Cheesy Chat with Pastoral
When we talk about the elusive notion of terroir, not only is the environment – soil type, weather, and vintage – an integral part to creating a sense of place but another necessary, though often overlooked factor, is the winemaker himself. Albert Jané from Acústic Celler and Ritme is one such character who not only recognizes the importance of land and vine but also remains true to his personal winemaking style no matter where the juice hails from.
Based in Spain’s Catalonia region, Jané works in both Montsant and Priorat. Located in the northeastern Iberian Peninsula, Priorat’s claim to fame is rooted in the unique soil type – llicorella. This soil is a blend of black slate and quartz. Often imparting a vibrant acidity, Priorat’s wines are known for a dense, rich style. Montsant, while considered a lesser known region between the two, nearly encircles the entire Priorat area. The trick with Montsant is that while this area may not have the same regard as Priorat, this region exports nearly 62% of its wine.
Either way, Garnacha, Samso, Garnacha Blanc and Macabeo, are the heavy hitter varietals for these areas and each grape, depending on location, showcases a distinct and one-of-kind vibe directly related to the home soil’s composition. With a focus on these four grape varietals, Albert Jané has two separate parcels in Catalonia and creates two distinct lines of wine named Acústic Celler and Ritme. Acústic Cellers is located in Montsant, using vines between 35 and 80 years old producing small yields of very high qaulity grapes. With a name meaning acoustic, these of Jané’s wines speak to the melodic elegance varietals pure and untouched bring to a wine, just as a guitar brings to music sans electricity. Convexly, his second label Ritme, meaning rhythm, is located in Priorat and utilizes hand harvested varietals as well as native yeasts to showcase the balance, or rhythm, between landscape and grape. While the two lines share a winemaker, Jané hopes to evoke how the two different regions vary in style and taste.
To test the concept of terroir, join us at Appellation on Thursday, June 9th with Albert Jané himself to see how exactly this notion of sense of place and terroir truly works. With limited seats in our wine wall area, this three course wine dinner will be sure to inspire and enlighten on the topic of Spanish wine and style.
Born from a love of all things Italian, Giornata showcases Italy’s traditional varietals in a new setting: the Central Coast of California, in Paso Robles to be exact. Initially starting with one barrel of handpicked nebbiolo, husband and wife team – Brian and Stephanie Terrizzi – have become key players in the Cal-Ital movement. A handful of producers have found luck growing and producing Italian-inspired wines from California soil. With a rustic edge, these showstopper Cali wines reflect an Italian sensibility alongside pure fruit and exquisite depth. Giornata’s offerings are no exception. Sicilian in heritage, Brian found himself inspired by not only the country’s unique and varied grapes but also the winemaking style. After working for Rosenblum Cellars, Brian traveled to Tuscany where he worked alongside Paolo DeMarchi at Isole e Olena where he gained invaluable knowledge and experience.
Stephanie, or Stephy as she is sometimes called, discovered her passion for wine while employed at a wine bar in Illinois of all places! Earning her advanced sommelier certificate from WSET Court of Master Sommeliers, Stephy and Brian make a formidable team when it comes to balanced winemaking and vineyard management. We here at Pastoral are so pleased to have Stephy in town to show off Giornata’s wares during our Artisan Producer Fest Saturday April 30th from 11am to 3pm at the Chicago French Market (131 n. Clinton).
Read on for a sneak peek of what Stephy will pour at Giornata’s table.
Giornata “il Campo Bianco” Field Blend
A field blend in the truest sense of the term, the “il Campo Bianco” varies vintage to vintage as the best grapes are picked to make this refreshing and clean white. Utilizing all Italian varietals, Fruilano, Vermentino, Pinot Grigio and even Fiano are known to make the cut. The grapes are crushed, destemmed and soaked on their skins for a few hours and then gently basket-pressed into stainless steel where the wine is naturally fermented. Light and fresh without the addition of oak to weigh heavily upon the pure fruit, the bianco is bright and citrusy with an underlying flinty quality made for hot sun.
