Wine lovers generally live quite well. Even budget winos frequently enjoy culinary pleasures. That cannot be said of many people around the world. That is why the Fifth Annual Menu for Hope is a terrific opportunity to indulge our epicurean tendencies while benefiting those less fortunate. It is essentially a raffle which raises incredible amounts of money.
This philanthropic effort on the part of wine bloggers and wine writers has again chosen to raise funds for the UN World Food Programme – the world’s largest food aid agency. Last year, Menu for Hope raised over $90,000 for the WFP. For the second year in a row, funds raised will benefit people like school children in Lesotho, a land-locked country in Africa.
This year, I am proud to participate in Menu for Hope. As a pinot noir lover and a proponent of Central Coast wines, I wanted to put together a package which would both share my passion for pinot noir and the Central Coast and showcase a premier site. This year, I have chosen Clos Pepe Vineyard in the Sta Rita Hills.
Splayed over the gently rolling foot of the La Purisima Hills on the north side of Highway 246, the 28-acre Clos Pepe vineyard is planted to 24 acres of Pinot Noir (clones: Pommard 4, 115, 667 and 777) and 4 acres of Chardonnay (Dijon 76 and Wente clones) on well-draining sandy soils.
Wes Hagen oversaw the planting and development of the former horse ranch into a vineyard beginning in 1996. He points out that despite being located in the northern portion of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA (and, thus, farther from the ocean) the vineyard enjoys cooler temperatures than the southern portion of the AVA which is located along Santa Rosa Road – between the Santa Rosa and the Santa Rita Hills, is closer to the ocean to the south.
Clos Pepe is one of those sites that produce consistent quality fruit and the wines produced by the various négociants share a commonality of character that distinguishes them from others in the area. I have found the Clos Pepe pinot noirs to be structured and nicely layered with good acidity and a distinct, pleasant earthiness.
The majority of the fruit is sold to high-end producers throughout California, with only 25% retained for the estate label. Among those sourcing from Clos Pepe are: AP Vin, Loring Wine Company and Siduri. This package, special to Menu for Hope, includes wines from these négociants as well as wines from the Clos Pepe Estate label and is valued at $210. This “horizontal” is an excellent opportunity to explore the nuances of Clos Pepe Vineyard and it could be yours for as little as $10.
Each “virtual raffle ticket” costs $10 and multiple tickets increase your chance of winning the desired prize. Please visit this Viongraphy post and scroll down to the bottom for information on the full list of raffle prizes and how to bid on them.
UPDATE: This prize will be added to the list on Vinography around 3 pm December 17th.
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