By, Angela Soleno
Life is but a dream…
Sogno del Fiore means dream of the flower. A whimsical name for a vineyard yet an impassioning statement of words that truly embodies what the Fiore family stand for. Jerry and Liz, an embracingly warm couple consider themselves blessed to have some of their own dreams come true by creating their wine estate and integrating their passion for it into their daily lives by creating a place for friends to come and enjoy some of their favorite wine discoveries. You see? They pass on their dreams. They pour it right into a glass for you. This fulfillment continues each year as the Fiore’s host an event on the grounds of their lavish property. The event, appropriately named The Gathering, brings food, wine and friends together to raise funds for People Helping People and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The SYVWC attended this years sell-out event and found it to be one of the most incredible events for tasting an array of culinary delights as well as some of the best wines procured from the entire state.
With ample staff on hand, the Fiore’s started the evening off with J Vineyards Brut Rosé, a sparkling wine from Sonoma County, for the champagne reception. It was a nice accompaniment to the sun dwindling in the sky. The off-dry Pinot Noir based blend of bubbles seemed to refract the light just a little more than normal, making every movement of a glass shimmer. The wine tasting hour began with many vintners personally on hand, smiling and talking, eager to let you sample their wine. Some local favorites like Arcadian, Carr, and Falcone, were in attendance. Extending north into the Paso Robles region, the Fiore’s brought wines from Alta Colina, Alban, L’Aventure, and Caliza, as well as some of northern California’s Napa and Sonoma County wines including Townley, Grassi, Porter-Bass, and Paul Hobbs. The wines were obviously hand-selected because every one was exceptional.
To accompany the wines, the Fiore’s planted tables of gourmet cheeses with soft oozing specialty cheeses like Cowgirl Creamery, St. Andre, and Cambozola as well as providing as selection of hard cheeses like the traditional Parmigiano-Reggiano. C’est magnifique! And this was only the beginning! Trays of appetizers made their rounds and live music filled the air as guests mingled and made friends.
Then came dinner. What a treat. Every sought after chef in the valley was preparing food for the guests that night. Chefs who’ve received Michelin star ratings, written books, and who’ve created and branded world-famous menu items were all on hand crafting savory delights for the crowd. Rick Manson (formerly Chef Rick’s) who now leads the Far Western Tavern’s crew in Guadalupe was serving up gumbo, creole style – hot and spicy. Full of Life Flatbread was baking up Gorgonzola and arugula flatbreads, meanwhile others like Leanardo Curti of Trattoria Grappolo, Budi Kazali from the Ballard Inn and Chris Kobayashi from Artisan in Paso were serving up dishes like eggplant parmesan, lamb chops, rabbit pasta, braised pork shoulder, garden salads and much, much more!
Wine continued to fill the glasses, and conversations flowed between the friends of the Fiore’s as the music filled the air and once the sun finally set the stars came out – right on cue. The evenings magical ending had to happen, but we are looking forward to a return to this fantastic event again next year.