Alpen Wine Festival a Squaw Valley Tradition
  • Linda J. Bottjer, 8:25am, 9/1/2011


    There will be plenty of whining at the Village of Squaw Valley. That is whining without the “h” and it is for a good cause.

    The 23rd Annual Alpen Wine Festival  Sunday, Sept. 4 will present more than 40 wineries, live music, silent auction and food to raise money for benefit Can Do Multiple Sclerosis.

    CDMS is a national nonprofit organization lifestyle empowerment programs for people with MS and their support partners.

    Terry Hurt, a volunteer director, said close to 200 people and their caregivers from the Bay Area through Reno benefit from the encouraging programs. The goal is to assist in those afflicted with the autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) on how to live healthier lives not defined by the disease.

    The event in 2010 raised both glasses and more than $25,000.

    Wineries from across the state will be offering unlimited tastings in a commemorative crystal wine glass.

    From Mendocino Valley, Dogwood Cellars will be offer its 2006 Mendocino Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep in density with layers of summer berries and dark chocolate it ages well. Other wines include 2006 Mendocino Meritage, 2008 North Coast Blendo and a 2007 Dry Creek Syrah and a Mendocino Zinfandel of the same vintage.

    Owner Doug Hackett wrote in an email that his involvement with the festival goes back several years.

    “I always come back because I love Squaw, love the people, love the vib, love the cause,” he wrote.

    LangeTwins of Lodi is a fifth-generation family farm renowned for their wines, especially their Chardonnays and Zinfandels.

    “As a sustainable (that means active too!) family winery and vineyards, the Tahoe area is a natural fit for us,” wrote Joe Lange in response to why the Central Valley winery attends the event.

    Some wineries do not have to travel as far to attend the event.

    Nevada County’s Lucchesi Vineyards and Winery are bringing five wines from their 20 acres of steeply terraced terrain called the “View Forever Vineyard”. The tropical and citrus fruit and menthol scented 2009 Chardonnay pairs well poultry, light seafood and mild cheeses. The 2007 Port features equal parts of Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Cão.

    Rhône Valley influences come naturally at Mount Aukum Winery, which is making its third appearance at the event. Located in the Fair Play area of neighboring El Dorado County the family’s French roots when combined with their high altitude grapes can produce a crowd favorite like the 2007 Apogee.

    Blended with a master’s touch, it is 40 percent Rhone Syrah and 30 percent Petite Sirah with additional flavorful elegance from Bordeaux Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Its big taste can stand up to any depth of char on grilled meats, duck entrees and tomato based dishes.

    El Dorado County’s wines will also be represented by Holly’s Hill Vineyards.

    Among the wines event attendees can taste will be a 2010 El Dorado Grenache Rosé with its citrus, cherry and strawberry flavors and well-balanced acidity and 2009 El Dorado Patriarche. The latter red is a blend of mostly Mourvedre with 23 percent Syrah and added Grenache Noir and Counoise.

    The majority of wines served at the event will be available for purchase at Uncorked at Squaw in the Village.

    Adding to the event will be continuous jazz music by the Jackie Landrum Band and the Tristan Selzler Trio and a silent auction and raffle, which includes lodging packages, restaurant gift certificates, lift tickets, art and unique wines.

    The can do proves summer’s end can be delicious.

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