Legendary Wine Makers and the Vitners Hall of Fame at the Culinary Institute in the Napa Valley

Robert Mondavi Winery, Napa Valley, California...

Robert Mondavi Winery, Napa Valley, California. Located in Oakville, California, the Mondavi Winery was built in 1966 and designed in the California mission-style. [1] (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DSC04483

DSC04483 (Photo credit: dr_XeNo)

On February 18, 2013, The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone held the 7th Annual Vintners Hall of Fame Induction Celebration. The official induction celebration of the 2013 Vintners Hall of Fame honorees took place  in St. Helena, California.

The historic Greystone was the Christian Brothers’ former sparkling wine and aging cellars. It is now the home of the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.

Probably the most famous portrait of St. John ...

Probably the most famous portrait of St. John Baptist de La Salle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Brother Timothy Diener was a chemistry teacher who became a legendary wine maker. He was inducted in 2007. The late Brother Timothy Diener was the cellarmaster for the Christian Brothers winery for 52 years. He was inducted into the inaugural class of the Vintners Hall of Fame at Greystone Cellars in Saint Helena.

Brother Timothy, who died in 2004, was one of six “founders” inducted, along with  Robert Mondavi. Dick Maher, a former president of the Christian Brothers winery, which was sold to Heublein in 1989, accepted the award on Brother Timothy’s behalf.

The Christian Brothers asked Brother Timothy to work as a winemaker at Mont La Salle in 1934. He became a beloved and well-respected member of the California wine community. His  CIA plaque in the Barrel Room states: “Brother Timothy was instrumental in reviving the wine industry in Napa Valley after Prohibition and in advocating technological advances that brought California winemaking into the modern era.” Furthermore, Brother Timothy, as aspiritual leader of the wine community, was “known for his kindness, wit and uncanny ability to assess wine, all of which made him one of the most beloved architects of 20th century winemaking in California.”

Brother Timothy (Anthony George Diener) grew up in Los Angeles and attended schools governed by the Brothers of the Christian Schools and attended St. Mary’s College in Moraga. In 1928, he joined the Christian Brothers and became a chemistry teacher. He also taught other subjects in the greater Bay Area.

I love Brother Timothy’s incredible collection of 1,100 corkscrews that are on display at Greystone. Here’s a photo of Brother Timothy and Robert Mondavi:

Brother Timothy’s Corkscrews

Brother Timothy’s Corkscrews

Justin R. Meyer was also a former Christian Brother who was inducted into the Vitners’ Hall of Fame. He was the founder and president of  Silver Oak Cellars, one of California’s most prestigious wineries.  Silver Oak Winery only made one wine each year, Cabernet Sauvignon. It “became one of America’s first cult wineries in the 1980s, its unusual business model wound up having a far-reaching impact.”

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/wine/article/SON-OF-SILVER-OAK-The-scion-of-one-of-Napa-s-2566425.php#ixzz2Cpbp0iKq

Silver Oak 2004 Alexander Valley. Cabernet Sau...

Silver Oak 2004 Alexander Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon from the California wine region of Sonoma. You can see the opacity and color typical of this varietal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At one time, everyone who cared about American wine knew Justin Meyer’s name, because he co-founded the iconic Silver Oak winery in Napa Valley in 1972. He significantly influenced the course of California wine.
A bottle and remnants of a 1994 Silver Oak Cab...

A bottle and remnants of a 1994 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon wine from Napa Valley California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each year, inductees are selected by a panel of over 75 national wine writers, critics and historians. Some of the other founders that have been inducted include: “Charles Krug, who first planted grape vines in California in 1858; Andre Tchelistcheff, dubbed dean of California winemakers while he was making legendary wines for Beaulieu Vineyards; Gustave Niebaum, who produced the first estate-bottled and Bordeaux-style wines in California; Georges de Latour, who founded Beaulieu and imported French wines grafted onto phylloxera-resistant rootstock, and Agoston Haraszthy, who planted some of California’s first European varietals in 1857 at his Buena Vista property and laid the groundwork for the California wine industry. The two icons inducted were Maynard Amerine, who helped make the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis one of the most respected in the world, and Harold Olmo, another UC Davis enologist who helped create the modern wine industry.”

