Fresno State Centennial wine releases May 3

As part of California State University, Fresno’s 100th anniversary celebration, the award-winning Fresno State Winery is releasing its commemorative Centennial Cuvee during a special release event 11-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 3.

Dr. John D. Welty, university president, will be joined by a delegation of officials and students for the release at the Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market (5370 N. Chestnut Ave.). Winemaster Kenneth Fugelsang and winemaker John Giannini will be there, too.

“Our Centennial Cuvee symbolizes Fresno State’s strength over 100 years as we’ve progressed from a teachers college to a modern university, acclaimed for agricultural education and other award-winning programs,” Welty said. “This commemorative vintage is a testament to the quality of wine from our region and to all the people who make this region a success.”

The wine’s release is timed to precede the May 14 Centennial Gala in the Save Mart Center and the 100th Commencement on May 21 – the final major events on the university’s Centennial celebration calendar.

Joining Welty at the free public release event will be Dr. Charles Boyer, dean of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, and Dr. James Kennedy, chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology Department and director of the Viticulture and Enology Research Center at Fresno State.

Enology students from Fugelsang’s production class, who worked on the vintage, also will be on hand to discuss their academic involvement in the Centennial Cuvee, which will sell for $19.95 per bottle.

The student-produced wine is a Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec from the 2009 vintage, Fugelsang said. Each grape varietal was fermented and aged separately for 14 months, before the blend was assembled in February, during the Centennial year.

“The Centennial Cuvee is a full-bodied red blend that features dark cherry and blueberry,” said winemaker Giannini. “Firm tannins are supported by hints of spice and vanilla.”

The 300 cases of Centennial Cuvee were bottled March 22 at the campus winery. The label was designed by University Communications graphic artist Todd Graves.

The wine will be sold at the Gibson Farm Market (Chestnut and Barstow avenues). Discounts are available for full cases.

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