You’re invited to a celebration of life…with wine
Vintner Mark Ketcham, Founder of Ketcham Estate in California’s Russian River Valley, lost a long battle with pulmonary disease a few weeks ago. And because of current restrictions on social gatherings, his life was not properly celebrated. And that’s why the winery is hosting a virtual wine tasting on May 7 in his memory.
The popular and outgoing vintner and car collector left behind his Sonoma County estate winery producing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Viognier and Rose of Pinot Noir. But Mark’s wife, Allie, and their “director of happiness” Renee Graves and winemaker Tami Collins, will now continue Mark’s legacy with an all-female management and winemaking team.
In Sonoma County, I run a monthly wine salon that has become super popular and it all started back in early 2018 when someone asked me how they could get the Ketcham Pinot Noir I had brought to a Healdsburg Food and Wine Club dinner.
I tentatively contacted the winery and Allie subsequently invited a group of 12 women over for lamb and Pinot and the rest is history. We had launched the salons and Ketcham had gained a place in every salon member’s heart–and wine cabinet. Allie is a fantastic cook and the entire team is vibrant and generous. The wines are representative of the vineyards in which the grapes are grown and embrace the beauty of the Russian River Valley.
We have since had another wine salon at the Ketcham home, this time with pizzas cooked in the wood over, and were planning a “break the quarantine” bash when Mark passed. Although we will still have our in-person party, we have decided to honor Mark by launching a wine sale and virtual wine tasting via ZOOM.
This tasting is not limited to those in Ketcham’s wine club or salon members. This is a tasting for anyone who wants to talk about Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and the memory of a passionate vintner. I’ll be a part of this virtual wine tasting and I hope you attend, too!
About the Ketcham Estate Wines
But what about the wines? Ketcham Estate Chardonnay has been a hugely popular choice among our wine salon members. It is the perfect balance of oak and acid with plenty of green apple, butterscotch and preserved citrus on the nose and on the palate the fruit continues with a rounded long finish. Note the fanciful strip of animal print along the top of the label…this was Mark’s sarcastic nod to the California Chardonnays known as “cougar juice!” Yet this wine is so much more refined and a true bargain at $19 when you buy 6 or more.
The Pinot Noirs are all representative of the fanatical vineyards in which they are grown and my favorite, Allie’s Reserve, is the blend of the best lots of the estate. I got to be a part of the blending of the future Allie’s Blend Pinot Noir and I assure you the vineyard lots in this wine are spectacular. The Pinots offered on special here are considered way under market for wines of this caliber from the heart of the Russian River Valley.
How to get the tasting wines and reserve your spot at this virtual wine tasting
The Ketcham Estate virtual wine tasting will take place on May 7, 2020 at 5:PM PST. The tasting package of featured wines is $80 for three bottles. (The tasting experience will include one Chardonnay and two Pinot Noirs, these are shipped in full-sized, 750ml bottles.)
In addition to tasting and talking about the wines, participants of the virtual wine tasting will get to watch Allie prepare her famous Chicken Paillard, Mark’s favorite. There will be laughs, lively conversation and good sipping.
Please email me with any questions. Barbarabarrielle@gmail.com.
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