T H E H A N G A R | N A N T U C K E T W I N E F E S T I VA L
“ Be thoughtful and remember to have fun. After all, wine is a beverage of pleasure.”
Villard from Domaine Francois Villard in Rhone, Jean Remy Rapeneau from Chateau de Bligny in Champagne and Dimitri Augenblick from Cos d’Estournel in St Estephe are among many in the winemaking industry who have become friends of the house and ones we have been fortunate to visit throughout our travels to their respective wine regions.
What is something as a longtime Nantucket restaurateur that you are proud to see happen at NWF, and what is something you’d like to see happen in the future? It has been amazing to watch the Wine Festival evolve over the years, even just since we opened CRU in 2012. We love being the destination for our peers and world-renowned winemakers alike to toast the kickoff of their festival week over oysters on Wednesday afternoon or unwind over a glass of wine later in the evening after their events have concluded on Saturday night. We love to see the space we created be a welcoming environment for the weekend. As the popularity of the Nantucket Wine Festival and the island itself continues to soar, we hope we continue to be the premier destination to take it all in.
How long have you been visiting Beaune? We have visited during the annual Vente des Vins des Hospice de Beaune for the past five years. Our first trip was in November 2013. The initial connection to Beaune for us, as with many Nantucketers, was through Denis Toner, who created the Nantucket Wine Festival and played a significant role in Nantucket and Beaune becoming sister cities. Our executive chef, Erin Zircher, had the opportunity to stage at Levernois a stunning, Michelin-starred Relais & Chateaux property just outside of Beaune in the fall of 2012. We met her as the stage concluded so the three of us could explore the wine region, taste the current vintage and experience the cuisine during this festive time of year in Beaune.
What is the biggest advantage you see to making this annual trip for CRU and its customers? We are fortunate to travel yearly to Beaune and taste vintage after vintage before we select our wine list for the season. The soul of our wine list lies in Burgundy where some of the very best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the world are grown. The knowledge acquired through our travels is invaluable to our guests. Our strong relationships with celebrated winemakers allow us to discuss each vintage they produce, the terroir, how the climate has impacted every vintage and their farming techniques, as well as their winemaking style. We taste at least three different vintages from each winemaker during our yearly pilgrimage to this historic town and region. We bring this knowledge to the table and share it with our guests when they are deciding which wine to drink.
The Nantucket Wine & Food Festival Charitable Foundation is the charitable arm of the annual island festival. Proceeds benefit a variety of island nonprofits and community organizations, with a focus on supporting Nantucket Island youth. The NWF Culinary Arts Mentoring Program provides speakers, visiting chefs, field trips and paid student employment opportunities. The annual NWF Junior Top Chef Competition directly supports the Nantucket High School Culinary Arts Scholarship Fund. GIVING BACK
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