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on the table everything—lodging and meals—for the trip except the transportation.) “Anyone we send out there comes back with a better understanding of wine and what goes into it. And with stories,” says Fred Moesinger, chef-owner of Caffe Molise and BTG, who himself has been to camp several times. “There’s plenty of good wine—what ends up selling it is the servers. Wine Camp energizes them and gets them excited about wine.” Most of the wineries Fecteau and his campers visit are small, familyowned operations (obviously, Wagner Family of Wine, an umbrella that covers Caymus, Conundrum, Mer Soleil, etc., is an exception) but they all benefit from the personal promotion Fecteau provides. Soter, Donkey & Goat, Flying Goat and Colter Creek, for example, are all small wineries, meaning they produce

fewer than 20,000 gallons of wine annually and enjoy a reduced mark-up in Utah DABC stores. Fecteau also promotes his portfolio with wine dinners and tastings at Utah restaurants, and this year featured small wineries at the Taste of the Wasatch event at Solitude. Saracina, the winery where we are digging holes, is owned by John Fetzer, eldest son of Barney Fetzer, a pioneer of organic winemaking in California. After Barney died, John ran Fetzer for two decades. Then he and his 10 siblings sold the name and property to industry giant Brown Forman. John moved a little further north and founded Saracina; he and his brother Danny, who owns the adjoining property and makes wine under the name Jeriko, continued with their father’s commitment to

organic farming and for awhile pushed it further into biodynamics, a European approach to growing that falls somewhere between organic and voodoo. “Francis is one of the best wine educators I know and I’ve been in the business for 50 years,” Fetzer says. Working in Saracina’s fields is the central experience of Wine Camp. Terroir is winemaking’s most treasured term. But it’s an abstraction to most wine drinkers, who can rattle off its definition (“how a particular region’s climate, soils and aspect [terrain] affect the taste of wine”) without ever getting any terroir under their fingernails. So Fecteau’s Wine Camp is about more than swirling, swishing and spitting. On the four-day tour, the

S A LT L A K E M A G A Z I N E . C O M SEPT/OCT 2016


Salt Lake Magazine Sept Oct 2016  
Salt Lake Magazine Sept Oct 2016