Finger Lakes Saperavi Festival May 14, 2022

The wine made from Saperavi grapes being grown in the eastern United States has been a secret shared by a small but growing group of wine lovers. It isn’t a secret anymore as Saperavi plantings have aggressively expanded throughout the East Coast. As a varietal or in any of its unique blends Saperavi is gaining fans and increasing its vineyard acreage as forward-thinking winemakers join a movement to explore the possibilities this ancient grape from the “Far side of the world” has to offer.

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Lasha Tsatava the Georgian Gastronomy Ambassador, Director @ Boston Sommelier Society, and co-founder of the non-profit Saperica about its upcoming Saperavi Festival in the New York Finger Lakes on Saturday, May 14th, 2022 at the Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery 9683 Middle Rd Hammondsport, NY.

My first question to Lasha was concerning what activities and attractions would be available to festival guests? Lasha told me that the entertaining and educational slate of attractions focuses on the food, wine, and culture of Georgia including:

  • Walkaround tasting of Saperavi & Rkatsiteli wines from the country of Georgia, the Finger Lakes of New York and beyond
  • Authentic Georgian cuisine created by Chama Mama restaurant from New York City (food included in ticket price)
  • Cooking demonstrations and educational seminars
  • Saperavi festival swag

My next question was why he and Erika Frey decided to start their nonprofit SAPERICA and what their mission was? Their reason for starting: SAPERICA saperica.org

“Saperavi has been growing in Finger Lakes, NY for about 50 years now. 

It’s a traditional grape variety for the region but not many people know about it.

Since June 2021, Erika and I had several trips to FLX and we would visit Saperavi and Rkatsiteli producers to learn more about them and discover their stories and their future plans with these grape varieties. At the same time, we were introducing the idea that these grape varieties have tremendous history and culture behind them including Georgian gastronomy. Every time we discussed these ideas with producers, people’s eyes lit up with excitement and there was a feeling that we needed to take the next step. So we did!” Their reason for starting Saperica and their mission statement complement each other perfectly!

http://SAPERICA.org mission statement: To promote Saperavi and other Georgian grape varieties along with Georgian gastronomy and culture in the Finger Lakes, NY, and around the U.S., by organizing and facilitating educational seminars and exchange programs between the regions, for wine and culinary professionals, and enthusiasts.

Lasha and Erika have worked closely with Meaghan Frank (Dr. Konstantin Frank’s great-granddaughter) of Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery and her team on this festival and prior events called “Finger Lakes Meet Georgia Experience”. These events were held conducted in a fully immersive environment where Erika, Lasha, and Meaghan educated, interacted, and guided their guests through the history and culture of Georgian wine before leading them back to the 1886 Reserve Tasting Room at the Frank Winery for a paired food and wine experience. One of the attendees told Lasha “This is why we fly to France and Italy to have experiences like this”

The first annual Saperavi Festival in the Finger Lakes will be held on Saturday, May 14th, 2022 from 2PM-5PM EDT at the Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery 9683 Middle Rd Hammondsport NY. Tickets can be purchased at http://eventbrite.com or click this link to go to the event page https://www.eventbrite.com/e/saperavi-festival-tickets-274172135237

The following photos are of a previous “Finger Lakes Meet Georgia Experience” at the Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery when Lasha and Erika collaborated with Meaghan and her team to highlight and explore the food, wine, and culture of Georgia.

Food & Wine Festival Venice, Italy

     The inaugural Venice Food & Wine Festival will be held May 3-6, 2018 at the J.W. Marriott Venice Resort & Spa in Venice, Italy.  Exquisite grounds and private-island (Isola delle Rose) ambience provide the perfect backdrop for

Main Entrance J.W. Marriott Photo Courtesy: J.W. Marriott Venice Resort & Spa

guests to indulge their epicurean curiosities with cooking demos, tastings and culinary-themed events while interacting with celebrity chefs. Notable names from the world of food, wine and spirits will guide attendees on unforgettable adventures. Among the internationally-renowned collection of chefs scheduled to appear are: Giancarlo Perbellini, Melissa Kelly, Scott Conant, Jonathan Waxman, Anthony Giglio and T.P. Fetherston, to name a few. 

Photo Courtesy J.W. Marriott Venice Resort & Spa

Tickets and accommodation packages are available at jwvenicefoodandwine.com now thru February 9, 2018 via an exclusive pre-sale to American Express card members before going on open sale.

If you are contemplating a visit to Venice this would be a unique opportunity to experience the luxurious J.W. Marriott Venice Resort and Spa with its Michelin-starred Dopolavoro restaurant, Sapori Cooking Academy and yes, resort-grown olive oil. Access to the heart of Venetian culture with all of its Old World treasures and local Vento traditions is only a short boat ride away. 

