Rhone Rangers to Make Midwest Debut in Chicago
Albion, CA––The Rhone Rangers will make their Midwest debut in Chicago with more than 20 wineries to celebrate the 22 Rhone grape varieties that are produced by a growing number of maverick American wine makers. Under a partnership with City Winery, the Rhone Rangers will conduct a technical seminar, trade tasting, walk-around consumer tasting, and a winemaker dinner.
“September is the perfect time to celebrate the harvest and introduce these wines to consumers in advance of the holiday season. Our celebration at City Winery Chicago will allow wine-lovers to taste several Rhone varieties including Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignane, red and white blends, rosé, and even a sparkling Grenache and a dessert wine made from late harvest Syrah” said Barbara Smith, VP of the Rhone Rangers board of directors. Ticket holders will have the opportunity to choose from over 100 wines to taste at the walk-around consumer tasting. A portion of the proceeds from the events will go to support a Rhone Rangers – James Beard Foundation Travel-Study Grant which will be awarded in the spring of 2014.
The two-day celebration at City Winery includes the following events:
Technical Seminar: “The State of the Rhone Nation.” Wednesday, September 11, 10 – 11:30 AM, followed by a light lunch. This seminar is intended for members of the wine trade. Wines to be tasted will include Viognier from Zaca Mesa, a Marsanne/Roussanne Blend from Domaine Berrien, a dry rosé from Tablas Creek, Grenache from Kenneth Volk Vineyards, Syrah from Bonny Doon Vineyard, a red blend from Villa Creek, Mourvedre from Cypher Winery, and Petite Sirah from Ridge. There are only 50 seats available and admission is by invitation.
Trade Tasting, with 20+ Rhone Ranger member wineries. Wednesday, September 11, 12:30 – 4 PM. This event is complimentary for qualified members of the trade and media, who are invited to register online at www.rhonerangers.org. To allow for direct conversation with the winery principals, tickets are limited. Online registration will take place through September 5 (or when capacity is reached).
Consumer Walk-Around Tasting, with 20+ Rhone Ranger member wineries. Wednesday, September 11, 6-9 PM. This will be an intimate evening with the Rhone Rangers wineries, with appetizers to complement the wines. Tickets are $65 and may be purchased online at www.citywinery.com/chicago/.
A partial list of participating wineries for the trade and consumer tastings includes Beckmen, Bonny Doon, Broken Earth, Cass Winery, Cornerstone Cellars, Cypher Winery, Domaine Berrien, Epiphany, Fess Parker, Kenneth Volk Vineyards, Law Estate Winery, Mercer Estates, Michael-David Winery, Mira Winery, Pomar Junction, Quivira Vineyards, Qupé, Ridge Vineyards, Stage Left Cellars, Tablas Creek, Villa Creek, Vina Robles, Zaca Mesa, and more.
Dinner with the Rhone Rangers, hosted by City Winery. September 12, 2013, 6:30 PM. This three-course seated dinner will be a celebration of American Rhones, featuring Bonny Doon Vineyard, Cass Winery Cypher Winery, Domaine Berrien Cellars, Law Estate Wines, Pomar Junction, Quivira, Stage Left Cellars and Tablas Creek. Tickets are $100 and available for purchase at www.citywinery.com/chicago/.
About the Rhone Rangers
The Rhone Rangers are a group of roughly 150 wineries dedicated to making wines from the 22 grape varieties originally made famous in France’s Rhone Valley. The Rhone Rangers started from a small gathering of American vintners who began meeting informally in the 1980s. As their numbers expanded, the group organized under the name “Rhone Rangers.” The Rhone Rangers is a non-profit organization focused on promoting the enjoyment of Rhone varietal wines produced in the United States. These grapes include the 22 traditional varieties approved by the French government for the Côtes du Rhone, as well as Durif (Petite Sirah). In order for a winery to join the Rhone Rangers, they must produce at least one wine that contains 75 percent of any single approved varietal (or combination of these varietals). For more information, visit www.rhonerangers.org.
About City Winery Chicago
City Winery is the brainchild of Michael Dorf, founder of the legendary Knitting Factory, who wanted to create a space where he could combine his passions for wine and music. A unique facility, City Winery combines a fully functioning winery with intimate concerts, food & wine classes, private events in a variety of configurations, and fine dining. It offers the unique opportunity to make your own wine right in the city, with the best grapes being imported from around the US. City Winery believes music and wine pair well together, and offer cabaret-style concerts with dining most evenings. City Winery opened its first venue in New York City in December 2008, followed by City Winery Chicago in August 2012. For more information, visit www.citywinery.com/chicago/.