The third annual “Fresno State Winemaster’s Weekend” — a smashing sell-out success last year —takes centerstage March 5 and 6 at the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite with many new features planned as connoisseurs from throughout the state discover this growing culinary and enology treasure.
Tenaya Lodge — the Four-Diamond Tenaya resort owned and operated by Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts — and California State University, Fresno will again blend award-winning wines and gourmet food against the backdrop of the majestic Sierra Nevada for this showcase event.
Kenneth Fugelsang, Fresno State’s world-renown winemaster, and Frederick Clabaugh, Tenaya executive chef, will pair their talents using Fresno State wine and agricultural products as guests partake in such events such as a meet the winemaker reception, food and music pairing workshops, culinary demonstrations and a barrel-making seminar.
The highlight of the event is a six-course gourmet dinner on Saturday, March 6 featuring food products from Fresno State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, planned and prepared by Clabaugh.
Each course will be paired with wines, hand-crafted by viticulture and enology students at Fresno State’s award-winning winery, accompanied by an overview of the wines and the winemaking style
presented by Fugelsang.
The weekend begins Friday with a Welcome Wine Reception from 6 to 8 p.m. where early bird guests can meet Fugelsang, Clabaugh and event guest speakers. Three varieties of Fresno State wines will be served.
A new event, Wine and Music Pairing, will be presented from 8 to 9 p.m. when Clark Smith, winemaker for WineSmith of Sebastopol and co-owner of Vinovation Inc. of Sebastopol, will present a fun, interactive and entertaining event demonstrating how good wine and good music complement each other.
Fresno State wines, cheeses, nuts and fruits will be served.
On Saturday, another new event will start the day from 10 to 11:30 a.m. — the Wine Barrel Making Demonstration.
Steve Tillman of Mendocino Cooperage will present an up close and personal chance to learn the art of barrel making and the impact and influence on the winemaking process.
Fresno State sausages, cheeses and port will be served.
From 1:30 to 2:30 pm., a Culinary Demonstration (Wine and Food Pairing Workshop) will be presented for the second year.
Clabaugh and Fugelsang will present an interactive discussion of wine and food pairing plus demonstration of a three-course culinary feast to include: Chilled Spiced Watermelon Soup with Jicama Jalapeno Salsa, Pan Seared California Halibut with Citrus Tarragon Salsa and Strawberry Tart with Chocolate Almond Crust.
Food and wine samples will be served at the workshop, which will be moderated by wine writer Mike Stepanovich of Bakersfield.
Saturday evening’s main event begins with the Winemaster Dinner Reception from 6:30 to 7 p.m. featuring the 2003 San Joaquin County Primitivo Rosé.
The six-course Winemaster’s Dinner follows from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. featuring:
• Green, Italian Olive Tapanade and aged Balsamic Syrup 2001 San Joaquin County Barbera
• Butter Poached Sea Bass with Opal Basil Jelly 2003 California Pinot Gris
• Intermezzo 2000 Pristine California Chardonnay
• Pan Seared Beef Filet Wrapped in Bacon with Almond Gremolade, Port Syrup and Apricot Risotto 2002 San Joaquin County Petite Syrah
• Sausage Cassoulette, Rattlesnake Beans and Roasted Peppers with Baby Spinach and Radicchio Salad
2001 Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon
• Orange, Banana, Pistachio and Chocolate Parfait 2002 Fresno County Orange Muscat
One- and two-night packages for the Winemaster’s Weekend include lodging (double occupancy), all event workshops, demonstrations, receptions and two tickets to the gourmet winemaster’s dinner. Cost for the one-night package is $329 and the two-night package is $429.
The price for attending the dinner only is $85 per person, including wine, tax and gratuity.
For reservations or more information, contact the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite at (877) 322-5492 or visit online at www.tenayalodge.com.
For more information about Fresno State wines, visit www.fresnostatewinery.com. For more information about the Department of Viticulture and Enology, visit http://cast.csufresno.edu/ve/. BACKGROUND
California State University, Fresno, the first university in the nation to establish a bonded winery on-campus, operates a 160-acre vineyard on campus through its auxiliary foundation. Since 1997, students and winemakers have produced several vintages from grapes grown both on-and off-campus, many of which have received top honors at prestigious wine competitions.
The 244-room Tenaya Lodge is situated on 35 acres bordering the Sierra Nevada National Forest and two miles from the south entrance to Yosemite National Park. Along with exceptional accommodations and spectacular Sierra views, the Four-Diamond mountain resort offers an indoor pool and whirlpool, fitness center with sauna and steam rooms, rejuvenating spa treatments, and a full roster of seasonal recreational activities.
Tenaya Lodge is owned and operated by Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts (DNCPR), one of the nation’s leading hospitality management companies. DNCPR provides visitor services for 12 visitor destinations throughout the country including nearby Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.