EDITORS: logo art of the new labels for the Summer Red Solstice wine and the raisins and almonds available at www.FresnoStateNews.com.
The longest day of the year is an opportunity to celebrate with a new red table wine being released by the Fresno State Winery — Solstice, “the perfect summer red.”
The wine is one among many highlights of the University Farm’s Summer Solstice Celebration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 21, at the Fresno State Farm Market, southeast corner of Chestnut and Barstow avenues.
The University Farm at California State University, Fresno also will unveil new packaging of student-produced value-added raisins and almonds and will demonstrate how to grill and serve seasonal vegetables with Fresno State Estate Reserve Olive Oil, released earthier this year.
The University Farm will present its new “FRESNO STATE FARM FRESH” theme, said Ganesan Srinivasan, director of the 1,000-acre farm at Fresno State that produces a variety of row crops, nuts, olives, vegetables, plants and flowers and fruit. The campus farm also includes the Fresno State Winery.
New banners and signs will promote the slogan. The new raisins and almond packaging reflects the University Farm’s campaign to establish and expand its brand identity that originally started when The Fresno State Winery presented a new look on its wine products in 2004. The label artwork, designed by Sugarman Design Group (SDG) of Fair Oaks, is now being used on all farm products and signage.
Also at the Summer Solstice celebration, the university’s Dairy Processing Unit will provide a preview of a new feature it will present in July: free ice cream tastings. Two new flavors —orange and watermelon ice cream — will be presented Wednesday for customers to sample and give their feedback. Beginning in July, the dairy will offer monthly tastings of new flavors on the second Tuesday of the month.
Last week, the university’s Avalon and Honey Yellow sweet corn was released and is also available through the summer.
“With fresh fruits and veggies, the recent arrival of white and yellow sweet corn, topped by a delicious new summer wine, the Summer Solstice event provides a great time to celebrate both the beginning of summer and the fruits of our labors in the past season,” Srinivasan said.
The new Solstice wine, produced from Italian grape varieties and made in the old-world style, will complement any summer meal, said Kenneth Fugelsang, Fresno State winemaster.
“The Summer Red Solstice wine is medium bodied with a core of cherry and spice flavors coupled with bright acidity,” Fugelsang said. “It’s a perfect summer red.”
A limited bottling of the Solstice was run. It will sell for $5.95 per bottle.
The new packaging for Fresno State raisins and almonds comes in 2oz, Hoz, and 1 lb. sizes.
“These are value added products, ie: chocolate, butterscotch and yogurt covered, both raisins and almonds, and almonds that are roasted and flavored — garlic/onion, salted, BBQ, jalaperio, honey roasted,” said Farm Orchard Manager Gino Favagrossa
At the barbecue demonstration Wednesday afternoon, Favagrossa will grill Fresno State farm fresh veggies that are available in the market at the time using the new Estate Reserve Olive Oil. He said squash, various varieties, and eggplant are the main ides right now as well as peppers if available.
“We will show different ways to use our olive oil in the preparation of barbecued vegetables as well as some serving ideas such as olive oil/balsamic dipping sauce,” Favagrossa said. “We may also be serving bread to dip in olive oil/balsamic dipping sauce for consumers to taste.”
The goal is to continue educating the Farm Market customer base on the various uses of olive oil while promoting the university’s farm fresh selections, he said.
“And of course Solstice Red wine goes great with anything on the barbecue,” Favagrossa said.
The Solstice was once an important factor in agriculture, notes Dr. Frederick Ringwald, physics professor at Fresno State.
“At the Summer Solstice, the Sun reaches its farthest northern point in the sky,” Ringwald said. “This was important to pre-industrial cultures who hadn’t yet invented clocks or calendars, since knowing the time of year is important for agriculture. It isn’t really a big deal now, since we’ve known how to build clocks since the 1300s, and a calendar accurate to within one day in 3000 years has been in use since 1582.”
The Farm Market’s summer hours are: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call 559.278.4511.