Giornata “il Campo Rosso” Field Blend
Giornata’s signature house style, the “il Campo Rosso”, is a blend of mostly Sangiovese with Barbera, Nebbiolo and Aglianico. Similar to the bianco, the grapes are destemmed and gently pressed, then fermented without the addition of yeast or commercial bacteria. Once fermentation is complete, the wine sees 11 months in neutral oak and stainless steel before bottle. With only 400 cases produced, this medium to fuller-bodied quaffer is loaded with cherry and boysenberry fruit tones, highlighted by a bracing acidity and rustic texture. Herbaceous notes of sage alongside cocoa and hints of leather balance the fruit and add a pleasing depth to the grippy finish.
We've unveiled a new selection of artisan bread offerings from local Alsatian-inspired bakery -La Fournette. Follow us here and on Facebook all week long as we tell you a little bit about each of the breads we'll be carrying from World Champion Baker, Pierre Zimmermann.
A traditional Alsatian bread, beer bread has a moist crumb due to the addition of mashed potatoes and a crispy crust due to the beer mixture. The crispy crust is due to the rye flour, salt, yeast and beer applied only to the outside of the bread. The spongy crumb and rustic exterior make this the perfect bread for hearty soups and stews or as the base of delicious sandwich.
This a classic rustic French bread, a rectangular loaf with a crisp, brown crust and tender interior. It’s simplicity makes it the perfect companion to soup or as a classic French sandwich with a bit of ham, butter and peppery arugula.
Stop by any of our 3 locations in the city of Chicago to have one of our cheesemongers create the perfect selection of artisan cheese, La Fournette bread, accouterments and wine - just for you!
At Pastoral, our wine portfolio focuses on small-batch artisan wines that pair perfectly with food and there's an overwhelming number of Turkey-friendly wines out there. To make things a little easier for you, we have a few recommendations, not only for your turkey dinner, but for any holiday occasion where hearty, rustic and comforting food is abundant.
Sparkling wines are perfect for the holidays. With a delightful POP! and effervescent bubbles, they are by their nature celebratory and pair so well with everything on the table, cutting through rich fats and sauces.
- Furlan Prosecco – Just a touch of residual sugar but with enough to acidity to keep things fresh. $18.99
- Champagne Camille Saves – Every day should call for Champagne but sometimes people need a special occasion. Not just for the connoisseurs; this is the perfect way for everyone to celebrate family and friends coming together. $59.99
Riesling is a great option because it is such a diverse varietal. It can be sweet, dry, highly acidic or fruity.
- Keller Riesling Trocken (Trocken is German for dry) – This bone dry Riesling is ideal because it can liven up an over-cooked turkey but also has the acidity to cut through all the gravy. $22.99
- Guiberteau Saumur Blanc - Chenin is so versatile, with just enough weight and a touch of honeysuckle. $24.99
Depending on the palate of your guests, and the complexity of flavors in the dishes you're serving, you can go heavier or lighter when it comes to red wines and Thanksgiving.
Heavier wines are great for standing up to bold, deep flavors; it's important to find wines that complement and don't overpower lighter dishes.
- Field Recordings ‘Fiction’ - This should be on every table whether it comes in a bottle or a CAN - juicy, spicy and robust but it has just enough acidity to keep it from being flabby. The perfectly-portioned cans are a great mix of classy, yet casual for those hosting a low-key 'Friends-giving'. The higher ABV is helpful because sometimes its your turn to be the drunk relative at Thanksgiving. $19.99
On the lighter side the safe bet is Pinot Noir. A lighter-bodied wine allows light, delicate herbs to shine and acts as a beautiful backdrop for your meal.
- Brooks 'Runaway Red' Pinot Noir – A great introduction to Oregon Pinot Noir that maintains cherry fruit but also a touch of savory, earthy mushroom. $19.99
Look for our turkey tags in stores to indicate which wines make for perfect pairings.
Don't forget our case discounts! We offer 5% off of six or more bottles and 10% off of 12 or more, even mixed selections.
Make a List and Check it Twice - Our NEW Gourmet Gift Catalog Has Arrived!
