The official first day of summer, Thursday, June 21, will be greeted by the award-winning Fresno State Winery and the Farm Market at California State University, Fresno with a new Summer Solstice 4-Pack. The package features four popular wines, headlined by the 2003 California Solstice and the long awaited release of the 2006 San Joaquin County Chardonnay that has been out of stock for the last 18 months.

The other two wines in the special Solstice pack are the 2006 Muscat Canelli and the 2004 Cabernet. The pack of four, a $41.80 value, is available for $35.53. For a 12-bottle case valued at $125.40, the Solstice pack case special is $100.32 (plus tax).

All proceeds benefit agriculture research and programs at Fresno State.

The summer solstice – when the sun reaches its farthest northern point in the sky and creates the longest day of the year – will occur at 11:06 a.m. Thursday.

The Solstice special is a follow-up to the successful Solstice Celebration event that was held last year at the Farm Market when the first Fresno State Solstice wine was first released and became an instant hit, said Ganesan Srinivasan, director of the University Agricultural Laboratory.

“We expect that the Solstice wine release will become a tradition that will be observed annually in recognition of the seasonal change that was once an integral part of agricultural operations,” said Srinivasan.

“It is also an ‘educational fun’ way to celebrate the longest day of the year – with a glass of wine from the nation’s only university-operated winery bonded to bottle and sell its own wine.”

The 2003 California Solstice a red table wine described by Fresno State Winemaster Ken Fugelsang as “the perfect summer red,” is produced from Italian grape varieties from various San Joaquin Valley vineyards and made in the old-world style. It regularly sells for $5.95.

Fugelsang said Fresno State’s California Solstice – a medium-bodied red wine with a core of cherry and spice flavors coupled with bright acidity – will complement any summer meal.

Srinivasan said Farm Market customers have been waiting the past 18 months for the 2006 Chardonnay (regularly $12.95), which is made at the university winery using wine grapes from Duarte Linden Hills Vineyards in San Joaquin County. Duarte Vineyards one of five regional vineyards the Fresno State Winery partners with to produce many award-wining wines.

The 2006 Chardonnay has abundant pear and apple flavors coupled with a silky feel on the palette, and is best served chilled, Fugelsang said.

The 2004 San Joaquin County Cabernet Sauvignon (regularly $12.95) also is from Duarte Linden Hills Vineyards. Resulting from a special student-project conducted in 2004, this cabernet is characterized by smooth tannin and a nice bouquet of plum and cherry.

The 2006 Fresno County Muscat Canelli (regularly $9.95) is from John Diener Vineyards and has the signature honey-suckle flavor that is characteristic of Fresno state’s award-winning Muscat based wines.

The ag lab, known as the University Farm, consists of 1,080 acres on the northeast end of campus with 20 enterprises, such as the Fresno State Winery. Agricultural students work in the enterprises and their products are sold to the public in the Farm Market, where the Solstice special can be purchased.

The market, located at Chestnut and Barstow avenues, also is planning its annual summer celebration for June 30 (details to be announced later).

The Farm Market’s summer hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 559.278.4511.

Background: Fresno State is the first university in the United States with a winery that is licensed to produce and sell wine commercially (1997). Under the direction of the university’s winemaster and winemaker, students produce numerous varieties, many of which have received prestigious awards at international and national wine competitions. Fresno State Wines can be purchased at the Fresno State Farm Market, several retail outlets and at local restaurants. Proceeds from sales benefit College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology programs.

For more information contained in this release, please go to the following Web site(s):

Fresno State Winery

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