A taste of France at Fresno State Winery

On the fourth Thursday of every November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. On the third Thursday the French celebrate Le Vin Nouveau, the first release of the year’s wine harvest, and Fresno State is joining in.

The Fresno State Winery is the nation’s first bonded commercial winery to operate on a university campus and has won more than 200 awards at commercial competitions. This year it will once more be bringing its wine expertise to the public.

November 20th will mark the 7th annual Le Vin Nouveau, or the new wine celebration, at the Fresno State. On this occasion, the Fresno State Winery will be releasing two new Nouveau wines and its Vin D’une Nuit.

The idea behind the event is to have the public enjoy fruit-forward wine that was made with grapes, grown and harvested on Fresno State grounds this year.

Outside of France, Fresno State is one of the few wineries to celebrate La Vin Nouveau. The tradition calls for making wines using whole berries as opposed to mashed ones during the fermentation process.
Organizers are expecting anywhere from 200 to 300 people to attend the event despite the low turnout last year.

“We all made this wine,” said enology student Mayu Satio. “I am very excited to see people taste them and how they react. Hopefully I get to see some smiles.”

Producers, however, will not be the only ones who will benefit from input. Those new to the wine-tasting world will get an opportunity to ask questions and understand more about wines.

“It’s a nice way to start off the holidays,” said Wiley Jessup, marketing director for the winery. “Although students will not get a huge breadth of information about wines, it is a nice way to start off.”

Attendees will get to sample other products such as olives and raisins also produced by students on the Fresno State farm. Since the event will be held at the Fresno State Winery, those who come out will be introduced to the winery first hand.

The featured wines will also be sold at a discount price.

At the event, organizers expect to have a wide range of people attend. Among them are “alumni, students, wine experts and those who simply want to know what Fresno State students are doing,” said Valerie Hosch, event organizer.

Hosch, who has been organizing the event since August, said, “It’s a tradition so it’s kind of the same, but I tried to put in new things.”

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and close at 8 p.m. General admission is $15 but students get a $5 discount.

Students that attend will get a commemorative glass and plate, a cooking demonstration by executive chef of the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite Fredrick Clabaugh, light hors d’oeuvres and 3 wine samples, a rouge, a blanc and a rose, made entirely by Fresno State students.

Although students are invited to attend, only people who are 21 years of age or older will be allowed in. Everyone will be carded at the door.

Le Vin Nouveau: Fresno State Winery’s 7th annual release of new wines.

• When: Nov. 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

• Where: Fresno State Winery, on Barstow Avenue west of the viticulture and enology facilities.

• Admission: $15, $10 with Fresno State alumni, faculty, staff or student ID.

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