From the cheese and wine novice, to the discriminating gourmand, our new gift guide features collections that serve as a guided exploration of some of our favorite products.
We pride ourselves on taking the time to not only sell artisan products we deeply care about, but to also give our customers the opportunity to expand their knowledge of artisan foods with each visit to our stores. These educational gift collections bring that signature Pastoral experience right to your door so you can taste your way to cheese expertise!
BACK TO BASICS
Treat your favorite foodies to a little beginner's luck with a delicious introduction into the world of cheese and wine pairings. Cheese 101 makes the world of artisan cheese is a lot less intimidating with a collection of varied styles and flavors to introduce you to the basics of cheese. Pair it with Wine 101 which features classic varietals from familiar regions that offer a straightforward introduction into the vast world of wine.
We are also very excited to introduce a new Windy City-inspired collection - Chicago Farmer's Market - which features a few of the delightful products you'll find at our seasonal outdoor markets all over the city. This collection of fluffy, fresh chèvre from Champaign, crisp housemade toastettes, spicy, spreadable Calabrian salami and sweet heirloom tomato relish is just a small taste of what our city has to offer from our talented locals.
Gifts for every occasion are also featured this year, like the Comfort Food collection which includes comforting array of sweet, savory and familiar treats when you can't deliver a hug in person. Slightly salted French butter, old school Wisconsin brick cheese spread and sweet ginger pickles provide a salty balance to the sweet, nutty Gruyère, fluffy, double cream Manchester and flaky oat cakes. Delightfully crisp chocolate-covered pretzels provide the perfect sweet and crunchy finish to this heartwarming spread.
If you find yourself looking for a bounty of handcrafted and indulgent treats to express thanks when a card and flowers won't do, the Gourmet Gratitude features a variety of distinct salami, cheese and pantry items to show your thanks. Rich and complex Caveman Blue pairs beautifully with raw honey from Spain and uniquely spiced chocolate ‘salami’ from Olympia Provisions. Pickled mustard seeds add sharp acidity and unique texture to a savory, spicy Alpine and earthy goat salami. Locally crafted preserves in sophisticated flavors are a sweet, yet subtle accompaniment to smooth aged goat cheese from LaClare Farms.
Abundant gifts like the globally-inspired World Traveler feature world class products that are the best in their category. The Connoisseur goes beyond the basics of artisan cheese to explore the world of elegant, esoteric cheeses, rich in history and complex flavors.
SHOP IN STORES & ONLINE
Visit us at any of our 4 retail locations in the city of Chicago, including our brand new location in Andersonville which features a full-service, 75 seat restaurant - Appellation . You can alsoshop online for in-store pickup , local delivery and nationwide shipping .
After much anticipation we are very excited to announce the opening of our fourth Pastoral retail location and second full-service restaurant, Appellation in Andersonville! We're thrilled to join the community and invite you into this 3,800 square foot space which features the products and menu items you already love, as well as a 75-seat restaurant and wine bar where you can experience them all together.
Appellation - A Wine Bar & Restaurant with a Sense of Place
Located inside of the new retail store, Appellation will offer guests a simple but amazing approach to food and wine with a sense of place, in a warm, inviting space. The restaurant’s name and menu inspires guests to appreciate the place of origin for each ingredient and wine pairing, as well as the farmers and producers with whom Pastoral has built great relationships over time. Chef Jesse Williams, a former Pastoral cheesemonger, has crafted an inaugural dinner menu featuring a range of rustic and creative cuisine using high-quality ingredients that highlight the notable cheeses Pastoral has championed for more than 10 years.
MAILLE MUSTARD NOW AVAILABLE IN THE MIDWEST
To accent our charcuterie station, we are very excited to feature exclusive White Wine mustard on tap from Maille, which is available in just two American locations outside of Chicago. Sharp, spicy and remarkably fresh, this draft mustard is unlike any you've experienced before. We will also carry several varieties of Maille’s premium jarred mustards, including Blackcurrant, Cognac, Walnut, Lemon & Harissa, as well as a premium Hazelnut oil.