The Culinary Institute of America has dedicated the historic Barrel Room to celebrate the men and women who have been responsible for the growth and world-wide prestige of the California wine industry.

CIA Students at Greystone in St. Helena

Each spring, the college holds a Celebration of California Wine & Food, including a very special Wine and Hors d’Oeuvre Reception, Induction Ceremony, and Walk-Around Dinner in the CIA’s teaching kitchens. Proceeds from the event help to support the Vintners Hall of Fame and contribute to scholarships for the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the CIA at Greystone.

Robert M. Parker Jr. at Valentino in Las Vegas...

Robert M. Parker Jr. at Valentino in Las Vegas for a special wine tasting. He was charming, self-efacing, and completely down-to-earth! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 2013 Vintners Hall of Fame inductees “have influenced the quality and perception of California wines” and include: winemaking pioneer Meredith  Edwards, legendary wine writer Frank Schoonmaker, labor leader Cesar Chavez and Robert M. Parker Jr. (the founder of The Wine Advocate).

English: CIA Campus in St. Helena, California

English: CIA Campus in St. Helena, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Merry Edwards was one of the first women to graduate from the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology. She was instrumental in proving that the Russian River Valley can produce top-quality California Pinot Noir.   In 2007, Edwards built her own winery outside of Forestville, where she makes Pinot Noirs and Sauvignon Blancs.

Cesar Chavez was instrumental in the creation and passing of the California Agricultural Labor Relations act, which extended collective bargaining rights to the United Farm Workers union. This forced grape-growing companies in California to recognize the importance of farmworkers’ contribution to the world of wine.

This map shows the incorporated and unincorpor...

This map shows the incorporated and unincorporated areas in Napa County, California, highlighting St. Helena in red. It was created with a custom script with US Census Bureau data and modified with Inkscape. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

.

To learn more click here: The Culinary Institute of America Announces 2013 Vintners hall of fame inductees.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ http://www.vino-con-vista.com

English: Greystone Cellars. 2555 Main Street. ...

English: Greystone Cellars. 2555 Main Street. St. Helena, California, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are some of the Legends of Napa that you can find on the barrels at Greystone.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

Lunch at The Culinary Institute of America at ...

Lunch at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone (Photo credit: Marilyn M)

Greystone at the Culinary Institute of America, St. Helena, California

Robert Mondavi Winery, Napa Valley, California

Robert Mondavi Winery, Napa Valley, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MONT LA SALLE VINEYARDS

Brother Timothy and Robert Mondavi

Brother Timothy

1910–2004
Christian Brothers Mont La Salle Vineyards, Napa and St. Helena

Brother TimothyPhotograph: Richards Lyon
A sampling of premium California wines from Op...

A sampling of premium California wines from Opus One, Silver Oak, Dalle Valley, La Jota. Most of these are from the Napa Valley except for the Silver Oak from the Sonoma County wine region of Alexander Valley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enhanced by Zemanta
About these ads

6 Comments

Filed under Italy Travel Guides, Napa Valley Wineries

6 responses to “Legendary Wine Makers and the Vitners Hall of Fame at the Culinary Institute in the Napa Valley

  1. rickzullo.com

    If I’m not wrong, the Christian Brothers brandy is still available.

  2. Pingback: Napa Valley Wine Train Adventure to the Grgich Hills Estate | Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events

  3. Pingback: 16 Spectacular Reasons to Visit the Napa Valley | Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events

  4. Pingback: 18th Annual Premiere Napa Valley Wine Extravaganza 2014 | Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events

  5. Pingback: Iconic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon | Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s