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Labor Day Weekend Wine Events and Festivals

Messina Hof close to Fredericksburg, Texas

Messina Hof nearby Fredericksburg, Texas

In addition to individual winery events, special festivities are taking place including harvest celebrations. For more information about each event go to the designated website.

Enjoy spending time with others who enjoy wine!

Cheers! Kathy

 

 


August 29 – September 1

Three Fox Vineyards, Delaplane, Virginia
Event: Loafing for Labor Day Weekend!
Website Information

August 30

Messina Hof, Fredericksburg, Texas
2nd Annual Harvest Festival
Website Information

Pearmund Cellars, Broad Run, Virginia
Event: Labor Day BBQ
Event: Cheesecake Tasting (1-3pm)
Event: Sample Virginia Peanuts
Website Information

August 30-31

The Great Dakota Wine Fest
Website Information

August 30-Sept 1

Labor Day Open House Weekend
Columbia Gorge Winegrowers (Washington and Oregon)
Open House at participating wineries
Website Information

Harvest Festival, New Mexico
New Mexico Wine Growers Association
Website Information

Saturday, August 30

Chateau Chantal, Traverse City, Michigan
Event: Wine Sensory Treat Tour
Event: Wine Dinner

Website Information

Three Fox Vineyards, Delaplane, Virginia
Event: Tuscan “Fer Agosto”
Website Information

Sunday, August 31

Chateau Chantal, Traverse City, Michigan
Event: Wine Sensory Treat Tour
Website Information

Grand River Cellars, Madison, OH
Event: Brushes & Lushes
Website Information

Three Fox Vineyards, Delaplane, Virginia
Event: Loafing for Labor Day
Website Information

33rd Annual Harvest Wine Celebration
Livermore Valley Wine Country, California
Website Information

Monday, September 1

Chateau Chantal, Traverse City, Michigan
Event: Wine Sensory Treat Tour
Website Information

Herndon Labor Day Festival, Virginia
Website Information

Pearmund Cellars, Broad Run, Virginia
Event: Drawing for an original piece of artwork
Event: Labor Day BBQ
Website Information

Potomac Point Winery, Stafford, Virginia
Bistro Open!
Website Information

Peach Gazpacho for Labor Day Weekend or Any Warm Day!

Peach season is here and J Vineyards & Winery has a wonderful recipe for peach gazpacho. This chilled gazpacho may be just perfect for this Labor Day weekend and any warm day.

Fresh Peach Gazpacho

Serves 4

Ingredients

1½ pound fresh peaches, preferably white
½ pound Early Girl tomatoes, yellow
1 cup J Vintage Brut (reserved to finish the soup)
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1½ tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated
½ cup plain yogurt
1 English Cucumber for garnish

Directions

  1. Pit and coarsely chop peaches and tomatoes, leaving skin intact. Place in a stainless steel saucepan.
  2. Add J Vintage Brut, honey and lemon juice. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Pureé and strain the peach mixture and strain through a fine mesh colandar.
  4. Chill.
  5. Once chilled, stir in yogurt, ginger and 1 cup J Vintage Brut.
  6. Garnish with thin slices of cucumber.

J Vineyards & Winery Culinary Team provided this recipe.

Base Camp for Winery Exploration

The Fredericksburg area of Texas is a wine tourism destination. There are enough wineries to visit and taste wines that you need more than a day or even a weekend. You can easily spend a week in the region. To fully encounter the wine tourism experience, spend your nights at a winery. Messina Hof Winery offers lodging behind the tasting room facility.

The individual cabins at Messina Hof, Fredericksburg offer spacious accommodations and a perfect base for exploring Texas Hill Country wineries. The cabins are set back in a wooded area. Four cabins offer luxury accommodations. There is a living room area with sofa and chairs. The wide hallway has a sink, microwave, small refrigerator and coffee maker. A table and chairs seat two. A  finger-licking coffee cake is on the table in a cake keeper. The refrigerator contains cream, milk, water, wine and fruit cocktail. Two breakfast cereals, Cheerios and raisin bran are in glass containers on the kitchenette counter. There is a coffee maker that grinds coffee beans. Adjacent to the kitchen area is the bathroom.

Four cabins are in a wooded setting behind the Messina Hof tasting room on Rt. 290.

Four cabins are in a wooded setting behind the Messina Hof tasting room on Rt. 290.

The spacious cabins are charming and provide a romantic setting.

The spacious cabins are charming and provide a romantic setting.

 

The living room of the Hof cabin has a German atmosphere.

The living room of the Hof cabin has a German atmosphere.