We are looking forward to sharing this new space and exciting retail and restaurant concept with our new neighbors in Andersonville and the city we've called home for over a decade. Please join us for the celebrations, hope to see you there!
- Ken Miller & Greg O'Neill
Oregon Pinot Camp Recap
I recently had the incredible opportunity to attend the 16th Annual Oregon Pinot Camp (OPC) in the Willamette Valley. The camp was started in 2000 by several of the region’s best wineries as a way to showcase their wines to the rest of the country. This year, there were 50 local wineries on hand to meet and sample their wares to 240 wine industry professionals from around the country and around the world. OPC is three days of intensive study on the story of Oregon Pinot Noir both in the vineyard and in the winery.
DAY OF ARRIVAL: A RELIGIOUS RIESLING EXPERIENCE
I arrived in Portland around noon on Saturday and arranged a ride to the pre-Pinot Camp, Oregon Riesling Revival Pool Party at the home of one of the host winery’s winemakers. The party was sponsored by a group of wineries:
- Elk Cove
- Anne Amie
- Bethel Heights
They all brought along their current releases of Riesling as well as some older vintages to share — to make sure Riesling wouldn’t be forgotten after all the Pinot Noir we’d be drinking the next three days.
Opening Night Festivities at Sokol Blosser
After the Riesling Revival it was off to my hotel in Newberg to check in and get cleaned up before heading to Sokol Blosser for the opening night festivities. All 50 wineries were in attendance pouring their current releases — including some whites and rosé, which were a treat considering the temperature outside was pushing 100 degrees.
Event Highlight: 1998 The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir
David Lett’s Eyrie Vineyard was the first to plant Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley 50 years ago – the ’98 was alive and well and maintained the classic cherry fruits and earthy edge that makes Oregon Pinot Noir so fascinating.
DAY 1: THE STORY OF OREGON PINOT — AND SOIL!
Sunday started early with a 7:45 am bus trip to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum for breakfast with a view that included Howard Hughes’ famous Spruce Goose airplane. After breakfast we headed over to the museum’s auditorium where every camper was introduced to the winemakers from all 50 wineries. The last winemaker introduced was Jason Lett from The Eyrie Vineyards who spoke with passion about carrying on his father’s vision of making the Willamette Valley a world class Pinot Noir destination.
My first stop of the day was St. Innocent Winery’s Zenith Vineyard in Salem where we walked the vineyard for three unique seminars on topics from canopy management to a study of soil via a 5-foot-deep trench that highlighted the vineyard’s marine sedimentary soils, known locally as WillaKenzie. These soils reside at lower elevations in the valley and are a result the Missoula floods that swept through the area centuries ago.
Left : Marine Sedimentary Soil Right : Jory Soil
The next stop was Brooks Winery in Amity, which rests above an entirely different subsoil. The vines at Brooks are growing in Jory, the region’s famous volcanic soil that’s loaded with Iron heavy Basalt which adds a beautiful red tint to the earth.
The day ended with ice-cold beers and a Q&A session with the winemakers.
Sunday Dinner at Anne Amie
Sunday’s dinner was hosted by Anne Amie winery in Carlton. The amazing view of the coastal mountain range to the west was a stellar vantage point for one of the greatest sunsets I’ve ever seen.
Half of the 50 wineries were showcasing their wines that night, including several large-format bottles and plenty of older vintages — both educational and delicious! I was seated randomly with a group from Penner-Ash Winery who just happened to be pouring a 3-liter of their 2005 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir.
Event Highlight: A Surprising Blind Tasting
Another highlight of the evening was doing a blind tasting with Jason Lett from The Eyrie Vineyards. He poured me a wine that I knew right away to be Cabernet Sauvignon. I knew the wine had some age to so I guessed it was from the mid-1990s. I was shocked to learn that the wine was from 1976! The wine was still vibrant, especially given its age — the fruit was sourced from Washington at a time when no one was sure Pinot Noir would succeed in Oregon, and the Letts were just doing their best to keep the dream alive.
