Grape Stomp, Brio Tuscan Grille at Town Square

What is a grape stomp, you might ask? Why, it’s a fun, whimsical way to enjoy wine, of course! Brio Tuscan Grille at Town Square hosted a special event on June 4th, where guests had the opportunity to literally “stomp” grapes in buckets and enjoy cocktails and appetizers while listening to the unique playlist of music by Jeremy Cornwell.

Brio translates to “full of life” in Italian, and serves authentic, northern Italian cuisine with offerings that cater to a variety of tastes from steaks to seafood. The event was hosted to showcase Brio’s delectable selection of happy hour menu priced at $4-6 and small plates, along with the beautiful patio area of the restaurant. The happy hour specials are available on weekdays at both locations: Town Square and Tivoli Village, and also offers $5 martini Wednesdays or $5 wine Thursdays from a selection of ten wines. http://www.brioitalian.com

Ceja Wine Dinner, Tuscany Suites & Casino

On June 23rd, I had the fortune of attending a wine dinner featuring Amelia Morán Ceja, President of Ceja Vineyards. Very rarely do you discover a Napa winery owned by a first generation Mexican-American family, and Ceja Vineyards has grown to become a highly respected brand that rivals its top competitors in Napa Valley.

With over 140 years of collective experience in the wine industry, Ceja Vineyards is a family owned winery focused on making wines that “are not only good by themselves, but are great with food as well. Our mantra [is to make] wine that expresses the birthplace of the vineyard.” Here’s what Amelia Ceja had to say during the spectacular wine dinner at Tuscany Garden.

Connection to the Land and the People

We craft wines that vineyards allow us to make. We grow the most balanced grapes, respect and protect the environment and the people who work in the vineyards. I feel very strongly about making sure that farm workers have a voice. We also do a lot of training. Everyone understands grape growing, winemaking and our story.

Amelia Ceja’s advice on drinking wine?

Having started as farm workers, it’s really important that we nurture the next generation too. We don’t patronize anyone; Millennials don’t want to be patronized. They like to explore wine on their own…we wanted to make wine exploration democratic, where you don’t need to know anything about the wine to enjoy it. You either like it or you don’t, period.

I believe it’s more fun and once you start enjoying wine regularly, you’ll want to know more, and more, because it’s so fun. Do you need to know anything about wine to enjoy it? No! You either like it or you don’t. Don’t listen to anyone else! Drink the wine that you like because you should only please your own palate. Remember, in wine exploration, you use all your senses, and we’re all biologically different, so why would you listen to anyone but yourself?

Fun Fact

Our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were poured for President Obama’s inauguration during one of their balls.

CejaV ineyards Wine DinnerMenu

Wine Distributor: Vin Sauvage

First Course

Bresaola Salad—Thin sliced bresaola, arugula and parmesan with Meyer lemon vinaigrette.

2012 Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma Coast, CA

Second Course

Pesto Linguini—linguini tossed in house-made pesto with charred heirloom tomato

2012 Pinot Noir, Carneros, CA

Third Course

Roasted Lamb Chop—parsnip puree, roasted baby heirloom carrots, crispy potatoes, finished with a mint-infused Merlot reduction.

2011 Merlot, Carneros, CA

Dessert

Tiramisu

Look for a future issue showcasing Ceja Vineyards and their rich family history! In the meantime, browse their website for wines and more! https://www.cejavineyards.com

Until next time, Cheers~!

Alice