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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, August 18, 2014, 5:32 pm

Lake Co. wineries pour on Vallejo welcome

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    Nick Buttitta of Rosa d'Oro Vineyards, Rep. Mike Thompson, Janet Thompson

    Rep. Mike Thompson and his wife, Janet, watch Nick Buttitta of Rosa d’Oro Vineyards pour wine for a guest at a wine-tasting event at the Vallejo Ferry Terminal. (credit: Mel Orpilla)

    VALLEJO — Six Lake County wineries on Saturday let visitors to the Vallejo waterfront in on an decreasingly secret part of North Coast winegrowing.

    Rosa d’Oro, Chacewater Winery and Olive Mill, Olof Cellars, Langtry Estate and Vineyards, Art and Farm Wines and Moore Family Winery were pouring their wines at an afternoon event that drew scores of people to the grassy area next to the Vallejo ferry building.

    Cindi Olof of Olof Cellars

    Cindi Olof of Olof Cellars models one of the winery’s signature Viking helmets. (credit: Mel Orpilla)

    “This was a wonderful event with wine, food, activities and artisan crafters,” said Terry Dereniuk, director of Lake County Winery Association. “It gave us a chance to showcase Lake County wines and introduce the Lake County wine region to people in the Vallejo area.”

    Also poured were flights of sauvignon blanc wines from Six Sigma Ranch & Winery, Wildhurst Vineyards, Steele Wines, and Vigilance Winery by Ms. Dereniuk, association board member Lu Baird and Gaye Allen, author of Lake County Wine Guide.

    The even included kite-flying, arts and crafts, barbecued food, chocolatiers, music, tai chi and yoga.

    Public figures who attended the event included Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, there with his wife, Janet, and Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis.

    Vallejo resident Frank Malifrando brought the event together in just six weeks with help from Mayor Davis and Rep. Thompson.

    “Frank was wonderful to work with on this event,” Ms. Dereniuk said. “Through his efforts, the Lake County wine region enjoyed exposure with ads on the SolTrans bus system, the electronic bill board just off Highway 80, and many other outlets in the area.”

    Ms. Allen said event-goers enjoyed comparing the four different sauvignon blanc wines.

    “Terry’s idea to bring some fruits and other examples of typical flavor characteristics for people to smell worked especially well,” Ms. Allen said. “We received a really warm reception from the people of Vallejo who showed a great interest in Lake County’s location as well as its wines. Many asked if we were coming back next week!”

    Mr. Baird said said the commemorative wineglass and postcard with specials from participating wineries were a hit with wine-tasters.

    “Several dozen attendees returned to the ticket table to purchase additional tasting tickets and commented on how impressed they were with our product,” he said. “Some already knew about Lake County. And many said, ‘Now I’ll have to take a trip to visit your wineries.’”

    For Robin and Steve Moore, pouring in Vallejo was a trip home. “It’s beautiful down here,” said Steve Moore as patrons lined up to taste their chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, syrah, and cabernet sauvignon. “Not many cities have this. I think they should push this waterfront.”

    Gigi Stahl, Konocti Trails coordinator for the county of Lake, brought information and displays about the outdoor activities that Lake County offers. She made a special presentation to Rep. Thompson, giving him with a camp stool as a small token of appreciation for his continued support of Lake County’s trails.

    Upcoming events for Lake County Winery Association (707 357-5237, lakecountywineries.org) include a booth at the Kelseyville Pear Festival, where Lake County wines by the glass will be available and the annual Christmas in the Country the first weekend in December.

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