DAY 2: INSIDE THE WINERIES
We spent Monday visiting wineries in Dayton. My first stop was Domaine Drouhin, owned by the Drouhin family who has a long history of winemaking in Burgundy who were early adopters of the potential of Oregon Pinot Noir. The day’s first seminar was “The Multiple Personalities of Oregon Pinot Noir,” my favorite seminar from the entire event. We tasted through three flights of six wines — the last two flights were blind — with the emphasis being on figuring out how different factors like soil, vintage, vineyard practices and production methods affect Oregon Pinot Noir.
Our second stop was at Lemelson Winery, where we got to witness the process of getting wine from grape to glass. The final stop of the day was at the stunningly beautiful Soter Winery for a seminar called “Hunting the Great White.” The seminar, a refreshing break from tasting literally hundreds of Pinot Noirs the previous two days, focused on Oregon Pinot Gris, Riesling and Chardonnay.
Event Highlight: Stunning Whites
Oregon wineries are really striving to make world-class whites to match their Pinot Noirs — in my opinion, they’re already there when it comes to Riesling, but they’re still playing catch-up with their Chardonnays.
Monday Dinner at Stoller Winery
Monday’s dinner was incredible and featured the other 25 wineries that didn’t pour at Sunday’s dinner. The main event was an Oregon salmon bake with whole fish cooked over open flames. By pure chance I was lucky enough to be seated with Janie Brooks Heuck from Brooks Winery. She is one of the nicest people in the industry and was extremely helpful in making my OPC experience so wonderful. Dinner ended with s’mores roasted over the open flames followed by the entire OPC group descending upon Dundee’s favorite karaoke dive bar, Lumpy’s.
DAY 3: WINE WIZARDRY
Tuesday afforded campers the opportunity to choose their own adventure and I went with Wine Wizardry at Brooks Winery, sponsored by Brittan Vineyards, Brooks and Winderlea. We broke off into three groups, each one led by one of the winemakers. We tasted through six wines made from different clones (nerd alert!), soils or oak treatment — and then we were tasked with blending our own wine from any of the samples. We also had to brand and pitch our newly created wine to the entire group. My group didn’t win, but it sure was fun to pretend to be a winemaker for the afternoon to conclude my time at OPC.
Event Highlight: Oysters and Riesling
An added bonus at the day 3 event was having lunch at the winery. Our feast at Brooks started with fresh oysters and a sampling of their bone-dry Riesling. The crisp acidity of the wine was a pristine match with the salinity of the oyster.
POST CAMP FUN: EXPLORING PORTLAND
Although the official events were finished, I ended my trip with one last hurrah with Janie after she was able to give several campers a ride back to Portland. Janie, fellow Chicago camper Patti Robison (from Vera) and I finished out our trip with a bottle of bubbles at Ambonnay Champagne Bar in Portland. We drank a bottle of Champagne Savart ‘Bulle de Rosé’, which, fittingly, was made from mostly Pinot Noir.
I learned a lot at OPC and was lucky to be a part of such a great event. It was nice to be there with several Chicago friends but it was also rewarding to be surrounded by so many other industry professionals. There’s definitely a sense of camaraderie among everyone involved in making and selling Oregon Pinot Noir and it was enlightening to see just how passionate they are about what they are doing.
I’ve always thought that in their early days, Oregon Pinot Noir was trying to emulate the great wines of Burgundy. However after my experience in the Willamette Valley, I realized these winemakers have truly embraced their own identity and become confident in making great wines that showcase everything Oregon has to offer.
As the seasons change and warmer weather arrives, most people start popping corks on light and refreshing white wine and Rosé. With good reason, both styles of wine are perfect for al fresco drinking with sunshine and good friends. However, just because it’s warm out doesn’t mean you can’t also be drinking light and refreshing red wines.
Here are some keys for picking out red wines for summertime:
- Look for wines that are lower in alcohol - wines with higher ABV % tend to be hot and will overwhelm the palate.
- Search out wines with light tannins – tannins tend to dry out your palate.
- Wines that spend little or no time in oak barrels - too much oak makes wines heavier on the palate and imparts rich flavors.
