Monday, October 15, 2012

2012 DC Wine Week Launch with Boxwood Wines at Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar, USA

Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller with Rachel Martin, VP Boxwood Winery in Virginia, at DC Wine Week 2012 Launch at Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar, close to the Capitol of Washingont DC

DC Wine Week 2012 is a week-long celebration, from October 13th until October 20th. Stemmed from a passion for good wine and great conversation, founders Lisa Byrne and Vanessa French mind-stormed the concept on a cocktail napkin—over wine, naturally. This week long celebration is dedicated to enjoying wine, wine education and an opportunity to help support the area’s growing local wineries, wine shops, wine bars, restaurants and merchants.

Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar, one of D.C.’s pioneering wine bar and farm-to-table restaurants, was selected to host the opening bash for the DC Wine Week 2012.

2012 DC Wine Week Launch at Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar

This VIP event was held in Sonoma’s elegant and airy second-level lounge, which features exposed brick and large windows overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue, the perfect place to mingle with friends, enjoy seasonal appetizers, and relish over an exquisite glass of wine.

Pictures: The Party Crowd

The evening started with a toast of sparkling wine; either the more traditional Schramsberg Mirabelle Sparkling Brut or the more unique Opera02 Lambrusco, a ruby red sparkling, full of vibrant red fruits and spice.

Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller with Wine Blogger Shannon Jones from Grape Occasions and Annette Schiller, Ombiasy Wine Tours, with Wine Blogger Anthony Marocco from Virginia Pour House

The red wine selections includes an Italian red — the Monte Antico Sangiovese blend and a local, rich red blend, Boxwood Vineyard’s Trellis from Virginia.

Pictures: Sonoma's Beverage Director Fred Uku

The white wine selections included a juicy medium bodied sauvignon blanc from the famed Honig Vineyard, and the Italian white Planeta de Segreta Bianco, the refreshing and supple grecanico and chardonnay blend.

Pictures: Annette Schiller, Ombiasy Wine Tours, with Wine Blogger Shanon Jones from Grape Occasions and her Husband, and with Lara Aulestia, resonate, Director for Business Development and Adam A. Aulestia, Aulestia Wealth Management, President.

Chef Michael E. Bonk prepared seasonal appetizers to compliment the wines. There was a wide selection of Sonoma’s well-known charcuterie assortment: pate, house-made sausage, “hammed” pork loin, and prosciutto. Chef Bonk also served fall favorites such as meatballs, local pork sliders, and stewed lentils with oxtail and beef tendon. His seasonal antipasti, with carrots, onions, mushrooms, roasted potatoes, olives, and peppers rounded out the savory fare. For dessert, Chef Bonk served an assortment of sweets, including carrot panna cotta with bourbon raisins.

Pictures: Delicious Food prepared by Sonoma Chef Michael E. Bonk

Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar is fast becoming one of the top ten places to check out if you find yourself in DC. Sonoma has a welcoming energetic elegance, that perfectly compliments the culinary delights we love in a fine dinning experience. With a broad selection of cheeses and wines you'll bath in the experience knowing you've tasted the best of the best. With community based attitude, keeping everything local and fresh. This is the mark of excellence. Sonoma is open daily and Happy Hour is 4:30 till 6:30 Monday through Friday.

Boxwood's Trellis, Rachel Martin and Andrew Stover

I was in particular thrilled that Boxwood’s Rachel Martin poured her Trellis, assisted by ChiefWino Andrew Stover.

The Boxwood Winery is located in Middleburg in the midst of picturesque Loudoun County in Virginia in the US. It is owned by John Kent Cooke, a former owner and president of the NFL Washington Redskins. Boxwood aims high: to make premium red wines with Bordeaux grape varieties and a distinct Virginia expression. Boxwood produces 5,000 cases per year.

Pictures: Rachel Martin and Andrew Stover from Vino50 Selections Pouring Boxwood Trellis

John Kent Cook bought the estate in 2001 and commissioned renowned architect Hugh Jacobsen - with the advice of Dr. Richard Vine, Professor of Enology at Purdue University - to design a modern winery that agrees with its surroundings. The result – completed in 2005 - is a stunning four-part complex, filled with high-quality, high-tech streamlined inner workings.

The 170-acre property once served as a horse farm, owned in the early 1900s by General Billy Mitchell (otherwise known as the father of the Air Force) who lived there until his death.

Sixteen acres of grapes are planted on the property. The vineyard is monitored by a GPS custom designed system to record viticultural practices. Currently, 8 varieties of grapes grown: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Tannat, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Malbec, and Carmenere.

John Kent Cooke brought famed French flying winemaker Stéphane Derenoncourt to consult with Boxwood's winemaker Adam McTaggart. Stéphane Derenoncourt is entirely self-taught. He and his wife now work with a populous portfolio of estates in Bordeaux and elsewhere, including Domaine de Chevalier, Canon-la-Gaffelière, Smith Haut Lafitte, Prieuré-Lichine and Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse. In June 2008, Derenoncourt and Vignerons Consultants were hired by Francis Ford Coppola to work on the Napa Valley property Rubicon Estate Winery.

I visited Boxwood recently and wrote about it here: Boxwood Winery in Virginia: Lunch with Wine Makers Rachel Martin and Adam McTaggert in the Chai between the Tanks – TasteCamp 2012 East Kick-Off, USA

Rachel Martin

Rachel Martin, Executive Vice President of the winery and the owners’ daughter, oversees the vineyard, winery, and national and international sales. No stranger to the wine business, Rachel studied Viticulture and Enology at Napa Valley College and Sensory Evaluation at the University of Bordeaux (School of Enology).

Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller and Rachel Martin

Rachel is Boxwood’s world ambassador and her relaxed and inviting presence immediately put guests as ease.

2009 Boxwood Trellis

75% Petit Verdot 17% Cabernet Sauvignon 8% Merlot

Dark purple color, intense nose of violet, graphite, mineral character. The mineral characteristics show on the palette, with ripe tannins and a lingering finish.

schiller-wine: Related Posting

Northern Virginia Magazine October 2012: Wine Recs from Local Winos

Boxwood Winery in Virginia: Lunch with Wine Makers Rachel Martin and Adam McTaggert in the Chai between the Tanks – TasteCamp 2012 East Kick-Off, USA

North Gate Vineyard in Virginia, USA – A Profile

TasteCamp 2012 in Virginia, USA – A Tour d’Horizont

The Wines of Veramar, Virginia, US

Norton and Other Wines of Chrysalis Vineyards in Virginia

Fine Virginia Wines from Corcoran Vineyards

As Close as You Can Get to (French) Champagne at the US East Coast – Claude Thibaut and His Virginia Thibaut Janisson Sparklers at screwtop Wine Bar

Visiting Jennifer Breaux Blosser and Breaux Vineyards in Virginia, USA

Visiting Wine Maker Doug Fabbioli and his Fabbioli Cellars in Virginia, USA

Calvert and Woodley’s Ed Sands 2012 Wine Retailer of the Year in the USA

Tasting with Alfred Tesseron the last 10 Vintages of Château Pontet-Canet in Washington DC, USA/France

A Glass of Bordeaux – What Else? – With Wine Journalist Panos Kakaviatos

The Wines of Domaine Lucien Albrecht and the Food of La Chaumiere in Washington DC, USA/France

A Dinner with Wine Importer Robert “Bobby” Kacher at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Dupont Circle in Washington DC, USA


  1. Looks like a nice party Christian but I thought you were in Germany.

    I am serving the 2009 Trellis next Saturday at a Va wine party for some church friends.

  2. Kurt, we came back to the US a few days ago. Cheers. Christian