Sunday, August 17, 2008

VJB Vineyards & Cellars Carnivale Italiano

Yesterday afternoon was the annual member luncheon at the home of the owners of VJB Vineyards and Cellars. Is is our third year with them and many of our friends are members as well now. There were ten of us together yesterday and had a wonderful time. Henry and his family are so gracious and humble. It's truly delightful to be part of their family. After passing through the private gates and driving by Ledson Winery on the right of us, we stopped at the level up the hill where Henry's house is located. There valet parking attendants take our cars and we were then helped into mini buses that take us the rest of the way up the hill to Henry's parents home where the Carnivale will take place. Henry had Bill drive us right up to the house in the cvan and let us out because of David being in a wheelchaor. That made things so much easier for him. They are always so thoughtful.

Once stepping off the bus we are greeted by winery staff, given a glass for the tasting portion of the afternoon that was filled with festive colorful beads to wear. We were also handed a menu for the tasting and what wines were being poured at what stations. They also had two barrel tastings available as well which I always enjoy. There was also wines in a silet auction you coud bid on.
Verona and Bill up front and some of our other friends in the background reciving their glasses and beads.
Rose and her daughter Fran.
They had a juggler entertaining us throughout the afternoon. He was a hoot. A really nice guy.

The juggler took to David and followed us around a lot and kept David entertained. While we were tasting wines butler passed appetizers circulated. A few of the choices were white bean, truffle with bacon bruschetta, apple sauge wrapped in puff pastry, smoked salmon, fried calamari, seafood and cheese mini quiches as well as spinach and cheese and carmalized onion and cheese mini calzone. There were many more which escape me at the moment. It was such a beautiful day in Kenwood, warm but not too hot, with a gentle breeze. We enjoyed chatting, meeting new people, and seeing some members we have met before and catching up with them. It was also nice seeing Henry;s wife again. She came over to me to talk about what fun Gabriella had at our house for the tasting we had a few weeks ago and how she still t alks about it and little Steven. Gabriella was having a blast yesterday with her little sister too.

The entree for the day turning on the spit; a whole roasted pig.

He found us again and we were delighted! he did make us laugh.

The pig dressed and ready to be carved. Isn't it scrumptious looking?!

We were entertained by this comedian duo after being seated for lunch. They were quiye funny. The guy thought Bill looks like Wilford Brimley and came around often to tease him and joke around.
Bill and David got a big kick out of them, and they seemed to be enjoying themselves as well.

After being individually served a salad course of Insalata Romana (Caesar Salad) paired with the 2007 Gabriella Ranch Chardonnay, and a pasta course of Pasta con Pollo e Carciofi (Homemade Artichoke and Chicken Pasta) paired with the 2006 El Dorado Syrah the main course was served family style in platters on the table. Dom volunteered to serve each of us. Along with the spit roasted pork there was a good green bean salad with mushrooms and roasted red peppers dressed with a light vinaigrette. The pork melted in your mouth and the salad was fresh as well as refreshing on a warm afternoon.

Henry's father Vittorio on the left talking with guests.

My long-time friend Cathy on the left and me on the right. Following the entree we were again served individually a to-die-for piece of Torta al Gelato (LAdy Fingers with Choclate Hazelnut Ice Cream Cake) paired with the 2005 Baci di Famiglia Chardonnay Port. The food was once again prepared by Maria Belmonte, the Excutive Chef at VJB and also Henry's mother. She is an incredible chef and used to have a restaurant in Santa Rose called Il Protofino. It was a popular restaurant.

A full and content David.
A happy Fran.

Comedian Dom at his best.

Verona and Paulette in a serious dicussion.

Henry and David talking.

Bill, Henry and David. It was a wonderful time with a wonderful family. Salute!


Sarah said...

Looks like a GREAT afternoon. Good food, good company & good wine. What is not to love?

Jen said...

Awesome Mom! It was great to see David wearing his beads! The comedians thinking Bill looks like Wilford Brimley...he does! Now when I see him I will always think of Quaker Oats...Everyone looked like they had so much fun, and the juggler sure looked fun! Next year John and I are going to make it for sure, now that we are members! Ciao!

Jen said...

Oops I failed to mention...WOW A WHOLE PIG????

Erin said...

It looked like such fun and the food and wine looked scrumptous! Next time you see them especially Gabriella send Steven's love :)