The Naples Winter Wine Festival will open on Thursday, January 22nd at 11am with the first-ever Krug Champagne Tasting Seminar and Luncheon hosted by Olivier Krug
himself, the sixth generation head of the celebrated French House of Champagne.
The tasting will provide guests with a rare opportunity to taste some of the world’s most prized cuvées while Olivier Krug personally traces the 171-year history of the storied House of Krug. Among these prestige cuvées is the House’s pinnacle Grande Cuvée, which blends over 120 wines to create its iconic champagne, served in a white wine glass rather than a traditional flute to allow the effervescent wine to show at its very best.
The Tasting Seminar will also feature special guest Antonio Galloni, internationally renowned wine critic and founder of Vinous Media, who will offer commentary and insight about Krug and the Champagne region. An exceptional multi-course lunch paired with Krug Champagne will follow at Naples’ premier French restaurant, Bleu Provence.
The exclusive event will set the stage for the headline events of the Festival, including private vintner dinners that pair top celebrity chefs with some of the most awarded vintners in the world, such as the Festival’s Honored Vintner, Marchese Piero Antinori.
Wines at the vintner dinners will be poured by a dozen of the world’s most accomplished Master Sommeliers—the ultimate professional credential anyone in the wine profession can attain worldwide—including Michelin-starred Master Sommelier Larry Stone, who has been selected as the Honored Sommelier for the Festival. Stone was the first American to win the prestigious Grand Prix de Sopexa as Best International Sommelier in French Wines and the only one awarded the title of Maître Sommelier L’Union de la Sommellerie Française. Since becoming America’s 9th Master Sommelier, Stone has gone on to open and curate some of the best restaurants and wine programs in the country, opening the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago and working with famed chef Charlie Trotter at his eponymous restaurant before co-founding Rubicon Restaurant in San
Francisco, which earned Stone a Michelin star, the Ivy Award, and a Silver Spoon from Food & Wine magazine, as well as recognition from the James Beard Foundation and Wine Spectator.
This will be Stone’s second year at the Festival and he will lead a team of eleven other sommeliers, each of whom has earned the prestigious Master Sommelier title held by only 219 wine professionals worldwide. They come to Naples from some of the United States’ most renowned wine programs and have been widely recognized for their talents. They include Desi Echavarrie and Jason Heller, winners of the National Chaine des Rotisseurs Young Sommelier competition; Alexander LaPratt, former sommelier at Jean-George’s flagship restaurant in the Trump Tower in New York and current owner of the popular Brooklyn restaurant Atrium; and Ian Cauble, whose journey to
become a Master Sommelier was documented in the highly popular documentary film, “SOMM.”
THE FULL LIST OF MASTER SOMMELIERS ATTENDING THE FESTIVAL INCLUDES:
- Robert Bath of the Rudd Center at The Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, CA
- John Blazon of The Spire Collection in Orlando, FL
- Ian Cauble of SommSelect in Napa, CA
- Desi Echavarrie of Realm Cellars in St. Helena, CA
- Jason Heller of Dana Estates in Rutherford, CA
- Alexander Lapratt of Atrium Restaurant in Brooklyn, NY
- Christopher Miller, Wine Consultant in Los Angeles, CA
- Kathy Morgan, Wine Consultant in Washington, D.C.
- Emily Pickral Papach of Chappellet Vineyard in Yountville, CA
- Jarad Slipp of RdV Vineyards in Delaplane, VA
- Larry Stone of Huneeus Vintners in Napa, CA
- Lindsey Whipple of Vegas Vine in Las Vegas, NV
The unforgettable weekend of wine and food all supports a great cause. Since its inception, the Festival has raised more than $123 million dollars to support its founding organization, the Naples Children & Education Foundation, whose annual grants have provided nearly 200,000 children with the services and resources they need to excel.
Tickets to the exclusive Krug Tasting Seminar and Luncheon are available for $750 per person for those attending the Festival, or $1000 per person for the standalone event. Weekend packages start at $8,500 per couple for festival tickets, with a $20,000 premier package that includes reserved seating for a party of four at the same vintner
dinner and under the auction tent.
Additionally, raffle tickets are now on sale for a chance to win a three-year, pre-paid lease on an all-new 2015 S-Class Coupe Mercedes, a breathtaking new expression of Mercedes’ flagship S-Class. The car features an Alanite Grey Matte finish with a porcelain and espresso brown exclusive Nappa leather interior. The drawing will be held during the Festival on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 12:00p.m. at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, Florida. The minimum suggested contribution for one ticket is $500, and the winner need not be present to claim the prize.
For more information about the Naples Winter Wine Festival, please visit http://www.napleswinefestival.com or call 888.837.4919