Celebrating the Release of Fresno State’s New Italian Wines
Six Italian varietals will be featured at the Vino Italiano wine-tasting on Thursday, April 21, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Fresno State Winery (2360 E. Barstow).
This annual event, presented by the winery with support from the Department of Viticulture and Enology at California State University, Fresno and the Enology Society, is open to the public. Admission is $10.
“The community is invited to join us for a casual evening in the winery among the tanks as we celebrate the release of several Italian varietals produced by our students,” said Robert Wample, chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology and director of the Viticulture and Enology Research Center.
As part of the hands-on educational experience offered by Fresno State’s viticulture and enology program, the general public will have an opportunity to converse with students about Fresno State’s Italian varietals and the university’s award-winning enology program.
Fresno State winemaster Ken Fugelsang, and winemaker, John Giannini, will also be present. Garrett Jones, marketing and sales director, will offer discounts on all of the featured wines at Vino Italiano.
“Of the six wines that will be featured, three of them are new releases,” said Jones. According to Jones, the wines will be presented with authentic Italian hors d’oeuvres according to their regional origin.
Fresno State’s newly released 2004 Muscat Canelli and 2003 Barbera wines will represent the northern region of Italy, along with Fresno State’s award-winning 2001 Barbera. Produced from valley grapes, the 2001 vintage is a highly decorated wine, receiving several gold medals and a best of class and best of variety at the 2003 New World International Wine Competition.
The Tuscan, or central region of Italy will be represented by the newly released 2003 San Joaquin County Sangiovese, described by Fugelsang as having abundant tart cherry and cranberry flavors.
Guests also will have the opportunity to take part in a special barrel-tasting of Fresno State’s 2004 Sangiovese, not yet released.
Wines from the southern region of Italy will include the 2002 Orange Muscat, and the 2002 Primitivo. Both wines have received honors at various wine competitions, including a best Muscat, best of class, and gold medal for the Orange Muscat at the 2004 New World International Wine Competition.
“The Orange Muscat is one of our popular dessert wines,” said Fugelsang.
Produced from grapes grown in Fresno County and Muscat Canelli brandy, this wine is known for its honey, hazelnut, apricot, and citrus flavors.
The 2002 Primitivo recognizes California State University, Fresno’s President John D.
Welty. Autographed bottles are available and are a great gift idea for graduation, said Jones.
Since 1997, the Fresno State Winery has continued to receive international acclaim for producing award winning wines.
“Vino Italiano’ is a great way for wine lovers and enthusiasts to learn more about our wines, and meet some of our enology students,” said Fugelsang. “Our informal atmosphere makes learning about wine fun. We look forward to another successful event.”
The $10 admission includes a complimentary taste of each of the featured wines, complimentary hors d’ oeuvres by Sam’s Italian Deli of Fresno, coffee and dessert, and an opportunity to purchase wine at a discount. A $5 admission discount is available for faculty, staff, students, alumni association members and members of the Fresno State Wine Club.
Vino Italiano registration forms are available on the winery’s web site at www.FresnoStateWinery.com. Pre-registration is encouraged by April 15.
Admission is payable at the door. Individuals must be 21 years of age or older to attend. The winery is located between Cedar and Maple). Parking is available in Lot Q on campus, west of the viticulture and enology facilities.
Inquiries about Vino Italiano or registration should be directed to Cynthia Wood by email at email@example.com or fax (559) 278-6619.
WINES FEATURED AT VINO ITALIANO 2005
2003 San Joaquin County Barbera – Duarte Linden Hills Vineyards. Our 2003 Barbera, produced from grapes grown by the Duarte family, features a bright ruby hue on the rim. Plums and cherries dominate the aroma and flavor of this wine. A round mouthfeel arising from moderate phenolic extraction is supported by firm acidity and a periphery of minerality. A perfect complement to any meal, our Barbera pairs nicely with red and white meat entrees.
2004 Fresno County Muscat Canelli – John Diener Vineyard. Produced from grapes grown in the John Diener Vineyard of western Fresno County, this wine features charming floral, pear, and peach aromas and flavors. Produced from 100% Muscat Canelli, this refreshingly balanced wine can be served as an apertif, and also pairs nicely with chesses, nuts, light desserts. Serve chilled. Limited production.
2003 San Joaquin County Sangiovese – Duarte Linden Hills Vineyards. Our 2003 Sangiovese, like its Italian counterparts, is a medium-bodied red table wine. Abundant tart cherry and cranberry flavors originating from fully-ripened fruit are balanced by soft vanilla and smoky notes from oak aging. A perfect complement to any meal, ours pairs nicely with red and white meat entrees. Limited availability.
Barrel Tasting: 2004 Sangiovese – not yet released. Other Award-Winning Wines:
2001 San Joaquin County Barbera – Duarte Linden Hills Vineyards. Produced from grapes grown in the Duarte family’s Linden Hills Vineyards near Linden, California, our Barbera’s bright ruby hues are followed by a core of cherry and berry flavors with spice and chocolate accents. This award-winning vintage pairs nicely with pasta, veal or beef dishes. 2003 NWIWC: Gold Medal, Best of Class, Best of Variety. Awards: 2003 Riverside International: Gold. 2003 Los Angeles County: Bronze. 2004 West Coast: Bronze. 2004 LA County: Gold and Bronze.
2002 Fresno County Orange Muscat – John Diener Vineyard. Orange Muscat grapes grown in the John Diener Vineyard and Muscat Canelli brandy unite to make this succulent wine with honey, hazelnut, apricot, and citrus flavors. The distillation of the Muscat Canelli was donated by St. George Spirits in Alameda, California. Served chilled, this wine pairs delightfully with light desserts, yet has the charisma to stand alone. Awards: 2004 NWIWC: Best Muscat, Best of Class, Gold Medal. 2004 LA County: Bronze. 2004 Orange County: Silver. 2004 Calif State Fair: Silver and Best of Class Other California Appellations. 2004 Grand Cru: Silver Medal.
2002 President’s Reserve San Joaquin County Primitivo – Duarte Linden Hills
Vineyards. Blackberry, cherry and boysenberry flavors combined with pepper and sweet oak define our 2002 President’s Reserve Primitivo. Like its award winning predecessor, grapes for our 2002 edition were grown in the Duarte family’s Linden Hills Vineyards near Linden, California. This extraordinary wine recognizes California State University, Fresno’s President John D. Welty. Awards: 2004 West Coast: Silver. 2004 LA County: Gold and Bronze. 2004 San Francisco International: Bronze. 2004 Grand Cru: Silver Medal.
Fresno State is the first university in the nation with a license to operate a winery as part of its overall educational program. Operated independent of the university by the Agricultural Foundation, the state received its license in 1998 and now sells its products at the university’s Farm Market, online at www.FresnoStateWinery.com, and in local retail outlets. All proceeds from the market benefit the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology programs.
For more information on the Department of Viticulture and Enology, call 559 278-2089 or visit http://cast.csufresno.edu/ve. For more information on the Fresno State Winery, call 559 278- WINE (9463) or visit www.FresnoStateWinery.com.