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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Weddings at Thomas Fogarty Winery

It was a gorgeous day! Blue skies and a gentle warm breeze made my first trip to Fogarty Winery pure pleasure. Have you ever been up to their vineyards? It's sooooo pretty! This time of year the hills are covered with rows of grapevines just beginning to fill in with their first spring leaves. I'd been invited to attend a small, industry luncheon giving me the opportunity to tour this famous venue.

As I entered the property I stopped for this picture of the vineyards and a pond. When it comes to atmosphere I can tell you that the air is  sweeter, the mood calmer, and your psyche just lets out a big sigh of relief as you pull through their main gate. Well, mine did at least :o) Surrounded by natural beauty I could literally feel my cares drift away as I cleard my mind and left my worries behind and prepared to enjoy a wonderful afternoon! LOL I literally felt like that woman in the old Calgon bath commercials.

Out on a small bluff is the outdoor ceremony area. With a view of the valley (that I should have taken a better picture of) it's a gorgeous panorama just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from HWY 280. Yesterday it was set up in a whimsical flirty style! I've also seen photos of the bluff set up with a more traditional arch or gazebo swathed in white or yellow flowers. The option of which style is up to each bride to transform the space into the their perfect vision.

And get this... They are pet-friendly and ALLOW DOGS to be part of the ceremony! So if you're like me and want your dog to be the Mutt of Honor it can happen at Thomas Fogarty. After the ceremony your crated pooch can take a nice long nap in the quiet of the bride's room.

The Terrace is where lunch was served. Also with a view, the room was intimate and beautifully set up for us to enjoy a lunch prepared by Componere Fine Catering. More on the menu later when I play amateur food critic with a rave review... The Terrace, part of a larger building, is perfect for indoor events both personal and corporate.

The gorgeous centerpieces, some classic and romantic, others more artistic, had been provided by Amy Burke floral design.

The unusual horse tail reed in this centerpiece caught everyones attention.


OH DROOL!!! The lunch menu...

Both Ethan and Tisa Mantle of Componere Fine Catering were there. Ethan, the executive chef, and his talented staff treated us to an amazing lunch! I got to chat with Tisa a bit upon my arrival. They are a very kind and friendly couple who, like Chuck and Jewel Savadelis and Natalie and Jung Wi, prove that couples can be both life and work partners creating companies that are wildly successful because they share the same or similar passions.

"Oooops" I hadn't read the menu card and accidently ate a bite of this delicious appetizer filled with crab, which was bad only because I am allergic to shellfish. I figured one bite wouldn't hurt though. With deep regret I scraped out the delicious crab filling and ate the beets and greens which were also very good. I had a few little spots on my legs last night but nothing major. LOL Here are the details: 1st Course: Dungeness Crab with Fennel, Apple, Roasted Beet, Hydro Cress and Green Almonds ...paired with Thomas Fogarty's 2005 Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

Next came the main course. Now, those of you who read my Surprise Sushi Night post may remember that as a general rule I choose not to eat raw fish, pork or beef and I'm allergic to shellfish and mollusks. But when I had my first opportunity to try Componere's food several months ago raw ahi and tiny pork sandwiches were my choices, so I tried them. I just couldn't not sample them I'd heard such amazing things about their food. Well yesterday's lunch was probably the only time I'll be eating pork this year. And I have to tell you if you're going to break a self imposed food rule, dining on world class food is the only way to do it! 2nd Course: Hills Farm Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Onion Spatzle, Artichoke Puree, Asparagus and Crispy Sunchokes... paired with Thosmas Fogarty's 2005 Michaud Vineyard Pinot Noir

My final review of lunch is that I was not worthy. It was simply the most delicious meal I'd had all year. Each bite of each course was perfection. You may think I'm being generous in my comments but if anything they are understated. If you are ever fortunate enough to attend any event catered by Componere you'll see what I mean. And if you're ever seeking a caterer for an event you're hosting? They should definitely be on the short list you're considering. The final course, dessert, OMG it was so delicious! Chilled Strawberry Soup with Roasted Pineapple and Vanilla Bean Gelato with Crushed Pink Peppercorn... paired with Thomas Fogarty's 2003 Late Harvest Gewurztraminer

The crushed pink peppercorn to sprinkle on the dessert.

It's always fun to see friends and meet new people. Here are Michelle Barrionuevo-Mazzini from MB Design and Events, Pavan Kochar of Alia Designs, and Jubilee Lau. Pavan and I had met a year ago, only for an introduction, at an industry event. It was nice to be able to chat with her a bit to learn more about her luxury correspondence company Alia Designs.

Here is one of Pavan's beautiful invtations.

The outdoor Pavilion can be used for ceremonies, receptions and even a cocktail hour. Our luncheon began and ended in the Pavilion. 

Here, event coordinators Nicole D'Ambra, Jean Marks and Duncan Reyes posed for a quick pic in the Pavilion.

Later I had a great conversation chatting the afternoon away with florist Amy Burke and Harpist Krista Strader. It was the second time I'd heard Krista play her harp. The first was two weeks ago at the Una Bella Sera event. Her music is as beautiful as she is, and after talking to her yesterday, found out that she, like myself, is also an animal lover adopting her pets through rescue. *Insert warm fuzzy feeling here* Here is photo of her performing at Una Bella Sera.

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