Walt and Joan Flowers owned a nursery in Bucks County, Pennsylvania but aspired to own a winery. After a number of trips honing their love for all things from the vine and several fruitless trips to Napa and Sonoma looking for something to buy, in 1989 they ran across a three-line classified ad offering for sale 321 acres. The property was set along a ridge top high above the Pacific Ocean. Studies by The Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis showed the climate was too cold. They bought it anyway.
The land itself has an interesting history. Nineteenth Century Russian fur traders would meet local Kashaya Indians on the ridge to escape the heat of the inland valleys while trading. The reputation of the winery today is quite high generating scores in the 90s by the various raters, or in other words excellent and outstanding.
Partnering with the Sonoma County Wine Vintners, a group designed to promote wines from the region as well as travel there, Flowers hosted a CEO luncheon in New York at Parlor Steakhouse with The Luxury Marketing Council.
Big bosses from the likes of La Prairie, China Daily, the British Consulate, Lladro, General Electric Monogram Design Center and Zilli as well as the CEO of the Council’s China Chapter were among those in attendance as was luxury industry legend Ira Newmark, former Chairman of Bergdorf Goodman.
Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012 was paired with East Beach Blond Oysters, Meyer Lemon and Apple Mignonette. Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge (named for the place the Russian traders and Indians met) Chardonnay 2011 complemented House Cured Gravlax, Avocado Mousse, Grilled Corn, Lime Salsa, Shredded Tortillas. A wonderful Grilled Berkshire Pork Loin with Braised Baby Fennel, Country Bacon, Blood Orange Tarragon Reduction, Fennel Fronds met a Flowers Sea View Ridge Pinot Noir 2011. The result was probably happy offices this afternoon for the two dozen CEOs on hand.
Kelley Perez, Director of Marketing, for the Sonoma group said that many times novices think they are in Napa when they are actually in Sonoma. Either way, the lunch was a good reminder that a trip to either or both is probably always a nice way to spend the weekend for elite travelers.