At the end of the hallway, a door leads into a spacious bedroom. Our room had a king-size bed. There is a television with satellite television and a chair. This is a large room and you do not need to crawl over other people to reach any part of the room. Outside the room, through sliding glass doors, there is a back deck. There is also a deck in the front of the cabin.

Not only plenty of space, the cabins are extremely quiet. The cabins are about ten miles from the downtown area of Fredericksburg. Between Messina Hof and Fredericksburg there are a number of winery tasting rooms to visit. In the immediate area of Messina Hof there are a dozen wineries. To the east, towards Johnson City, there are even more wineries to visit. Most of the wineries have entrances from Rt. 290. You can easily spend a week in the area exploring wineries and taking in the culture of Fredericksburg. Check winery websites for hours they are open. Some are closed on different weekdays.

Relaxation, comfort and a wine experience await your stay at Messina Hof in Fredericksburg. A small vineyard of Lenoir is in front of the tasting room facility.

Cheers,
Terry

A Cold Soup for a Hot Summer Day: Strawberry Watermelon Soup

Strawberry Watermelon Soup paired with Messina Hof, Sophia Marie Rosé 2013

Strawberry Watermelon Soup paired with Messina Hof, Sophia Marie Rosé 2013

While at Messina Hof’s Gala Dinner at the end of  harvest we enjoyed a four course dinner with Paul and Merrill, Melba Allen (The Wine Profilers,) Allison Markin (All She Wrote) and Tom Plant (WINEormous.) Many other wine enthusiasts were enjoying the dinner. Merrill provided us with the recipe for the second course, a yummy cold soup with seasonal fruits. The Strawberry/Watermelon Soup was paired with Messina Hof, Sophia Marie Rosé 2013

Below is the recipe for Strawberry/Watermelon Soup. It appears to be an easy recipe to make and would make a wonderful cold soup for a hot day.

Strawberry Watermelon Soup

Ingredients for Soup Base

Watermelon puree
Strawberry puree

Directions for Soup Base

1. Mix and chill
2. If you need a little sweeter add a small amount of simple syrup to your taste

Ingredients for Crème Fraiche

2 c heavy cream
¼ c buttermilk

Directions for Crème Fraiche

1. Mix together and cover.
2. Allow to sit overnight on counter. It will naturally thicken on its own.
3. Just before serving drizzle the Crème Fraiche over the top.

Suggestions:
1. For the soup add 2 tbsp dry basil and ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese.
2. Lace with Messina Hof Pinot Gris

Many thanks to  Messina Hof Winery & Resort in Bryan, Texas for providing this recipe.

Cheers,
Kathy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas Foods with Messina Hof

Kathy and I spent a wonderful week in Texas. Four days were spent with Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo at both their Messina Hof Winery locations in Bryan and Fredericksburg. In addition to fantastic wines, we ate wonderful meals.

Breakfast at the Villa in Bryan was accompanied with mimosas.

Breakfast at the Villa in Bryan was accompanied with mimosas.

Lunch after harvest in Bryan included sausage soaked in Messina Hof wine.

Lunch after harvest in Bryan included sausage soaked in Messina Hof wine.

After lunch in Fredericksburg, the Messina Hof FAM tour had an 42nd anniversary cake for Kathy and me. Our group included Melba Allen-Buillard, Merril Bonarrigo, Allison Markin, Tom Plant, Paul Bonarrigo, Terry Sullivan and Kathy Sullivan

After lunch in Fredericksburg, the Messina Hof FAM tour had an 42nd anniversary cake for Kathy and me. Our group included Melba Allen-Buillard, Merril Bonarrigo, Allison Markin, Tom Plant, Paul Bonarrigo, Terry Sullivan and Kathy Sullivan

Dinner wines to celebrate the completion of harvest in Bryan.

Dinner wines to celebrate the completion of harvest in Bryan.

Salad course for the harvest dinner.

Salad course for the harvest dinner.

On a hot summer evening, watermelon/strawberry soup was flavorful.

On a hot summer evening, watermelon/strawberry soup was flavorful. 

Beef is a speciality in Texas.

Beef is a speciality in Texas.

We have many fond memories of the wine, food and friends. It was a great experience to participate in Messina Hof’s harvest, crush, wines, foods and media FAM tour in Fredericksburg. The members of the media FAM group attended the International Wine Tourism Conference in Tbilisi, Georgia in March 2014. This meet up in Texas was a reunion, a time to spend together and recount stories about our time in Georgia and discover new stories we will talk about in the future.

