Guest Wine Bartender at our restaurant for the month is Ted Bechard w/ Bechard Vineyards on March 29th from 5:30 – 9:00 PM.
Welcome to the History. . . . . . . It all began hiking on the dusty road to St. Baume while volunteering at La Sabranenque in Southern France. La Sabranenque a non-profit organization based in Saint Victor la Coste, near Avignon in Provence, has been working for the preservation of the rural Mediterranean habitat, its heritage, architecture and techniques. As we went off to work each day we passed through the famous wine regions of the Rhone Valley, Chateauneuf du Pape, Lirac and Tavel(known for their Rosé wines). Many of the restoration projects were in small intimate Chapels located in the remote countryside which we learned were used as a refuge for pilgrims traveling to Santiago de Compostela. A few years later after extensive research and planning we began our pilgrimage to Santiago by bicycle from St Jean Pied de Port on the border of Spain and France in the Pyrenees covering 500 miles through northern Spain. The plan continued to develop bicycling on the road to Compostella through the rolling hills of the Rioja wine region. An idea, a dream, a midlife crisis became a desire to fully involve ourselves in the world of food and wine.
Our adventure to the land of food and wine commenced with a 3500-mile journey from Bar Harbor, Maine to Northern California. Calistoga the northernmost town in the Napa Valley became our home and we remained there for the next four years. Ted began working for Vincent Arroyo Winery in Calistoga and Andrea for Eleanor and Francis Coppola, owners of the Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery in Rutherford. These two family owned businesses showed us the diversity of wineries in the Napa Valley, ranging from an intimate tasting room in the wine cellar to a mutli-million dollar showplace. From our experiences we learned that the familiarity of our establishment could offer our customers a friendly and educational wine experience.
Our winemaking experiences began with picking second crop grapes, stomping in the picking bin, fermenting in plastic barrels and pressing in a small basket press. After three years of training in the winery and classes in general viticulture, wine chemisty, microbiology, vineyard soils, plant nutrition, sensory evaluation and analysis of must and wines we were on our way to begin planning our own label.
Realizing that the Napa Valley was unrealistic in terms of land acquisition, we began widening our search for vineyard property in Mendocino, Anderson Valley, Sonoma and finally came across the Fairplay viticulture region in El Dorado County located in the Sierra Foothills. On our first trip we found a 20 acre parcel off the Grizzly Flat Road with a stunning view of the Cosumnes river valley. We continued our search but we kept coming back to the beautiful parcel we first saw and eventually purchased the property in May of 2001.
Development of the vineyard began in 2002 with the first planting in the summer of 2003. Our emphasis being small batch premium handcrafted wines with an importance placed on blending to achieve wine style with more complexity. Following the traditional styles from the Rhone Valley in France and the Rioja region in Spain, the vineyard was planted with Viognier, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Tempranillo and Petite Sirah. After making wine at several locations over the past few years we broke ground in the summer/fall of 2005 for the new winery building and contruction began after harvest was completed. We welcome you to visit the vineyard and celebrate in the continuing progress of our new home.
Andrea & Ted Bechard
Here is my update today: Arrived home last Monday after an unexpected week in UCD. Discovered an allergy to an antibiotic, which made me quite ill. Go in for tests twice a week to check blood counts. Had 8 transfusions last week! Friday, had a bone marrow biopsy in office (never fun). Results will show if there is any lingering leukemia. Last one was clear, so say your prayers for this one. Checking in on Wed. for round 3 of chemo. Will be in for 3-5 days. Two more rounds to go (one in Feb. and one in March), then hopefully I can do outpatient treatments. This is a long, grueling process. I have been home 17 days of the last 68 days. That’s a lot of time in one hospital room. Thank God for visitors and phone calls. Sometimes it almost feels like that’s home, and I visit here! Seasons have changed, holidays have come and gone. I am getting good care, and so love you all for your prayers, good wishes and friendships. Let’s hope we’re on the downhill slope now. Have a sunshiny day!
This is from local online news from El Dorado County – Mary & husband Greg own Gold Vine Grill, the wonderful restaurant many of you have visited in Somerset. Please pray for her full recovery and donate if you can, writes DK Cellars.
A crowd funding website set up by Sondra Champion to aid a women with Leukemia has raised over $5,000 in the first 20 hours.
From the website:
As many already know, Mary is in the hospital being treated for Leukemia. They are being aggressive with her treatment and are giving transfusions and chemotherapy. They are keeping her in the hospital for at least a month. She is hoping to be home for Thanksgiving.Greg is keeping the Goldvine open for dinner, but lunches are put on hold. He is exhausted, but in hopeful spirits.Their insurance is not the best and is not willing to cover all that is needed for Mary’s recovery.
We as friends and family would like to help take some of the financial burden off of this wonderful, loving, hard-working couple. They have selflessly given to the community and now it is our turn to show our appreciation for their generosity.
I plead to all, whether you love them dearly or have simply enjoyed a delicious meal at Goldvine and experienced Mary’s hospitality, please give from your heart and give what you can. Anything and all is appreciated. Also, please frequent the Goldvine and pass the word to stop in for a meal and glass of wine- it all helps. Please forward this link to anyone who knows Mary and Greg and would like to help. If we all share the link with our email lists, client lists, facebook, and those people did the same…Imagine!!!
Thank you wonderful people!!!”
Donations can be made at: http://www.gofundme.com/55jl3o? Online story from El Dorado County click here: http://inedc.com/1-6724