Photo Courtesy J.W. Marriott Venice Resort & Spa

 #jwveniceFW    #jwtreatment

 

Eat Drink S F Festival

sea-city-mountains-landmark-medium     I have become fascinated with the proliferation of food and wine festivals across the U.S. The well-known events take place in cities with a strong identity that form an immediate visual image of what you might expect to encounter there. When I say Nashville, Miami, New York or Newport your mind immediately goes to you impression of those areas. Now when I say Eat Drink San Francisco what comes to mind.

Eat Drink S F is being billed as San Francisco’s premier food and drink festival. The event will be at Fort Mason, San Francisco, California on August 25-28, 2016. The Grand tastings at EDSF can’t be described they have to be experienced. Thirty six of San Francisco’s best restaurants will be under the festival pavilion roof at Fort Mason. You will  sample delicious dishes from all of them plus drinks from over 70 beer, wine and spirit makers. Demonstrations on the main and food stages, as well as, beverage classes will be lead by experts in their own field of interest. This type of gathering brings together “Like-minded” people. When I say “Like-minded” people I mean people who enjoy good food and drink. After that there is a world of new ideas and opinions to be exposed to.

Tickets are $119.00+$7.97 fee for the GA Grand Tastings and $209.00+11.80fee for the V.I.P. Grand Tastings. Click here for a list of participating restaurants http://eatdrink-sf.com/talent/restaurants Click here for the list of chefs that will be appearing http://eatdrink-sf.com/talent/chefs EDSF is a 21+ event. Your ticket is good for admission and everything you care to eat and drink at the festival so can have fun and keep your wallet in your pocket. To buy tickets go to the festival website http://eatdrink-sf.com This event is using #EDSF for social media posts about it.

 

2014 TASTE Philadelphia Festival

wine fireworks     The 2014 TASTE Philadelphia Festival of Food, Wine and Spirits will be held at the Valley Forge Casino Resort King of Prussia, Pa October 15th – 17th, 2014.  This year’s festival will showcase the talents of local and celebrity chefs.  The featured guest Rocco DiSpirito will be joined by chefs Nicholas Elimi and Nicole Gaffeney.  The festival will also include wine, beer & spirit seminars, wine & spirit tastings, bottle signings and much more.  Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.gourmetshows.com/philly or by calling 609-398-4450.  Some of the events are being offered at a reduced price online and group discounts are available by phone. 

3 Pennsylvania Wine Festivals

     May 8th thru May 10th will be the dates for three separate wine festivals presented by Fine Wine & Good Spirits, which is the retail arm of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (P.L.C.B.) who control and regulate all alcohol sales in Pennsylvania. 

Wine Festival in Hershey will be held Wednesday May 8th on the Concourse at the Giant Center in Hershey Pa.  V.I.P. Tasting is 5:00-6:30 P.M. with tickets $95 per person and Grand Tasting 6:30-8:30 P.M. with tickets $45 per person.  Parking for the event will be free and festivities benefit Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.  For more information, including a list of vintners go to http://www.winefestivalinhershey.com

Pittsburgh Wine Festival will be held Thursday May 9th at Heinz Field East & West Club Lounges with V.I.P. Tasting 5:00-7:00 P.M. and Grand Tasting 7:00-9:00 P.M..  Ticket prices for the V.I.P. Tasting are $250 per person and $125 per person for the Grand Tasting with the V.I.P. guests welcome to stay and enjoy the entire evening.  This is the eleventh year for this event and will feature 165 vendors showcasing 500 different wines while benefiting innovation and discovery at U.P.M.C..  Pittsburgh Wine Festival is running a special limited time price offer of two Grand Tasting tickets for the price of one and can be accessed at http://www.pittsburghwinefestival.com.

The New Philadelphia Wine & Food Festival is Friday May 10th at Lincoln Financial Field SCA Club from 5:30-9:30P.M..  This year’s expanded program combines food, 600 different wines, access to wine makers and chefs coupled with demonstrations, educational sessions and intimate tastings.  A silent auction will be held throughout the evening with the proceeds benefiting the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  V.I.P. Tasting with early entry 5:30-9:30 P.M. is $250 and Grand Tasting with general admission 7:00-9:30P.M. $125 per person.  To purchase tickets and get more information go to www.phillymag.com/wineandfoodfest/index.hmtl

Lakeview Festival of Food & Wine

At San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival.

Wine & Food Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     Lakeview Golf Resort & Spa in Morgantown, W.V. will be hosting their 29th Annual Festival of Food & Wine January 18-20, 2013.  The theme this year is “The Art of Entertaining” and will feature culinary workshops, cooking classes, gourmet food and wine tastings.  The annual Iron Chef competition will once again be contested by a field of celebrity chefs.  Weekend and day resort packages are available, for more information call 800-624-8300 or visit http://www.LakeviewResort.com