- Avoid varietals that tend to be too heavy on the palate - wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are more robust varietals that tend be more dense.
Here are some of our favorite Summer reds which we recommend serving with a slight chill:
This naturally made Dolcetto is light and fruity with cherry fruits and balancing acidity. It is perfect with pretty much anything coming off a grill.
Gamay is an underappreciated varietal that often gets overlooked due to Beaujolais Nouveau. However, when in the hands of passionate winemakers it really starts to show off. The wine is a lightweight with refreshing acidity and almost now tannin.
From the elevated steep slopes of granite in Alto Adige. Also known as Trollinger, a fun and focused wines with generous cherry fruit on the nose and palate.
Classic strawberry and cherry fruits with just a touch of earthy goodness.
An unoaked Garnacha that takes well to a chill which helps show off flavors of dark cherry, earth and a sprinkling of rose petals.
Spring is a wonderful time to explore seasonal varieties of artisan cheeses which aren't typically available year round, or hit the peak of perfection when paired with the flavors of the season. Nothing beats a classic grilled cheese or dunking a fresh baguette into a velvety bloomy rind, but here are a few of the ways we're branching out our cheese repertoire this Spring.
Melting a few slices of Gruyere into an omelet is sure to enhance the most important meal of the day, but citrusy, fluffy cheese like sheep milk Brebis or fresh chèvre are wonderful breakfast staples. Topped with fresh fruit, honey, preserves, or olive oil these cheeses are lower in fat while imparting the important protein, vitamins, calcium and minerals you need to start your day.
One of the best parts of Spring dining is the bounty of fresh, green vegetables. Sweet peas, asparagus, artichokes and ramps are all amazing when paired with the naturally grassy and lactic cheeses coming into season. A bright salad of shaved asparagus or celery drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper pairs perfectly with a grating of Etude from Andante Dairy. Try it over chilled Spring pea and ricotta ravioli for a bright yet filling pasta salad for warmer months.
Covered in Herbs
A large part of why artisan cheese is so delicious is that the farmers (who are oftentimes, also the cheesemakers) who care for the animals providing the milk truly care about their herd and the land they are raised on. Their lush surroundings, vibrant scenery and healthy diet imparts a signature herbal, grassy and earthy flavor into a lot of the fresh Spring cheeses you will find in our case this time of year. For that reason, cheese aged in a covering of herbs or whipped with fresh ones is such a harmonious combination. Most people are familiar with goat cheese coated in herbs like Dutch Girl Creamery's Chèvre Frais, but a unique offering like Pecorino Camomilla - coated in chamomile tea is a delightful addition to a Spring cheese plate.
Start 'Kidding' Around
Spring is known to the cheesemaking community as 'kidding season' - the time when baby goats are born and there is an abundance of fresh goat milk. You'll find that most goat cheese aren't aged for very long, due to their tendency to become a bit gamey after extensive aging. However you will find that a little bit of aging goes a long way with Julianna from Capriole Farms, aged for just 3-6 weeks in a light coating of herbs. For a mellow washed rind with a complex palate, try Baetje Farms' extremely seasonal Fleur de la Vallee - it's toasty, buttered bread paste is the perfect complement to crisp, refreshing lagers.
Paired with Wine
It's no surprise that pairing cheese with wine is one of our all time favorite ways to enjoy cheese. If you've been inside of one of our stores, you may have noticed that we arrange our wine wall to reflect to reflect the cheese in our case. That means that every bottle we source is a an ideal pairing for artisan cheese, and furthermore we keep them arranged from to light to heavy to make pairing them with subtle to more more complex cheeses much easier. Here's a small sampling of the wine pairings we're playing with this Spring:
Spritzy and fresh with notes of yellow apple and green pear with the slightest and most fascinating whisper of bubbles on the finish, this wine is Chicago summer in every sip. The ideal pairing for most wines in our cheese case but its magical with the Wabash Cannonball.
A bold and beautiful Rose that's mostly Grenache that's perfect for outdoor drinking all summer long. Strawberry and cherry fruits followed by a touch of spice make this an ideal match with Prairie Fruits Farms' Chèvre Frais.
