(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – On Friday, June 17, 2011, the Red Lion Inn Dining Room presents a special tasting menu keyed toward the exceptional craft wines of the biodynamic Quivira Vineyards and La Follette Wines. A pre-dinner reception begins at 6 followed by dinner at 6:30. The price is $65 per person (plus tax and gratuity). For reservations call 413.298.1690.
In the 16th to 18th centuries, the area we know as Sonoma County appeared on European maps as a mythical kingdom called “Quivira” whose streets were said to be paved with gold. Today, the region’s “gold” is the acres of grapevines that thrive there.
Named in honor of this mythical realm, the small, family-owned Quivira Vineyards & Winery was founded in 1981 by Holly and Henry Wendt. Decades later, in the spring of 2006, Pete and Terri Kight purchased the winery from the Wendts, shaking hands on the purchase after just the second meeting. The Kights were captivated by the winery’s idyllic setting at the confluence of Wine Creek and Dry Creek and with its historical significance in the evolution of grape growing and winemaking in Dry Creek Valley. They were also struck by Henry’s vision for better wine through better vineyard management, using Biodynamic and organic farming techniques — a focus that mirrored their goal of creating a balanced estate capable of producing genuinely world-class wines.
The Kights went on to make significant changes to the winery and the existing vineyards, all with a focus on making world-class wine. Quivira began managing its vineyards by the plant and block rather than by the acre, tripling plant density and dropping up to sixty percent of the grape clusters during the growing season to improve fruit saturation. Some vineyard blocks were moved from cordon trellising to more labor intensive head training for the vines, and the vineyard crew began farming for maximum quality rather than quantity. Quivira also acquired additional high elevation vineyards and a one hundred-year-old Zinfandel vineyard in Dry Creek to add another dimension of fruit structure to the winemaker’s palette.
Today, winemaker Hugh Chappelle is at the helm, incorporating both modern winemaking techniques and traditional methods in his pursuit of impeccably balanced wines that speak of their origins.
Quivira is guided by a deeply-held principle of careful stewardship of the land and all its creatures. Since 1998, Quivira has been actively engaged in restoring Wine Creek, the Coho salmon and Steelhead trout spawning stream that winds through the center of the estate. A 55kW solar electric system has supplied one hundred percent of Quivira’s energy needs since 2005. Water usage has been dramatically reduced thanks to a steam cleansing machine that uses ninety-eight percent less water than required by traditional barrel cleansing and soaking routines. Quivira has been a Demeter-certified Biodynamic and organic winery since 2005.
La Follette is a small Sonoma County winery zealously focused on crafting wines that offer benchmark expression of vineyard site and appellation. Producing small-lot Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from exciting vineyards within California’s Sonoma County and Mendocino County AVAs, more than anything, La Follette strives to celebrate individuality in wines.
La Follette represents a partnership between owners Pete and Terri Kight and winemaker Greg La Follette. After a chance meeting in 2008, the Kights and La Follette discovered a shared dream: To craft exceptional wines of the highest artistic expression, then make them far more affordable than other hand-crafted California wines of a similar pedigree.
La Follette Wines include three vineyard-designate Pinot Noirs, a Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and three vineyard-designate Chardonnays from renowned North Coast appellations such as Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain and Mendocino Ridges. Each wine represents painstaking attention to detail in the vineyard and in the cellar to bring forth the fullest possible expression of terroir. Beyond that, the wines fulfill a long-held dream for Greg La Follette: To craft extraordinary wines priced for a wider audience than most wines of such illustrious origins.
THE RED LION INN WINE-TASTING MENU
Quivira, Sauvignon Blanc, 2009, Dry Creek Valley, Fig Tree Vineyard
Chilled Saffron Poached Mussels
Goat Cheese & Roasted Tomato Crostini
La Follette, Chardonnay, 2009, Sonoma Coast, Sangiacamo Vineyard
Seared Sea Scallop, Sweet Corn Bisque, Crisp Speck
La Follette, Pinot Noir, 2008, Sonoma Coast
Foraged Mushroom Risotto, Shaved Ricotta Salata
Quivira, Zinfandel, 2008, Dry Creek Valley
Moulard Duck Breast, Berkshire Blue Scalloped Potatoes
Quivira, Grenache, 2008, Dry Creek Valley, Wine Creek Ranch
Grilled Venison Sausage, Dressed Bitter Greens, Shaved Fennel
Quivira, Dusk, Zin Port
Chocolate, Raspberry Gelato, Pistachio Tuille