The Legacy of Chateau Montelena
Heidi & Bo Barrett among special guests to attend NJ Wine & Food Festival
As the 4th annual NJ Wine and Food Festival fast approaches, excitement and anticipation around this exclusive event continues to build. Once again, thousands of wine and food lovers will gather at Crystal Springs Resort to meet and mingle with renowned chefs and winemakers. The guest list is impressive to say the least – with the best of the best scheduled to appear.
The Festival kicks off Friday, March 30th with two incredible occasions (already sold out): the Wine Cellar Dinner featuring Guest of Honor Thomas Keller and winemaker Heidi Barrett, as well as the Top Chefs & Top Wines dinner and pairing where Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena will show his face.
The story behind Chateau Montelena is an intriguing one worth sharing. In 1976, a who’s-who of the French wine and food establishment gathered for a grand tasting at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Paris, which became known as “The Judgment of Paris.” This was when Jim Barrett, winemaker, and his son Bo helped put the California region at the forefront of the wine world.
Four white Burgundies were tasted against six California Chardonnays. When the scores were tallied, the French judges were convinced that the top-ranking white wine would be one of their own. But to their surprise, it was Chateau Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay that rated above all other wines. This not only proved that Chateau Montelena could produce some of the world’s finest wines, but also that California’s wine industry had come of age. It was a great time to be a winemaker in California; certainly a time when California wine could shine. Chateau Montelena still prides itself on this honor as does the state of California.
For those attending the NJ Wine and Food Festival, Bo’s wine is simply a must-taste. He and his wife Heidi (of cult California wine, Screaming Eagle, and her own label, La Sirena) are a winemaking tour de force. With more than 30 years in the industry, they have also combined their passion and skills to create their signature label, Barrett and Barrett, which continues to be one of the most highly regarded, rare and coveted wines in California today.
In the summer of 2007, Hollywood descended on wine country. The result was Randall Miller’s “Bottle Shock,” filmed at Chateau Montelena Winery and other locations around Napa and Sonoma counties. “Bottle Shock” tells the compelling true story of a once little-known winery and its remarkable triumph over the French in the Judgement of Paris that went down in history.
For a complete list of acclaimed guests and activities scheduled for the NJ Wine and Food Festival, visit TheCrystalSpringsResort.com.
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