Cheers,
Terry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Grape Harvest Activities at Messina Hof

Immediately after the harvest activity concluded at Messina Hof Winery & Resort, the people who harvested were directed from the vineyard back to the winery for the Big Kahuna contest, annual grape stomp and a wine tasting. 

The Big Kahuna contest begins with a selection of the most unique grape clusters. After several people were selected they used their talents to impress the crowd with a talent show. Eventually the winner was chosen by the crowd. The winner won a large, colorful cork Big Kahuna necklace.

In the same winery area, participants were encouraged to take off their shoes, dip their feet in the water and then stomp the grapes. The stomping became intense with the encouragement of the staff. Other staff members guided people through the process which culminated with each stomper stamping their grape covered feet on the back of a white t-shirt that left the print. People were given directions on how to make the image permanent. (The grapes stomped will be used to produce a Messina Hof port-style wine.)

After the grape stomping,  participants were taken on a tour by Paul Bonarrigo. Then people were encouraged to participate in a wine tasting. In the barrel area, Karen Bonarrigo addressed the large group and the Messina Hof wines were poured. Later in the evening the Gala Dinner was held.

Grape stamped t-shirt!

Grape stamped t-shirt!

Stomping the grapes at Messina Hof!

Stomping the grapes at Messina Hof!

Grape stamping on a t-shirt at Harvest Festival

Grape stamping on a t-shirt at Harvest Festival

 

 

 

 

 

Private Wine Tasting of Barrel and Tank Wines at Messina Hof

 

The Star of Texas 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

The Star of Texas 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

While spending the weekend at Messina Hof Winery & Resort as guests of the  Bonarrigos, we were offered a private tour with Merrill and Paul. The 45-minute tour was low keyed and fun with plenty of time to taste recently pressed grape juice that was in the tank for only one day to more mature wines that were almost ready for bottling. We enjoyed taking photos of participants with the Bonarrigos. The participants included Melba Allen from France, Allison Markin from British Columbia and Tom Plant from California.

Terry & Kathy on their 42nd anniversary

Terry & Kathy on their 42nd anniversary

This day was our 42nd wedding anniversary. This private tank and barrel tasting with friends was a wonderful way to celebrate. We tasted several wines from tanks. Paul turned on the tank’s spigot to release the juice or wine. A Blanc du Bois was cold stabilizing. It had plenty of flavors and good acidity. The wine will eventually go through a secondary fermentation and made into a sparkling wine. Another notable tank tasting was the 2014 Tempranillo. The juice was only in the tank for one day; so much of the sugar was not fermented. It was quite sweet and very fruity. Even as grape juice, it was delicious.

We also tasted some wines from barrel in the barrel room. Paul used a thief to take some wine out of the barrels for tastings. The Merlot was a favorite and will be a wine to watch when released. While in the barrel room plenty of photos were taken. Tasting from tanks and barrels is different then tasting finished wines. You have to taste the wine as it is now and forecast how it will turn out in the future. It is fun to taste this way and think about what it will become.

Paul sampling from a tank

Paul sampling from a tank

Just before the tasting we gathered in the tasting area and had a glass of wine suggested by Merrill.

Merrill and Paul Bonarrigo in Bryan, TX

Merrill and Paul Bonarrigo in Bryan, TX

Paul using a thief to remove wine from an oak barrel

Paul using a thief to remove wine from an oak barrel

Paul and Merrill  with Tom Plant of WineNormous

Paul and Merrill with Tom Plant of WINEormous

 

Paul and Merrill with Melba Allen from The Wine Profilers

Paul and Merrill with Melba Allen from The Wine Profilers

 

Paul and Merrill with Alison Markin from All She Can in Canada

Paul and Merrill with Allison Markin from All She Wrote in British Columbia

 

 

 

 

Mushroom Ragu Recipe from Messina Hof Winery & Resort

Mushroom Ragu was a part of the wine and food pairing event

Mushroom Ragu, at the wine and food pairing event, Messina Hof, TX

Yesterday as a part of the 37th Harvest Festival at Messina Hof we attended a Wine and Food Pairing event. One of the foods prepared was Mushroom Ragu.

During the food pairing it was mentioned that you can use red or white wines to pair with mushrooms. The mushrooms absorb some of the wine and take on some of the characteristics of the wine. Use the same wine to pair with the mushroom dish.

We wish to give many thanks to Messina Hof Winery & Resort for sharing the Mushroom Ragu recipe with us.

