The pinot noir grape is temperamental, hard to grow. Yet the wines produced from it are sexy and alluring - and pair perfectly with foods.
In fact, winemakers around the world can't plant vines fast enough. But only a few can elevate this high-maintenance grape to the level it deserves.
From June 7 to 9 at the Four Seasons Resort Maui, you may meet four of the top producers in the field at a number of tastings, dinners and golf tournament all topped off with a gala evening under the stars. Each event is separate. Attend as many as you like.
The celebrated winemakers are Webster Marquez of Anthill Farms Winery, (from left), Gary Burk of Costa de Oro, Donald Patz of Patz & Hall, and Steve Clifton of Brewer-Clifton. Meet them at dinners, wine seminars and a gala outdoor event.
JEREMY BALL / photo
The winemakers are Webster Marquez of Anthill Farms Winery, Gary Burk of Costa de Oro, Donald Patz of Patz & Hall, and Steve Clifton of Brewer-Clifton.
"Obviously, I know all about these pinot noir producers,"?says the resort's Executive Chef Roger Stettler. "They are the top in the country and we are very fortunate to get them all at the same time over the same weekend at our first Four Pinots event."
The dinners and the tastings will be held at various times at Ferraro's Bar e Ristorante, DUO Steak & Seafood and Spago Maui at Four Seasons as well as at Capische? at Hotel Wailea.
Master sommelier Roberto Viernes will fly in from Oahu to host the tastings. Two wines from each winemaker will be poured and discussed.
"At these seminars, you may meet the winemakers and learn about what they do," continues Stettler. "For instance, Webster Marquez is very passionate about what he does. Very hip. When you meet these guys, they're down to earth. They're not snobbish. Just simple, talented guys, who have elevated their wines to art."
You may also sign up for a golf tournament on Saturday, June 9 with the winemakers to tee off at the Wailea Emerald Course, followed by a fun luncheon at Gannon's A Pacific View Restaurant. The tourney will benefit Maui's local charity, Women Helping Women and the national charity of the Kimberly Project in conjunction with North County Rape Crisis and Child Protection Center.
The latter charity is close to the heart of Greg Brewer of Brewer-Clifton. His cousin, Kimberly, was brutally attacked and killed and he founded the center and planted vines in the shape of a butterfly in her honor. You can see the shape from an aerial perspective.
"We will pour Kimberly wines here at the event and they are very limited," says Stettler. "They are going to bring the good stuff with them, very rare tastes."
The gala event Saturday, June 9 will be held under the stars on the oceanfront lawn of the Four Seasons. Maui's farmers and fishers will be paired with hotel chefs, who will serve their fresh products. Wine stations will be next to food stations for perfect pairings.
In addition to the above-mentioned wineries, you may sip wines from many others such as Au Bon Climat, Melville, Ojai, Twomey, Scherrer, Papapietro, Evening Land, Hirsch and Belle Glos.
"We'll bring in my fish guy from Oahu, whole spit-roasted Berkshire pig from Malama Farms in Haiku, cheeses from Surfing Goat Dairy, and mushrooms from Hamakua. It will all be served market style. It will be very interactive and you may ask questions."
"There will be many opportunities for wine aficionados and food lovers to learn from these vintners about what makes pinot noir so special," says Mark Simon, director of marketing for Four Seasons Maui. "We've come together because of our absolute love of pinot noir."
Three-day wine weekend at a glance:
What: From Thursday, June 7 through Saturday, June 9 at various times at Four Seasons Resort Maui in Wailea and Capische? at Hotel Wailea, you may partake in wine seminars $98 (plus tax and tip), dinners and gala event finale ($198 each, plus tax and tip) and benefit golf tourney ($250).
Gala oceanfront event: At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 9 at Four Seasons oceanfront lawn. Sip from 32 pinot noirs and eight chardonnays in a market style setting with farmers and fishers paired with top Four Seasons chefs at 10 booths. The food highlights include whole, organic Maui beef, sushi and sashimi, local cheeses, passed hors d'oeuvres, and Waialua Estate chocolate desserts.
Wine flights: Can't make the weekend? Come to DUO, Ferraro's and the Lobby Lounge now for a flight of four, two-ounce pours of pinot noir at a cost of $30.
For more details or tickets: Call 874-2201 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.