Celebrate California at the UK’s Wine Hotel
7 Mar 2016
• May marks the 40th anniversary of the famous wine tasting ‘Judgement of Paris’
• Californian Wine Festival 13th & 14th May hosted by Sir Peter Michael
• 40th Anniversary Judgement of Paris dinner 28th May hosted by Steven Spurrier
• Guests at The Vineyard can recreate The Judgement of Paris Wine Tasting
The Judgement of Paris (or the Paris Wine Tasting of May 24 1976) is seen as one of the most pivotal moments in wine history. This May, guests at the UK’s wine hotel in Berkshire can celebrate the 40th anniversary of this special occasion.
The blind wine tasting of French and Californian wines, forty years ago, became famous across the World. The event forever changed the future of winemaking, when unknown Californian wines were chosen over some of France’s finest by some of France’s top wine aficionados. Organised by British wine merchant Steven Spurrier, excellent Californian Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons were tasted alongside white Burgundies and Bordeaux reds. For Californian winemakers—and for winemakers around the world—the event transformed the industry.
Sir Peter Michael owner of The Vineyard Hotel and the Peter Michael Winery in California will host a special Californian wine dinner on Friday 13th May. The five course dinner will be matched with exquisite wines from the Peter Michael Winery. The dinner is priced £150 per person including wines. Guests can stay from £198.50 per person including breakfast and use of the spa.
The next day on Saturday 14th May between 11am and 5pm, guests and visitors will have the chance to celebrate California even more. Over 50 Californian wines from various regions throughout California will be available. Peter Michael Winery, Benovia, Ferrari-Carano, Waterstine, Honig Vineyards and Rudd Estate are just some of the bottles being opened. The winery owners and representatives will also be there. Priced £30.00 per person. Visitors can stay from £194.50 per person including breakfast and use of the spa.
The Judgement of Paris has been celebrated on the big screen and through art. A comedy drama film; ‘Bottle Shock’, was released in 2008 and is based on the Judgement of Paris and stars late actor Alan Rickman. As guests arrive at The Vineyard Hotel they are greeted with a huge canvas (‘After the Upset’) of the legendary 1976 Judgement of Paris commissioned by Sir Peter in honour of the event. Steven Spurrier was invited to The Vineyard to unveil the extraordinary work of art and he will be in attendance this May, to celebrate the special anniversary.
Sir Peter Michael was so inspired by the Paris tasting, that it set him on a journey to California, in search of a suitable vineyard location, which he found in 1982 starting the Peter Michael Winery in Knights Valley, Sonoma. In 1998 he opened the five-star Vineyard Hotel in Berkshire, now established as the UK’s wine hotel. Here, amongst some 30,000 bins in the Vineyard’s striking glass wine cellar, over 800 Californian wines on the list include a unique collection from Peter Michael’s own vineyard.
On Saturday 28th May, guests and visitors to The Vineyard Hotel can celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Judgement of Paris in true style. Steven Spurrier is the esteemed guest host for this once-in-a-lifetime dinner and he will be raising many glasses to celebrate. The dinner is priced £240.00 and includes a five course dinner with two matched wines per course. Special guests will also be announced closer to the event.
Last year, the Peter Michael Winery won a very special award. Au Paradis, a Cabernet Sauvignon from 2012 won the prestigious Wine Spectator 2015 Wine of the Year award, selected as it ‘epitomises the modern style of Napa cabernet.’ Planted on a gently sloping plateau, 14.6 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon (and Cabernet Franc) develop the lush, intense fruit under perfect location of a sun-drenched Californian hillside. The wine is available at The Vineyard Hotel and priced £290.00.
In an atmosphere devoted to gastronomy, guests may recreate their very own blind tasting with wines matched to each of five delicious courses prepared by Head Chef Robby Jenks. Traditionally a French and Californian glass are served with each course and the diner decides which they prefer. Each Judgement of Paris dinner also includes two blind taste tests to decide where the wine originates from; France or California. Each diner is then encouraged to decide which they prefer. A team of sommeliers assist throughout the dinner offering guidance and tasting notes.
Guests who feel inspired, can learn more about wine and gain an internationally recognised wine qualification, whilst enjoying the UK’s wine hotel with WSET courses. Level 1 courses run throughout the year.
Whether your palette is a novice or a master, drink to California and celebrate the Judgement of Paris at the UK’s wine hotel.
The Vineyard, Stockcross, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8JU 01635 897589
The Judgement of Paris seven course menu is priced £184pp including twelve tasting wines. Accommodation and breakfast is priced from £247 based on two guests.
Attend the Peter Michael Winery Dinner and stay at The Vineyard priced from £697.00 based on two guests including dinner, wines, breakfast and use of spa facilities.