During the last week of September, the Organizing Committee of the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine (KoV) of America for the F.I.C.B. 2016 Congress in California set up a series of visits in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. The Congress will take place in early June 2016. The members of the Organizing Committee: Buddy HAGNER, Grand Commander of the KoV, Pat PINGITORE, Commander of the San Francisco Chapter of the KoV-and also Vice-President of F.I.C.B. for the U.S.A.- and Trish HAGNER from the Houston KoV Chapter, were joined by Alan BRYDEN, the President of F.I.C.B., and all kindly hosted by Linda PINGITORE. More than a dozen prestigious wineries and possible venues were visited during the week, highlighting the richness and hospitality potential of the two famous Californian winemaking valleys.
The San Francisco Chapter of the KoV staged an exceptional “assemblage” and induction ceremony at the Buena Vista Winery, a pioneer and emblematic estate in the Sonoma Valley. Amongst those inducted, were Jean-Charles BOISSET and Alan BRYDEN. Jean-Charles is a world star in winemaking, with the BOISSET Family Estates, over which he presides, being the 3rd largest producer of the Bourgogne appellation, as well as the owner of prestigious estates in California, such as Buena Vista itself, Raymond Vineyards and De Loach Vineyards. Gina GALLO, granddaughter of Julio Gallo and wife of Jean-Charles, joined in for the prestigious dinner in the Buena Vista caves. Gina is the winemaker in charge of all Gallo’s higher end Sonoma bottling (the “Gallo signature series”).
This event, and the visits during the week, were also an opportunity to promote the concept, achievements and undertakings of F.I.C.B. and its member wine brotherhoods, a very topical movement to bridge the traditional past of winemaking and tasting and the innovative avenues of the 21st century.