Cheers!
Kathy and Terry


Mushroom Ragu

Ingredients

½ c olive oil
1 T garlic
½ yellow onion (small dice)
1 lb Shitake mushrooms (torn)
1 lb button mushrooms (sliced)
2 T fresh chopped rosemary
1 qt. demi-glace
2 c Messina Hof Merlot
Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil and sweat the onions until tender.
  2. Add all the mushrooms and sauté.
  3. Once all the water from the mushrooms has evaporated, add the wine and reduce to (au sec.) almost dry.
  4. Add the demi-glace and rosemary and bring to a simmer.
  5. Let simmer for 10 minutes and season with salt and pepper.

Wine and Food Pairing Session Showcases Easy Tips

While visiting Messina Hof Winery & Resort in Bryan, Texas, we attended a wine and food pairing class presented by Melba Allen-Buillard and Karen Bonarrigo. Karen pointed out that there are no perfect rules for pairing wine and food. The old suggestion of matching red wine with red meats and white wine with white meats has some merit. So does matching the wines you like with the foods you like. There was plenty of sound advice during the presentation including that pairing wine and food is a personal experience. With this in mind we should try to experience pairings and search for the combination that the wine and the food highlight each other.

In order to get our senses to take notice, our first activity was a sensory perceptions activity. Three glasses of wine were covered in aluminum foil with holes on the top. We could not see the wine nor taste the wine. The sense of sight and taste were impaired. We were asked to smell the wine and note which wine offered aromas of vanilla, melon, prune and cherry. With my other senses impaired, my sense of smell seemed to be heightened. I was easily able to identify which wines corresponded to the stated aromas.

Using only the sense of smell, participants searched for various aromas.

Using only the sense of smell, participants searched for various aromas.

082414cFour wines were in four glasses next to a food plate of four foods. For each of the wines, Melba guided the group through the tasting of the wine using the website The Wine Profilers. Some people were able to connect to the website while others used the printed pages in a packet. Participants checked on a continuum where the wine we were evaluating fit. We were looking at characteristics such as color, hue, aromatic intensity, tannin structure, alcohol and aromas and tastes. After an analysis of the wine, Karen had us taste a food item and then taste it again with the wine and think about how the two together changed both.

The four wines were paired with four foods. The first pairing was a 2013 Private Reserve Blanc du Bois paired with an avocado butter crostini. The second pairing involved the 2013 Sophia Marie Rose (made from Lenoir grapes) matched with crudités & Sophia Marie Rose sassy cilantro dressing. The third wine food pairing was a 2011 Paulo Zinfandel paired with mushroom ragout. The final paring included Glory (Moscato Mistella, Late Harvest and grilled peach.

During the pairings a few tips were noteworthy. Karen pointed out that one of the easiest ways to pair wine and food is to cook with the wine. Serve the same wine with the food. This was experienced in the second pairing where the wine was paired with a salad dressing that had the wine in it as an ingredient. Another tip included the use of mushrooms. Add wine to mushrooms, white or red, and the mushrooms will absorb the wine and take on some of the wine characteristics. You can then pair that wine with the dish.

Pairing wine and food can be kept simple and does not need to be complicated.

Cheers
Terry

Pre-Harvest Instruction Session at Messina Hoff

 

Messina Hof's annual harvest festival in Texas!

Messina Hof’s annual harvest festival in Texas!

Each year at Messina Hof Winery & Resort in Bryan, Texas near Texas A & M, the winery offers the opportunity for wine lovers to engage in a harvest of the grapes.

This morning after breakfast participants went to the event room located over the Messina Hof’s Vintage House Restaurant to receive instructions on how to harvest grapes. A slide presentation was provided by Paul, the son of Paul and Merrill Bonnargio, owners of the winery. Paul opened the session with a Texas “Howdy” and everyone responded.

Paul provided moments of humor during the session and described the wine journey of his parents as well as mentioning the beginning of Messina Hof Winery & Resort and how Paul and Merrill met.

Many items of interest were included in Paul’s presentation including:

  • Paul and Merrill met while he was trying to sell his house. Merrill was the realtor.
  • The vineyards were first planted with 50 grape varieties to discover what grapes grow well in the region.
  • A slide was presented showing the major grape growing regions of Texas.
  • Paul talked about grapevines, the investment and the hard work involved in vineyards.
  • Paul noted, “Harvest is the joyest time of the year.”
  • A thorough demonstration of how to harvest a grape bunch was included with safety precautions.

Our group of between 100 and 200 quickly went to the vineyards and began harvesting Lenoir grapes. These grapes will be used in making Messina Hof’s port-style wines.

Cheers!
Kathy


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