Petaluma’s Wine Instituto Goes To A Party!


Labor Day Weekend was also Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. Many events were scheduled, including several “winemaker” lunches and dinners at various wineries as well as a charity wine auction. The wine auction is an important fundraiser for many local charities–the Redwood Empire Food Bank, Vineyard Worker Services, Hanna Boys Center, Community Health Center, and others.

For some unexplained reason–certainly a clerical error–the Internationale Instituo De Vino Wino (Petaluma’s famous but fictional wine institute) was invited to send two representatives to the winemaker dinner St. Francis Vineyard and Winery:

An evening spent at St. Francis Vineyard and Winery not only allows you a chance to mingle with our 2010 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Honorary Chairs, but also promises an unforgettable experience in the very heart of Sonoma Wine Country. Join Winemaker, Tom Mackey and President, Christopher Silva at “People’s Park,” a lovely location on the winery grounds with breathtaking views of the vineyard, for a luau-style feast prepared by Piper Johnson and paired with artisan series, small production and handcrafted wines.”

Needless to say, the invitation caused quite a stir at the Intituto! As the invitation was for only two people, there was quite a fight (fictional people are just as difficult to manage as real people) as to who would be allowed to attend. In addition, approval had to be obtained from the parole officers for those selected.

This is their story…

After considerable fuss, Food Director, Sushi Tira-Misu and Senior Citizen Wine Consultant, Jerry Attrick were chosen to attend as representatives of the Instituto.  To be perfectly candid, the primary reason for selecting these two was that they were deemed to be the most presentable.

Sushi and Jerry showed up on time (a rare achievement for them) armed with the tickets and e-mail from Chris Silva of St. Francis Vineyard & Winery:

“Welcome to Sonoma County, this unique place of farmers who make wine…We are honored to be selected as Honorary Chair for 2010.  Our dinner…will be our first official celebration as Chair. We’ll enjoy an imaginative menu paired with our favorite Artisan wines, all from 100% hand-picked, Sonoma County grapes, plus a guest list of friends both old and new—as well as a special guest or two to add to the many stories.  We will also offer several small, informal tours of our cellar and barrel room while you are here. “

Sushi & Jerry were extremely impressed with the beautiful setting… 

They also took note of the fact that St. Francis provided additional security given the presence of two fictional representatives of the Internationale Instituto De Vino Wino…

Security notwithstanding, the Instituto representatives fully enjoyed themselves…conversed with their fellow attendees… sampled the wine…and the food…Oh, the food…

For the record, the Instituto recruited Al Fresco, the Instituto’s Restaurant Manager to serve as the designated driver. Al had to stay with the car the entire evening comforted only with a thermos of coffee and a week old newspaper.

Jerry Attrick was particularly impressed with the St. Francis winery tour and noted that the operation was considerably larger than the Solo Vine facility at the Instituto…

After seeing this facility, Jerry is going to recommend that the Instituto plant a second vine!