A sunny interpretation of Pinot Gris with just the slightest touch of sweet on the finish. We've also enjoyed how easy it makes our life at the bar. This wine is EXTREMELY versatile in food pairing and quite refreshing on its own but we really really like it with Zingerman's Manchester.
We seek out wineries using sustainable, organic and biodynamic techniques, and those that source grapes from their own vineyards. We want to know that our wines are carefully looked after from vine to bottle. We also believe in finding wines that are the perfect pairings for the cheeses in our case and the products on our shelves. Meet a few of these winemakers and sample their wines alongside all of the other artisan treats you'll find at the 5th Annual Artisan Producer Festival on Saturday, April 25th at the Chicago French Market.
The team at Candid Wines distributes organic, biodynamic, and thoughtfully farmed wines in Illinois. Wine is a part of their lives because of its ability to make us happier in the moments just after we pulled the cork than we were seconds before. Damien Casten from Candid will be joining us with Amphibolite 'Nature', a fruit forward Muscadet from the Loire Valley and Domaine de Cèdres' Côtes du Rhône, a beautiful red blend from the Mediterranean region of France with loads of cedar and spicy, black pepper nose.
Cultivar Wines was started by Jody Harris, and Gingy Harris Gable, founders of Caspar Estate Wines. The Estate is a 25 acre property located above the Napa Valley in the Rutherford Appellation. It has been family owned and operated since 1960, practicing organic and sustainable farming techniques to preserve, protect and maintain the environment. The property, which now contains fruit trees, over 800 Mission olive trees and about a quarter million honey bees, is an ideal setting for growing grapes, too. About 13 acres of vineyards were planted for Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot grapes. Caspar Estate wines express the unique terroir of the land, with firm tannins, fresh acidity, and remarkable structure. Try their Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay at the festival.
Field Recordings is 38-year old winemaker Andrew Jones’ personal catalog of the people and places he values most. Spending his days as a vine nursery fieldman planning and planting vineyards for farmers all over California, Andrew is sometimes offered small lots of their best fruit on the side. Having stood in just about every vineyard on the Central Coast, he has a keen eye for diamonds in the rough: sites that are unknown or under-appreciated but hold enormous untapped potential. As friendships are made and opportunities are embraced, Andrew produces small quantities of soulful wine from these unusual, quiet vineyards. After chugging Fiction from cans all last year, we are very excited to announce that our 5th Annual Artisan Producer Festival will be the first place in Chicago where you can taste their cans of Rose and Pinot Gris!
One of the oldest wineries in Ohio, producing wines from the Isle St. George Island north of Sandusky. A family run outfit that is the benchmark for wines in the region.
GIRLS IN THE VINEYARD
In 2008, Kat and Rob McDonald founded Art+Farm Wine in Napa, California after a importing legendary Australian wines they both loved. Art+Farm is home to their single vineyard wines, The Girls in the Vineyard, their outrageous blends, The Messenger, and their true varietals, Circadia.
L. MAWBY VINEYARDS
Founded by Larry Mawby, L. Mawby Vineyards’ first vines were planted in the spring of 1973 and now cover about 18 acres. They have been producing wines since 1978, with an emphasis is on sparkling wines made with small lots and minimal handling. There's a reason why we keep this bubbly on tap at Bar Pastoral - find out why when you try it for yourself at the festival!
Ricardo Ricci Curbastro is a friend of Pastoral who has visited us a number of times. His family is the benchmark of quality for Franciacorta sparkling wines. Unlike Prosecco, the sparkling wines from Franciacorta are made in the Champagne Method giving them more depth of flavor and character. The family makes more than just sparkling wines, Curtefranca Rosso is one of the unique ones they'll be bringing to the festival - the main grape is Carmenere... growing in ITALY. Bordeaux ingredients, yet definitively Italian.
Davis Weszeli and Rupert Summerer produce their wine in Langenlois, Austria on land that has been used for wine since 1679. Weszeli and Summerer believe that the biological diversity of the vineyard is what gives their wine its character, and place the utmost importance on supporting that diversity.