the old Armenian custom Khaghogh Orhnek, or Blessing of the Grapes, by sprinkling a bottle of 2015 Le Vigne Sauvignon Blanc onto the first batch of freshly picked grapes and bestowing his blessing upon this year’s harvest. Within a few days, the other grapes reached peak ripeness and we brought in Chardonnay, Viogner, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and other grapes from our three estate vineyards for pressing and barreling. Syrah and Corvina grapes were also hand-picked from the vines and laid out to dessicate in the sun before being stomped by foot and made into one of our most special blends, the AmeRhone. After a few months, we finally finished harvesting, pressing, and barreling our entire yield of grapes, and are now eagerly anticipating the future release of these wines.
We wanted to commemorate our successful harvest in a significant way, so a variety of exciting events were planned to share our successes with our Le Vigne guests. First we celebrated Harvest Festival Weekend, along with at least 100 other other wineries in Paso Robles. We hosted a two-day long Open Cellar where guests enjoyed a festive wine and cheese flight, participated in a progressive tasting from grape to bottle, tasted future vintages of wines straight from the barrel with our winemaker, enjoyed gourmet cheese and charcuterie platters, and shopped from a variety of local vendors. In the evenings we also hosted not one, but two Winemaker’s Dinners. The first night of the weekend was our more intimate, private dinner in the Le Vigne room, prepared by Chef and winery owner Walter Filippini. He prepared a delectable meal consisting of six courses of traditional Italian Autumn fare, featuring freshly shaved white truffles atop a traditional risotto as a special treat. Those in attendance indulged in homemade pumpkin soup, a filet of beef served with seasonal vegetables, an artisanal cheese plate, and a freshly-baked apple tartan for dessert. Each course was paired with a bottle of our most special wines, including the 2006 Le Vigne Cabernet Franc di Domenco, pulled specifically from our library for this event. The fun continued onto the next night when we hosted the main event of the weekend: the annual Harvest Winemaker’s Dinner. This time, guests met in the tasting room for a special sunset reception and enjoyed cheese and charcuterie with a glass of wine before being led into our Barrel Room for the main dinner. They were dazzled by another multi-course meal prepared yet again by Chef Walter, this time consisting of a creamy mushroom Polenta, bison shank braised in Le Vigne Zinfandel and Chanterelles mushrooms, and a rum-marinated marscarpone cheesecake topped with glazed chestnuts. The evening was full of wine, laughs, love, and everyone left full and happy. It was the perfect way to both wrap up Harvest Festival Weekend and to kick off the season with everything else we had specially planned for the next few months.
The autumn months brought the release of the October La Famiglia Wine Club shipment, which is particularly noteworthy because it includes the 2013 AmeRhone blend and 2013 Le Vigne Tannat, only enough of which was produced for wine club members. Riserva members even received a bottle of 2013 Le Vigne di Acquarello Cabernet Sauvignon, another one of our most remarkable, low-production wines. These exciting new releases were celebrated by treating members with a special invitation to the October Pickup Party, where they had a special luncheon prepared by Chef Walter. Guests enjoyed cheese and charcuterie platters, live music, and a gourmet, multi-course meal paired with our Reserve wines. The following weekend we hosted our second annual Olive Oil Harvest event. Olea Farms came out to the winery and pressed our freshly harvested, estate-grown Arbequina olives in the parking lot. Guests were able to watch the entire process while enjoying one of three different pastas cooked by Chef Walter and a glass of wine under the shade of our other olive trees. It took all day to get through five acres worth of the olives that were harvested, but the result was a fresh, grassy, and absolutely delicious olive oil that guests could sample then take home a bottle for themselves!
By now, you can probably tell that Chef Walter doesn’t miss any opportunity to prepare a delectable meal for his guests. This was most apparent as the end of November neared. He was so inspired by the changing seasons and fare that is traditionally served during this time of year that he decided to host the first ever White Truffle Dinner. Excited by the intricate and powerful flavors of Italy’s most treasured delicacy, he and his son, Domenico, planned a gourmet meal featuring freshly shaven white truffles atop each of the five courses served. They spent the entire afternoon preparing the meal together in the Tank Farm before sitting down to enjoy it with eight of our most honored
This season has been truly spectacular and we are extremely excited to see what the upcoming holiday season has in store. Now that it’s finally December, we have many exciting things planned in the tasting room for the winter months. The tasting room has been extended into the tank farm with an ongoing Holiday Extravaganza Sale, where you can peruse among a wide selection of Italian pastas, desserts, gift baskets, and stocking stuffers! The tasting room is decked with holiday decorations, seasonal goodies, and a big Christmas tree! We also have special holiday-themed cheese flights as well as a wide selection of brand new and seasonal cheeses. You can even stock up on wines with holiday case sales and mix and match bottles to create a custom case for an unbelievable deal. It’s going to be an exciting month, so check back with us soon for another in-depth look at how we’re celebrating the holidays, or stop by our tasting room and see all the magic for yourself!