Unlike many industry wine events, Taste of Vail is unique in that the actual owner or winemaker is likely to be the smiling person pouring you a glass of wine at many of the booths, making the event feel more personal and surely making it more memorable. Here are three don’t-miss wineries confirmed for the 2016 Taste of Vail.
- ZD Wines: This family-owned and operated Napa Valley winery has been run by three generations of the deLeuze family. Two aerospace engineers —Norman deLeuze and Gino Zepponi — started the winery in 1969. It was the early pioneer days of the California wine industry and the men wanted to produce world-class chardonnay and pinot noir reminiscent of France’s renowned Burgundy wines. ZD stands for the initials of the founding partners’ last names as well as Zero Defects, an acronym for the quality control program during the space race that Norman and Gino were a part of while at AeroJet in Sacramento. This winery has a long history with the Taste of Vail, with three generations of the family having attended TOV. This year is no different as Associate winemaker Brandon deLeuze will attend.
- St. Innocent Winery: Mark Vlossak, who remains the winemaker and president, founded this Willamette Valley winery in 1988. The winery produces vineyard designated pinot noir from six sites; a blended pinot called Villages Cuvee; an Alsatian-style pinot gris and pinot blanc; and finally a well-balanced chardonnay. Mark is a character and someone you should absolutely sidle up to while attending the Taste of Vail. The winery is named after Mark’s father, who taught him about wine early in life. “To thank my father I named the winery after him. He was born on All Innocents Day and his middle name is Innocent.” Mark will again represent St. Innocent at this year’s Taste of Vail.
- Saintsbury: David Graves and Richard Ward co-founded this winery, based in the Napa-Carneros region, in 1981. Named for George Saintsbury, a literary historian and oenophile, the winery focused on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to start, a tradition they’ve continued. Winemaker Timothy Colla will attend the upcoming TOV event.
This post was written by Taste Of Vail